The Ogilvie Lions opened up the section playoffs hosting McGregor on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Oct. 30. The Lions entered the playoffs as the top seed in the section, and they showed why with a convincing 50-14 victory to advance to the section finals.
The Lions defense got to flex their muscles first to start the game. McGregor lost yards on their first drive as the defense forced an immediate punt setting up the offense with good field position. The Lions defense was tough all game allowing only a total of 175 yards to McGregor.
The offense took advantage of the good field position scoring a touchdown on their opening drive. The offense had to work for the touchdown as they needed to convert a third and 14 and a fourth down on the drive. The drive ended with Colby Milbradt hitting Bryce Nelson for a 2-yard touchdown to put the Lions up 6-0. Milbradt threw for 134 yards on the game while Nelson had three catches for 30 yards.
The Lion’s second possession of the game started around midfield, again in thanks to the defense as they stopped McGregor on a fourth down. Milbradt hit Andy Berg for a big play on the drive for about 20 yards. Berg had a total of two catches for 35 yards. The drive culminated with Caleb Felde scoring from 1-yard out and after the two-point conversion Ogilvie was up 14-0 in the first quarter. Felde had a fine game on the ground rushing for 83 yards and three touchdowns.
On their next possession, McGregor put together their best drive of the first half. They marched the ball down the field picking up four first downs on the way. But, when it counted most, the Lions defense rose up and Caleb Felde intercepted a pass in the end zone thwarting the drive.
Ogilvie was moving the ball again on offense when a rare mistake occurred. After picking up a big first down in McGregor territory, Colby Milbradt fumbled on the play which was recovered by McGregor. But the Lions defense made sure McGregor wouldn’t gain momentum as they recorded a big sack and forced a three and out.
Starting from the McGregor 45-yard line, Caleb Felde made sure there would be no mistakes on the drive. On the first play he took the handoff and ran 45 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-0.
After another three and out, Ogilvie was a little sloppy on their next drive dropping a couple of passes. The Lions set up in punt formation but executed a fake punt as punter Landen Halverson hit Bryce Beier for a 33-yard completion for an exciting first down. Beier had a big game receiving as he caught four passes for 102 yards. The offense finished off the drive as Milbradt ran a touchdown in from nine yards out and after the two-point conversion led 28-0 going into halftime.
One of the keys to the game was the ability of Ogilvie to get third down stops on defense and convert third downs (and even fourth downs) on offense. Head coach, Dave Halvorson said, “Holding them on third down and us being able to convert on third and fourth down was a big part of the win.”
The Lions made sure McGregor would have no thoughts of a comeback on the opening drive of the second half. Milbradt hit Beier for a big play on the drive for 42 yards. Brody Milbradt finished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run making it 34-0.
The Lions defense continued its fine play in the second half. The defense recovered fumbles on back-to-back drives. The second of those recoveries led to a touchdown as Caleb Felde scored from seven yards out and after the two-point conversion made the score 42-0 Lions after three quarters.
McGregor got on the board a couple of times in the fourth quarter, but the highlight of the quarter was by Tucker Kenyon. After McGregor’s first touchdown, he took the ensuing kickoff at the 19-yard line and ran it back 81 yards for a touchdown to get the Lions to the half-century mark on the scoreboard. Coach Halvorson on the game said, “We had a great afternoon to play football and played a good game on both sides of the ball and were able to get everyone in the game.”
With the victory, Ogilvie will play in the section finals at 6:00 p.m. Friday night, Nov. 5 in Esko. Their opponent will be South Ridge. On playing in the section championship game, Coach Halvorson said, “We look forward to playing in the section championship game and will have to compete hard and make fewer mistakes to win.”
South Ridge defeated Cromwell/Wright 26-24 to advance. The two teams matched up in the regular season with the Lions winning a close game 20-12. The winner will advance to the state quarterfinals.