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AUSTIN EDITION Slow start, fast finish for Athletics

L/P opens on the road with win in game rescheduled from Friday

CLEVELAND, Minn. -- Lyle/Austin Pacelli opened the football season with a 37-24 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Clippers.

The game was rescheduled from Friday night.

Although they eventually got the offense rolling and cruised to a road win, this game didn't start well for the Lyle/Pacelli Athletics.

The visitors mustered only 14 yards in total offense for the first quarter, which led to an early deficit. The home team ran at will in the first quarter and had a 79-6 advantage in rushing yards.

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"We were really sluggish in the first quarter," L/P coach Mark Buntje said. "The layoff hurt us and we didn't come out with a whole lot of intensity."

Things changed in the second quarter as the defense clamped down and the offense came to life. The L/P defense shut out Cleveland in the second quarter, and the offense got its first touchdown of the season.

Tim Sheedy scored the first of his two touchdowns on the night with just under four minutes to play in the first half. Mike Williamson added the kick, and L/P was back to within one point at halftime.

"Despite the slow start, we didn't give up anything big and the guys played a lot better in the second quarter," Buntje said. "We got the touchdown to pull within a point at the half, and that got the kids back in the game."

The Athletics then took the ball on the opening drive of the second half and marched it down to the 10-yard line. A touchdown appeared imminent, but penalties drove L/P back.

Needing at least some points to salvage the drive, the Athletics turned to their kicker. Williamson proceeded to make the first field goal for L/P in four years, and gave his team the lead for good.

Cleveland responded with a drive, but the L/P defense made the big play. Zeb Henaman recovered a fumble and returned it 50 yards. This set up a short touchdown run by Sheedy four plays later.

The avalanche of points had started, and by the time the third quarter was over, L/P had a 23-point lead. Two more touchdowns were scored by the Athletics in the fourth quarter.

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After the defense forced a punt, L/P quarterback Sam Stier came up with a long run. On fourth-down-and-one near midfield, Stier broke off a 55-yard touchdown run. Williamson then capped the big quarter with an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown.

"In the second half, we moved the ball on the ground a lot better," Buntje said. "Sam had a nice bootleg to set up the first drive of the second half. Once we got the lead on the field goal, then our guys had the momentum. Then, we got the big turnover from Zeb and took control."

The Clippers then started throwing the ball a lot and scored a couple of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to overcome the big lead established by the Athletics.

L/P (1-0) plays at Mabel-Canton on Friday night.

LYLE/PACELLI 37, CLEVELAND 24

scoring by quarters

Lyle/Pacelli 0 7 24 6 -- 37

; Cleveland 8 0 0 16 -- 24

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; First Quarter

CLE -- Bob Gullickson 2 run (Gullickson run), :19.

SECOND Quarter

L/P -- Tim Sheedy 24 run (Mike Williamson kick), 3:48.

Third Quarter

L/P -- Mike Williamson 23 Field Goal, 8:57

L/P -- Tim Sheedy 14 run (Williamson kick), 4:08.

L/P -- Sam Stier 55 run (kick missed), 1:37.

L/P -- Williamson 18 interception return (Stier run), :39.

Fourth quarter

CLE -- Mike Meyer 17 pass from Matt Johnson (Tyler Hokanson pass from Johnson), 9:58.

L/P -- Cody Shea 19 run (kick missed), 6:27.

CLE -- Matt Miller 34 pass from Johnson (Bryce Corrow run), 3:48.

L/P CLE

; First downs 12 16

; Total scrimmage yards 298 258

; Total yards rushing 216 189

; Total yards passing 82 69

; Passes attempted 15 16

; Passes completed 7 7

; Passes had intercepted 0 1

; Fumbles/fumbles lost 3/1 2/1

; Number of penalties 11 3

; Yards penalized 82 22

; individual statistics

Rushing

Lyle/Pacelli -- Tim Sheedy 15-90, Cody Shea 4-28, Sam Stier 6-88, Jaske Ehret 8-8, Dusty Riste 3-2.

Passing

Lyle/Pacelli -- Sam Stier 7-for-15, 82 yards.

Receiving

Lyle/Pacelli -- Zeb Henaman 2-35, Ryan Fett 3-25, Tim Sheedy 1-13, Jake Ehret 1-9.

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