Game Of The Week: 'D' is the key for L-A in win at W-K

Wabasha-Kellogg's Jackson Gosse (7) breaks up a pass intended for Lewiston-Altura's Mitch Bonow (30) during a Mid Southeast District game Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in Wabasha.

WABASHA — Marcus Weaver was moved into a starting role on Lewiston-Altura's defense just this week.

The sophomore showed he belongs in that role.

Weaver was a key part of a dominant defensive effort by the Cardinals in a 49-8 victory at Wabasha-Kellogg in a Mid Southeast District, East Subdistrict matchup Friday night.

"He's very smart and knows what to do," L-A head coach Brent Olson said of Weaver. "He's a good athlete and he's not afraid to mix it up."

Weaver set the tone for the Cardinals in the first quarter. L-A's first two offensive drives stalled, but on W-K's second possession, Weaver scooped up a fumble and returned it 21 yards for the first touchdown of the game.


Less than 10 minutes later, the defensive back intercepted a W-K pass in the Falcons' end of the field. Calen McNally broke free for a 39-yard run on the next play and L-A had a 20-0 lead with 6:45 left in the first half.

Weaver's TD was one of two turned in by the Cardinals defense in the game. Lineman Ozzie Peshon returned a fumble 13 yards for a score in the opening minute of the third quarter.

Special teams got in on the act as well. Senior linebacker Thomas Hennessy -- a Division I prospect who disruptive force all night from his linebacker spot -- blocked a punt then recovered it in the end zone for a 42-0 lead with 7:39 left in the third.

"It was huge to get that early lead and momentum," Hennessy said of Weaver's TD. "We knew we needed to come out faster and that lit the fire underneath us and we were strong after that."

Bradley Miller also scored on two short runs for L-A (4-2 overall) and quarterback Dusty Knutson added a 1-yard TD run late in the first half.

"We were disciplined," Hennessy said of the Cardinals' defense. "A lot of reading your keys and making sure you stay at home."

L-A finished with 382 yards of total offense, including 334 on the ground, while W-K had 229.

"We talked all week about fighting and competing," Olson said. "We didn't do that well enough the past two weeks. Tonight we did and it showed on defense. We really got after them and forced some big turnovers."


W-K avoided being shut out in its homecoming game when Cooper Holtorf broke free for a 45-yard TD run with 4:19 remaining in the game.

"Most of this result is about how well L-A played and how good they are," W-K coach Tim Klingbeil said. "They're big, strong, fast and handed it to us in every phase."

IT WAS OVER WHEN...: Peshon scooped up a fumble and returned it 13 yards for L-A's second defensive score of the game, just 28 seconds into the second half. The TD gave L-A a 35-0 lead.

TURNOVERS TELL THE STORY: L-A has been hampered by turnovers in recent weeks. They flipped that scenario on Friday, forcing three turnovers and not committing any.

THE BEST IN THE EAST?: L-A is 4-2 overall but is not one of the three teams in the Mid Southeast District, East Subdistrict to appear in a state poll this week. None the less, after the complete team effort the Cardinals turned in on Friday, W-K coach Klingbeil thinks L-A could be the best team in a loaded subdistrict. "I think they're the best team in the conference," Klingbeil said. "Rushford-Peterson and Fillmore Central are great teams, too, but I think (L-A) is the team that will be standing at the end."

L-A 49, W-K 8




First quarter

L-A -- Marcus Weaver 21 fumble return (Evan Daley kick) 4:19.

Second quarter

L-A -- Bradley Miller 2 run (kick blocked) 7:55.

L-A-- Calen McNally 39 run (Daley kick) 6:45.

L-A-- Dusty Knutson 1 run (Felix Vierthaler kick) :11.

Third quarter

L-A -- Ozzie Peshon 13 fumble return (Noah Thesing pass from Knutson) 11:32.


L-A-- Thomas Hennessy blocked punt recovery in end zone (Vierthaler kick) 7:39.

Fourth quarter

L-A -- Miller 2 run (Vierthaler kick) 11:56.

W-K-- Cooper Holtorf 45 run (Jackson Gosse pass from Holtorf) 4:19.



First downs#14#8

Total net yards#382#229



Passing yards#48#106





Time of possession#23:04#24:56




LA -- Dusty Knutson 10-116, 1 TD; Bradley Miller 11-93, 2 TDs; Calen McNally 2-40, 1 TD; Sam Puetz 8-36; Evan Daley 4-23; Lincoln Wobschall 3-18; Marcus Weaver 2-6; Blake Schilling 2-2. WK-- Cooper Holtorf 15-44, 1 TD; Elijah Hager 2-53; Trevor Timm 8-22; Jackson Gosse 5-4.


LA -- Dusty Knutson 3-6-0, 48 yards. W-K-- Trevor Timm 4-6-1, 84 yards; Cooper Holtorf 4-11-0, 22.


LA -- Sam Puetz 2-39; Bradley Miller 1-9. WK-- Collin Schmoker 4-78; Jackson Gosse 2-19; Elijah Hager 1-9.

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