Cardinals outlast Superlarks with a strong running game

Published 11:15 pm Saturday, October 30, 2021

GRAND MEADOW — The No. 3 seeded LeRoy-Ostrander football team stuck to its ground game and trusted its seniors as it beat No. 2 Grand Meadow 39-34 in the Section 1 Nine Man football semifinals Saturday.

The win gives L-O its first section title game berth since 2004, but it came with some drama. After the Cardinals took a 39-20 lead on a 30-yard TD burst by Tanner Olson, the Superlarks stormed back into the game. GM’s Corbin Ludemann busted off a 26-yard TD run and Jace Kraft pulled in a one-yard TD pass from Taylor Glynn to make it a one score game late.

L-O (8-2 overall) was able to run off the last 3:32 of the game by staying on the ground, even though Olson, who was one of their regular blockers throughout the season, was playing running back.

“We trusted our line,” L-O head coach Trevor Carrier said. “There were things being said that our line may be weaker because we moved Tanner Olson to running back, but we put it on our horses. At the end of the game, we had our six seniors out there and we just went at them. We kept going at them, trying to wear them out. We didn’t want to get in a passing situation.”

L-O quarterback Chase Johnson ran for 249 yards and three scores, while Olson bruised his way to 122 yards and two TDs. Olson was running behind the blocking of seniors Hayden Sass, Gavin Sweeney, and Morgan Jasper, who just started playing football a few years ago.

“Morgan came in a couple of years ago and we taught him how to block. He’s really quick and he’s a great pulling guard,” Sweeney said. “We work very hard on and off the field, and our chemistry is great. It makes it easy on the field. We just had to keep working hard tonight and have everyone keep their head on a straight line.”

The Cardinals have been knocking on the door for the past few years, and it was fitting that they would finally get through in Grand Meadow. L-O took control in the third quarter, when it forced four GM turnovers in the frame, including a big interception by freshman Camden Hungerholt that set up an 11-yard Chase Johnson TD run. Johnson then picked off a pass to set up Olson’s scoring scamper.

“It’s always good to win here. They’re our rivals and we don’t get along too great, but it’s a good feeling right now,” Olson said. “We’ve been putting the work in during the offseason. We’ve had our whole team lifting every day and you can really tell.”

The Superlarks (8-2 overall) scored the first two touchdowns of the game and the last two touchdowns of the game, but they didn’t post any points in the second or third quarters.

Carrier said this senior class is 22-5 overall and they have been determined to change the direction of the program since day one.

“We were down two touchdowns to start, but we stormed back,” Carrier said. “These guys have so much heart and I’m so proud of everyone of them and our community. This is what it’s all about.”

L-O will take on top-seeded Lanesboro in the Section 1 title game on Nov. 5 at Triton High School in Dodge Center.

“We’re bringing the whole community together and we’re going to shut the whole town down for the section title game next week,” Sweeney said. “It’s going to be awesome.”

SCORING SUMMARY

LO 15  10  14  0  –  39

GM 12   0  0   14 –  34

First quarter

(GM) Dustin Copley 24 catch from Taylor Glynn (kick failed) (3 plays, 27 yards) 10:56

(GM) Jace Kraft 61 pass from Taylor Glynn (kick failed) (2 plays, 63 yards) 7:42

(LO) Tanner Olson 3 run (Sweeney kick) (7 plays, 62 yards) 4:24

(LO) Chase Johnson 33 run (Layne Bird pass from Johnson) (6 plays, 53 yards) 1:06

Second quarter

(LO) safety (0 plays, 0 yards) 11:57

(LO) Johnson 10 run (Bird run) (8 plays, 57 yards) 7:44

Third quarter

(LO) Johnson 11 run (pass failed) (12 plays, 68 yards) 2:19

(LO) Tanner Olson 30 run (Olson run) (1 play, 30 yards) :59

Fourth quarter

(GM) Corbin Ludemann 26 run (pass failed) (5 plays, 57 yards) 10:41

(GM) Kraft 1 pass from Glynn (Ludemann run) (9 plays, 74 yards) 3:32  

LO STATS

Rushing: Chase Johnson, 36-for-249, 3 TDs; Tanner Olson, 20-for-122, 2 TD

Passing: Johnson, 1-for-8, 3, 2 INT 

Receiving: Camden Hungerholt, 1-for-3

Defense: Johnson, 1 interception; Hungerholt, 1 interception; Ryder Stern, 1 interception; Memphiz Gomez, 1 sack; Olson, 1 sack 

Penalties: 5-for-35

GM STATS

Rushing: Corbin Ludemann, 4-for-39, TD; Dustin Copley, 7-for-23; Taylor Glynn, 6-for-10 

Passing: Glynn, 17-for-24, 277, 4 TDs, 3 INTs

Receiving: Copley, 4-for-82, 2 TDs; Corbin Ludemann, 4-for-63; Jace Kraft, 5-for-43, 2 TD; Cael Gilbert, 4-for-34

Defense: Copley, 1 interception; Karaft, 1 interception; Riley Paul, 1 sack

Penalties: 5-for-50