CANBY - Before Friday night's showdown between two of Class A's top-ranked teams, the Canby Lancers hadn't scored on the Minneota/Lincoln HI Vikings since a 14-6 loss on Sept. 21, 2007. The streak would persist until the 9 minute, 23 second mark of the second quarter when Canby's Wyatt Kraus bulled his way one yard for a touchdown.
Though the scoreless drought against the rival Vikings came to an end, it was bittersweet for the Lancers, who were outlasted 27-21 in a Little Sioux Conference contest.
The ninth-ranked Lancers found themselves in an early 21-0 hole after a pair of touchdowns by Minneota/Lincoln HI tight end Isaac Josephson.
Photo by Travis Andries
Minneota/Lincoln HI tight end Isaac Josephson elevates over Canby’s Tate Citrowske for a touchdown reception in the first quarter Friday evening in Canby.
Josephson opened the scoring for the sixth-ranked Vikings on an 11-yard catch tossed by Austin Buysse. After Nathan Pavek rushed for a 7-yard score in the waning moments of the first quarter, the Vikings forced a Canby punt, which Josephson returned 65 yards for a touchdown.
"That's a big play at a big time," Vikings head coach Chad Johnston said. "It's a huge return when you look at the big picture."
After recovering an onside kick by M/LHI, Canby droedve 50 yards and pick up its first points against the Vikings in a half decade. Kraus' first of two touchdowns on the night also opened up the door for a Canby comeback.
"We had them right where we wanted and all of a sudden the momentum just changed," Johnston said.
For the Lancers, the opportunity now existed to respond to a challenge handed down by head coach Nick Kockelman earlier in the week.
"I challenged these guys this week to believe we could beat a team we haven't beat in quite a while," Kockelman said. "I thought we just came out flat. We kind of woke up."
"Kind of" is the operative phrase in that sentence, seeing as the Lancers' upset bid fell just short.
Canby further cut into the lead when quarterback Michael Sisk took advantage of an atrocious 6-yard punt by the Vikings. With the ball on the Vikings' 15-yard line, Sisk rolled out to his right and sprinted in for the score.
Jeff Gladis added a 9-yard touchdown run for the Vikings at 7:39 in the fourth quarter. But Kraus and the Lancers would respond in turn.
Kraus broke runs of 52 and 26 yards on the ensuing drive before plunging into the end zone from three yards out with just under five minutes to play.
"We stressed it all week, not giving him cutback lanes," Johnston said of Kraus. "And we gave him quite a few of those. That's where his big plays came from."
The senior running back finished the game with 236 yards rushing and two scores to bring his season totals to 1,367 yards and 15 touchdowns.
"Just another day in the office for that kid," Kockelman said. "That's the way he's run all year and we've come to expect that from him. His teammates feed off of it and they did tonight."
Canby was unable to recover an onside kick after the Kraus score, but did force a Minneota/Lincoln HI three-and-out. The Vikings, however, were able to down the punt inside the 2-yard line.
With Kraus bottled up and unable to throw into a tenacious wind, the Lancers comeback effectively ended when Daniel Harrison sacked Sisk on fourth down.
After kneeling out the win and establishing a four-way tie for first place in the conference, the Vikings (5-1 overall, 4-1 Little Sioux conference) will next face the Murray County Central Rebels on Friday. The Lancers (4-2, 4-1) will look to snap a two-game losing streak when they travel to Tracy to face the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers on Friday as well.
Minneota14 7 0 6-27
Canby 0 7 7 7-21
M-Isaac Josephson 11 pass from Austin Buysse (Niels Peterson kick), 6:33
M-Nathan Pavek 7 run (Peterson kick), 1:18
M-Josephson 65 punt return (Peterson kick), 10:52
C-Wyatt Kraus 1 run (Brett Hansen kick), 9:23
C-Michael Sisk 15 run (Hansen kick), 2:38
M-Jeff Gladis 9 run (kick failed), 7:39
C-Kraus 3 run (Hansen kick), 4:57
Rushing: M-Jeff Gladis 21-114, Isaac Josephson 8-24; C-Wyatt Kraus 31-236.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): M-Austin Buysse 9-11-134-0; C-Michael Sisk 4-18-25-0.
Receiving: M- N/A ; C-Michael Slaba 2-15.
Tackles: M- N/A ; C-Tate Citrowske 13, Austen Bouvette 12.
Sacks: M-Daniel Harrison; C-Bouvette.
INT: M-None; C-None.
FR: M-Harrison; C-Austin Campbell.