PREP FOOTBALL: Lancers take down Adrian with late scoring
CANBY – An injury to Canby’s starting running back, Blake Mercer forced Brandon Moeller into a more prominent role in Canby’s backfield Thursday evening against the Adrian Dragons. In his new role Moeller didn’t disappoint. The senior running back rushed for two touchdowns and 147 yards to help Canby slay the Dragons, 32-21.
“Our starting running back got hurt last week,” Canby coach Nick Kockelman said. “He’s been starting all year. For Brandon to step up and have the game he did was huge.”
Following a rushing touchdown from Zach Durfee the Lancers defense came up with a big play at midfield. On fourth and one the Lancers stopped the Dragons short of the first down marker to hand the ball back to their offense.
“For momentum that was awesome,” Kockelman said. “We were able to score first right away. Things were going pretty well in the first half. We’ve been down 14-0 right away a lot. It was nice to flip the script on that.”
On the final play of the first quarter the Dragons converted on fourth and six to keep their drive alive. With 10:09 left in the second quarter the Dragons got on the board thanks to a rushing touchdown from their quarterback, Ryan Wieneke.
The Lancers wasted little time in answering back. Canby took over at their 19-yard line and marched down the field. A Zach Durfee passing touchdown to Riley Kockelman put the Lancers up 14-7 with 7:47 left in the opening half.
With 2:17 left in the first half Adrian took over at their 42-yard line. The Dragons crossed the goal line with 13 seconds left in the first half. The Dragons failed to tie the game at 14 when they missed the extra point.
Adrian’s power rushing attack was on full display in the opening drive of the second half. They methodically drove the ball down the field and took the lead on a rushing touchdown with 6:27 left in the third quarter. The Dragons converted the two-point conversion to go up 21-14.
The Lancers answered back with a seven-play drive of their own. Moeller capped off the drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game. The Lancers missed the extra point and still trailed the Dragons, 21-20.
Kockelman came up with a big play on the defensive side of the ball when he picked off Wienke to set the Lancers up at midfield.
“The interception was huge,” Kockelman said. “We were struggling to stop them. To get a turnover was huge.”
Following his interception Kockelman came up with a big play on the offensive side of the ball. Kockelman reeled in a pass from Durfee on the sideline and showed off nifty footwork to get both feet down before going out of bounds.
“He’s been making big plays for us all year,” Kockelman said. “We’ve been able to throw him the ball all year. The catch on the sidelines is one of the toughest catches you can make and he made it look easy. He played really well tonight.”
Kockelman’s big catch set up Moeller’s third rushing touchdown of the game to give Canby a 26-21 lead with 10:59 left in the game.
The Dragons stopped the Lancers and took over at the 27-yard line with 7:03 left in the game. Following a big passing play that set up the Dragons at Canby’s 30-yard line the Lancers rose to the occasion and held their ground to halt the Dragons.
The Lancers took over with 4:10 left in the game and were able to salt the game away behind a strong rushing attack. Durfee crossed the goal line with one second left in the game to clinch the game for the Lancers.
“It was awesome,” Kockelman said. “We’ve struggled to run the ball consistently. To get the ball back with 4:10 and set up the four minute offense where we have to get first downs, we just marched down the field. It helps when you get three timeouts to talk about blocking schemes, but it was awesome for our guys to feel that.”
With the win the Lancers are now 3-4 on the year. The Lancers will wrap up the regular season next week against Yellow Medicine East.
“We always want to build to be the best we can be in the playoffs,” Kockelman said. “We are set up to have two games at the end of the year. It’s big to build off of this win and hopefully get another win to finish the regular season against YME.”
Canby 32, Adrian 21
Adrian 0 13 8 0 – 21
Canby 7 7 6 12 – 32
Canby: Z. Durfee 3 yd run (Kick good).
Adrian: Wieneke 1 yd run (Kick good).
Canby: Kockelman 18 yd run from Z. Durfee (Kick good).
Adrian: Schnoor 2 yd run (Kick failed).
Adrian: Harder 2 yd run (2-pt. conversion good).
Canby: Moeller 4 yd run (Kick failed).
Canby: Moeller 1 yd run (Kick failed).
Canby: Z. Durfee 9 yd run (Kick failed).
Passing (comp-att-yds-td-int): Canby (Z. Durfee 6-8-101-1-0).
Rushing (att-yds-td): Canby (Moeller 21-147-2; Z. Durfee 10-51-2; Anderson 5-42-0).
Receiving (rec-tds-td): Canby (Kockelman 3-79-1).