|9/23/2019 10:57:00 AM|
First score only score in Highland loss to DeSoto
Highland had it their way on their first series Friday at DeSoto but that was no preview of coming attractions.
In fact, that was the only time the Cardinals found the end zone as the Pirates dominated the rest of the game and claimed a 23-6 win in a Ridge and Valley match-up.
"We moved the ball right down the field on the first drive," said Highland coach Mike Aide. "Justin Miller threaded the ball to Cal Dorota on a touchdown pass (23 yards) between three defenders. After that DeSoto put the clamps on us. Justin took a beating by taking a hit almost every other play. DeSoto's game plan was to play physical and we were not ready for that. Just another learning curve for our young team."
The Pirates answered with a Kaden Pedretti to Brett Rebekah 10 yard strike and Kalle Frejhammar kicked the conversion for a 7-6 lead in the first. Before the quarter ended Trevor Rebhahn scored from five yards out and Frejhammar added the conversion.
Trevor Rebhahn stepped in from the four in the second quarter and they led 20-6 at halftime after Frejhammar's kick.
After a scoreless third quarter Frejhammar drilled a 28 yard field goal for the 23-6 final count.
Controlling the football was in the game plan for the Pirates and they executed it well. They ran 59 plays for 252 yards to Highland's 43 and 172 yards.
"DeSoto did a great job moving the ball Friday night," said Aide. "Defensively we didn't control the line of scrimmage. DeSoto kept gaining 3-5 yards on almost every run attempt. They controlled the clock which I was not happy with. "
Field position also played a part in the Pirates' success.
"Special teams gave DeSoto good field position early in the game which allowed touchdowns right away," said Aide. "The second half we played more consistent defensively but offensively we couldn't get in the end zone."
Miller threw 18 passes, connecting on four for 61 yards and one touchdown. Owyn Halverson picked up 72 yards on five carries, Dorota 39 in five and Jaydn Halverson six on two tries.
The four receptions came from one catch each by Max Oleson for 34, Dorota for 23, Iassac Kutzke for 10 and Jaydn Halverson for a loss of six.
"Owyn Halverson had a nice game running the ball offensively," Aide said.
"Defensively Gabe Benish and Cal Dorota did a good job filling lanes," added Aide.
Benish had 11 tackles, Owyn Halverson 10 with Dorota and Josh Bowen eight. Lucas Welsh had a sack and a tackle for loss. Iassac Kutzke also had a tackle for loss and eight tackles.
The defense got plenty of work with the difference in plays run and Aide is looking for improvement from them this week.
"Hopefully our defensive line will come to practice and work on controlling the line of scrimmage," Aide said. "We took ourselves out of position which caused DeSoto to have big gains. Tackling was not up to par for the entire team. No excuses...we need to keep getting better fundamentally."
This week the Cardinals will play an afternoon game Saturday at 2 pm for Homecoming with Weston/Wonewoc the opponent.
"I expect W/W to grind out the ball on the ground," Aide said. "They saw that we had trouble versus DeSoto with stopping the run game. I'm sure they will give us a heavy dose of it again."
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