A week of homecoming festivities and activities in Ogilvie concluded with an important section match-up for the Lions as they took on South Ridge. A fine crowd was on hand to see an entertaining game between the two squads. After trailing at halftime, Ogilvie played a fantastic second half to earn a come from behind 20-12 victory.
The Panthers from South Ridge started out fast on their opening possession. South Ridge converted two third downs on the drive for big plays. Both plays saw the running back take a pitch and subsequently hit a wide receiver with a pass. The second of those resulted in a 20-yard touchdown to put the Panthers up 6-0.
The remainder of the half turned out to be a defensive battle. The Lions defense stiffened, and the Panthers couldn’t muster anything more on offense. Head coach Dave Halvorson said, “They passed more than we expected with a couple of trick plays and we settled in after that and stopped them pretty good.”
The defense of the Panthers was also very tough on the Lions. Ogilvie owned the battle for field position throughout the half but couldn’t take advantage of their good field position. The Lions got inside the 10-yard line in the second quarter, but the Panthers rose up to stifle the Lions threat. Ogilvie trailed 6-0 at halftime.
The Lions went in at halftime and made some adjustments, and it showed on their opening drive of the second half. Ogilvie marched down the field as their running backs were able to start getting the corner on the Panthers defense. The drive culminated with a Tucker Kenyon 8-yard touchdown run. Kenyon also went in for the two-point conversion and the Lions had their crowd fired up with an 8-6 lead. Kenyon went for 48 yards on 11 carries for the night. Coach Halvorson stated, “We talked a lot at half about getting tougher and made some changes that got us going on offense.”
Not to be deterred, the Panthers showed they weren’t going to back down as they came up with an answer. They got a big 41-yard run to get into the red zone. The Lions looked like they may come up with a stop, but on fourth and 12 South Ridge got an 18-yard touchdown pass to re-take the lead 12-8.
The Lions immediately took their next possession and moved inside the 20-yard line but were stuffed on a fourth and four play. The Lions defense forced a three and out to set the offense back up with good field position. The offense took advantage as quarterback Colby Milbradt threw a beautiful ball to Andy Berg for a 38-yard touchdown and the Lions took a 14-12 lead. Milbradt was three for seven on the night for 92 yards. All three of those completions were to Berg as that combination stepped up in the second half.
On the ensuing Panthers possession, Berg stepped up on defense with a big interception.
The Lions ground game took control with Caleb Felde getting the work. On the drive he had a big 30-yard run to put the Lions in scoring position again. It set up a Colby Milbradt touchdown run to put the Lions up 20-12. Felde went for 130 yards on 20 carries to help the Lions control the second half. The offensive line did a stellar job for the Lions running backs in the second half.
The defense was able to put the finishing touches on the game by forcing a turnover on downs and stopping a desperation last second drive by the Panthers. The Lions faithful went home happy with a big homecoming victory.
The win has the Lions sitting on top of their section with a 3-2 record. “We talked about the importance of this game for our playoff seeding and the team responded,” said Coach Halvorson.
The Lions are scheduled to host Carlton-Wrenshall at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, as they try to tighten their grip on the top spot in the section.
Section 5 nine-man standings
South Ridge 2-3