Larks on the Mark: Grand Meadow gets back to statePublished 1:51am Saturday, November 2, 2013
ROCHESTER — A lot of the faces have changed for the Grand Meadow football team since it took second in the state nine-man football tournament last season, but the talent is the still there.
The No. 3 seeded Superlarks won their second straight section title as they blew past top-seeded Spring Grove 31-14 in RCTC Stadium Friday.
The Superlarks (10-1 overall) led 31-0 at the half and they held the Lions (9-2 overall) to 84 rushing yards on 33 carries.
“You’ve just got to match their physicality and play to their aggressiveness,” said GM defensive end Jordan Miland, who had a sack in the win. “We found a way to take away their strength.”
SG managed just one first down on first six possessions of the game and the Larks scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions of the game. GM closed the second half on a flurry as Landon Jacobson ran in a pair of TDs and Blake Olson ran a fumble back 46 yards for a score in a five-minute stretch.
Jacobson said the Larks weren’t expecting to have so much success against the Lions, after GM had to hang on to win the regular season meeting 12-7 over SG.
“It was definitely a shock,” Jacobson said. “We thought it would be a close game throughout and we thought it would come down to conversions.”
Jacobson finished the night with 33 carries for 164 yards and three scores and he earned all of it as he bruised his way past an aggressive Lions’ defense.
“I love when I can lower my shoulder into people that are just as physical (as me) or working hard,” Jacobson said. “It’s better than getting it for free.”
GM has just three starters back from last season, but head coach Gary Sloan said many players have made big strides this season to get the Larks to their second straight state tournament as they will play Mountain Lake Area (11-0 overall) at Southwest State University in Marshall Saturday, Nov. 9 at noon.
“We knew we where going to have a pretty good team, it was just a matter on how much guys could improve,” Sloan said. “We’ve had a lot of guys step up.”
GM didn’t build on its lead in the second half, but it held the Lions in check until the fourth quarter, when SG finally got on the board.
“Our defense played really well,” Sloan said. “We were physical, we were quick to the ball and were able to force some turnovers.”
Rushing: Landon Jacbobson, 33-for-164, 3 TDs; Trenton Bleifus, 12-for-23; Michael Stesjkal, 6-for-14; Blake Olson, 1-for-(-1); passing: Bleifus, 2-for-5, 53; receiving: Cody Ojulu, 1-for-43; Stejskal, 1-for-10; interceptions: Bleifus (1); Ojulu (1); sacks: Jordan Miland (1); Blake Benson (1); Wyatt Richardson (.5); Isaac Tangen (.5); fumble recoveries: Connor Hartson (1); Olson (1); penalties: 3-for-30
Rushing: 84; passing: 115; penalties: 5-for-50
SG 0 0 0 14 — 14
GM 6 25 0 0 — 31
(GM) Bleifus 11 run (kick failed) (14 plays, 80 yards) 2:13
(GM) Jacobson 13 run (pass failed) (8 plays, 45 yards) 8:35
(GM) Jacobson 4 run (run failed) (2 plays, 9 yards) 5:43
(GM) Blake Olson 46 return (Wyatt Richardson kick) (1 play, 46 yards) 3:55
(GM) Jacobson 3 run (kick failed) (4 plays, 46 yards) :41
(SG) Caleb Happel (Happel run) (12 plays, 75 yards) 11:11
(SG) Matt Schleich 2 run (pass failed) (13 plays, 85 yards) 3:53