Football: Strand earns first win at quarterback in Detroit Lakes comeback against Thief River Falls – Detroit Lakes Tribune
THIEF RIVER FALLS – Rarely will an undefeated team field a new quarterback under center.
After starting the season 2-0, the Detroit Lakes football team turned to Caden Strand to start under center Friday in a 28-14 win over Thief River Falls (0-3). Despite a slow start, he showed the Laker faithful that he had all the tools to succeed at the college level.
“I found out when we got here. We found out who was leaving during warm-ups,” Strand said. “The first time I walked in in the first game, the nerves hit me. I think that helped settle me here. I just came out here and played my heart out.
The Lakers led 6-0 with a pair of empty drives before Strand led an offensive charge down the field before connecting with Charlie Kalina on a 27-yard touchdown pass. Nick Bubotlz’s extra point gave the Lakers their first lead of the game with 5:45 left in the second quarter.
Detroit Lakes forced a punt to get the ball back on their own 20-yard line with 1:53 left with no timeouts. Strand again led the offense down the field, connecting with Mason Carrier for a long gain before finding Kalina in the end zone from 21 yards out. The Lakers ran for 80 yards in 1:43 to take a 14-6 halftime lead.
“That two-minute exercise could have been good for him because he wasn’t thinking. He just plays and reacts,” Detroit Lakes assistant coach and offensive coordinator Vern Schnathorst said. “He did a great job on that. He made a lot of great games on this record.
“We do a lot of two-minute drills in practice,” Strand said. “It’s our conditioning, and we’re just pushing ourselves. I trust all receivers. Before the start of training, we go out and launch. We work a lot on this chemistry.
Strand had more big plays in him before the night was over. He broke up a 51-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter to give the Lakers a two-point lead. He followed Connor Zamzo and Ethan Carrier for an effortless touchdown run.
“I saw Connor Zamzo destroy a kid and ran right after him,” Strand said. “I made a move on a kid, and it was easy from there because of the guys in front of me. These games don’t happen without blocking like that.
The Lakers scored again midway through the third quarter. Ethan Carrier interrupted a seven-yard touchdown run. Bubotlz scored his fourth extra point to give the Detroit Lakes a 28-6 lead.
Offensively, the Lakers found a rhythm with Strand under center as the game continued. The decision to pass by junior Mason Carrier, who had five combined throwing and running touchdowns in the first two games, was in the works before Friday night.
“It goes back to the summer,” Schnathorst said of the decision to cast Strand at quarterback. “We gave the kids equal reps. He probably wasn’t quite ready for the first game. We wanted to do it last week, but he got slightly injured. It’s been ongoing and something we’ve been working on in practice.
“Mason (Carrier) is doing a good job as a quarterback. We just feel that Caden is a good pitcher, which allows us to put Mason in several positions on the offensive side of the ball. We want to use (Carrier) like we used Christian Solberg last year. This puts pressure on the defense and allows Mason to play more defense. Caden got better every week. We needed him to get in there and give him an opportunity. It’s the only way for him to get better. He’s young. So there are things to sort out, but he did some things very well tonight.
The Lakers pitched twice before Strand led the offense to four straight.
“My teammates worked with me and comforted me,” Stand said. “They helped me overcome difficulties early on and we got a win. It was the juice they had brought. Everyone kept their confidence and pushed until the end. »
Thief River Falls’ triple option caused problems on the defensive side of the ball. The Prowlers walked down the field to take a 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“They led this attack with a lot of deception and misdirection, and our kids were undisciplined,” Schnathorst said. “When you play an attack like that, no matter how you fake it with your scout team, (TRF) is going to be a lot better. Once we figured out the speed of what we were doing, we did a good job.
In the final minute, TRF’s Griffin Lundeen scored his second touchdown of the game against the Lakers’ second-team defense. However, after a second straight week with a slow start defensively, the Lakers are hoping to turn things around early on when they face Perham next week.
“The thing we have to fix is to be ready to go,” Schnathorst said. “We play a bit as if we were training. We have a lot of talented kids and nice kids. We’re still looking for kids to step in and drive the car, so to speak. We need the kids to come out and set the tone energetically from the start of the game. I hope we have taken steps to achieve this. We have to be better to be ready to play on the first snap.
For Strand, his night of premieres is in the books, with many more to come.
“I love it,” Strand said after picking up his first quarterback win. “I’ve never felt this before tonight. I get why people love Friday night lights. It’s quite special here.
After Friday’s game, senior defensive tackle Jeffrey Moen was dragged off the sideline in an ambulance. Head coach Reed Hefta rode with Moen in the ambulance to the hospital. Hefta told the Detroit Lakes Tribune that he was released later Friday night and all signs point in the right direction.
DETROIT LAKES 0 14 14 0 – 28
THIEF RIVER FALLS 6 0 0 8 – 14
SCORE – FIRST QUARTER – TRF – Griffin Lundeen 1 yard TD run, PAT blocked, 6-0, 0:27
SECOND QUARTER – DL – Caden Strand Passes 27-yard TD to Charlie Kalina, Nick Buboltz PAT good, 7-6, 5:45; DL- Strand 21-yard TD pass to Kalina, Buboltz PAT good, 14-6, 0:11
THIRD QUARTER – DL – Strand 51 yard TD, Buboltz PAT good, 21-6, 11:07; DL- 8-yard TD run from Ethan Carrier, good PAT from Buboltz, 28-6, 5:35
FOURTH QUARTER – TRF – Lundeen 6 yards TD run, Jake Friedrich two-point conversion good, 28-14, 0:46