GRAND MEADOW -- The LeRoy-Ostrander football team is for real.

Beating the top two teams in the state -- both on the road -- in consecutive weeks shows that the Cardinals should be a force to be reckoned with the rest of the season.

Last week the Cardinals beat two-time defending state champion Spring Grove, ranked No. 2 in Nine-Man, 53-22. On Friday, L-O did it again as it rallied in the fourth quarter to topple No. 1 Grand Meadow 30-19.

"Two statement wins in a row," L-O coach Trevor Carrier said. "What school and program -- regardless of class -- can go on the road in back-to-back weeks and beat the No. 2 team in the state and the No. 1 team in the state? That is an absolute tribute to the kids, they work so hard."

The Cardinals are now 3-0 while Grand Meadows drop to 2-1.

"This feels awesome," L-O sophomore quarterback/safety Chase Johnson said. "This is what we've been working so hard for."

The Cardinals, who entered the game ranked No. 8 in Nine-Man, made a believer out of Grand Meadow coach Gary Sloan, who coached the Superlarks to four straight titles from 2013-16.

"They're a good football team," Sloan said. "They controlled the line of scrimmage for most of the game."

The game was close most of the way as L-O held leads of 6-0, 12-6 and 18-12 before Nolan Skifter's second touchdown run of the game, from 10 yards out, gave the host Super Larks a 19-18 with 7:55 to play.

Grand Meadow was likely one stop, and one play, away from winning the game, but could not finish off the Cardinals.

"In the second half when we did finally get the lead 19-18, we had some chances to make some plays and No. 4 (Chase Johnson) just hurt us with his quickness," Sloan said. "And they just made more plays that us; they deserved to win the game."

Johnson had a pair of huge plays to help L-O regain the lead. First he spun loose for a 22-yard run on a second-and-17 play. Then he capped the drive on a fourth-and-8 play with a deep 34-yard TD pass to Riley Olson with just 3:08 remaining.

"It's all heart," Johnson said of the winning drive.

"We knew they (the Superlarks) could drive down the field, but were were confident in our offense," Carrier said. "What a pass, fourth-and-8. Our quarterback who is very mobile ... made a great play. What an unbelievable throw."

Johnson entered the game leading the District 9-South in rushing with about 350 yards in two games. He was held in check, with just 28 yards on 13 carries, but was 13-for-19 passing for 175 yards and two TDs. He also intercepted two passes on defense.

"I think just confidence in each other and trusting each other that we can do it," Johnson said of the strong passing attack. "Just doing your job. If you do you job, that makes it easier."

"They caught us sometimes with the wrong personnel on the field," Sloan said. "That's to their advantage, they were doing some good things moving people around. We just didn't make the plays we needed to make, we missed tackles, dropped passes and stuff and they just kept the pressure on us."

Isaac Collier sealed LeRoy-Ostrander's win on the next Grand Meadow drive when he intercepted a pass and took it back 40 yards for a TD with 2:19 remaining.

"I don't think we were perfect, but to beat the No. 1 team in the state is a pretty special feeling," Carrier said. "The community needed it, the school needed and it's pretty cool to hang your hat on."

L-O had 277 yards of total offense. Senior Carter Johnson, Chase's older brother, rushed for 71 yards on 15 carries and a pair of TDs. He know has 11 touchdowns in three games.

Grand Meadow was limited to 225 total yards. The Cardinals had three interceptions and four sacks, three by Olson. 

Grand Meadow will play at Lanesboro next Friday while LeRoy-Ostrander, who should take a big jump in the polls this week, will host Mabel-Canton.

"We just have to keep it up and do the best we can," Chase Johnson said.

"Hopefully we'll get another shot at them, but we just got to worry about getting better next week," Sloan said.

LeRoy-Ostrander 30, Grand Meadow 19

L-O#6#6#6#12#—#30

Grand Meadow#6#6#0#7#—#19

First quarter

L-O — Carter Johnson 20 run (pass failed), 5:57.

GM — Evan Oehlke 11 run (run failed), 0:32.

Second quarter

L-O — Tanner Kasel 7 pass from Chase Johnson (run failed), 11:11.

GM — Nolan Skifter 4 run (pass failed), 3:22.

Third quarter

L-O — Carter Johnson 1 run (pass failed), 3:06.

Fourth Quarter

GM — Skifter 10 run (Oehlke kick), 7:55.

L-O — Riley Olson 34 pass from Chase Johnson (run failed), 3:08.

L-O — Isaac Collier 40 interception return (run failed), 2:19.

TEAM STATISTICS

                                  L-O       GM

First downs                  12            14

Total yards                  277         225

Rush att.-yards           32-102    45-182

Passing yards               175        43

Passing comp.-att.-int   13-19-0  6-19-3

Fumbles-lost                 3-2        0-0

Punts                          3-21.0    2-40.5

Penalties-yards             3-33      3-25

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

LeRoy-Ostrander: Charter Johnson 15-71, Chase Johnson13-28, Isaac Collier 3-4, Riley Olson 1(-1). Grand Meadow: Nolan Skifter 17-95, Dustin Copley 14-38, Evan Oehlke 13-34, Luke Speer 1-15.

Passing

LeRoy-Ostrander: Chase Johnson 13 comp., 19 att., 2 TD, 0 int., 175 yards. Grand Meadow: Evan Oehlke 6-19-0-3, 43 yards.

Receiving

LeRoy-Ostrander: Riley Olson 5-58, Tanner Kasel 4-74, Isaac Collier 3-37, Dakota Stoopes 1-7 . Grand Meadow: Taylor Glynn 2-16, Luke Speer 2-13, Ben Kraft 1-10, Nolan Skifter 1-4.

A full game story will be posted at PostBulletin.com later tonight

 

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