Comeback kids: Superlarks erase 22-point deficit to stun Rebels

Published 10:37 pm Friday, October 7, 2022

GRAND MEADOW — On a night when crazy things were happening left and right, it was only fitting that Grand Meadow senior Jace Kraft was able to corral an interception while having one hand in a cast,  and then be able to run it back for a game-clinching score.

Kraft’s interception for a TD sealed Grand Meadow’s unbelievable fourth quarter effort on a night where they erased a 22-point deficit and beat Southland 56-42 on Homecoming Friday night.

It was Kraft’s first game of the season and he had been chomping at the bit to get on the field all year as he has been a huge leader for the Superlarks.

“I wanted to play so bad. That pick felt amazing,” Kraft said. “We knew we had to make a big storm tonight and trust our teammates.”

In a wild fourth quarter that saw five straight TDs scored in a span of just over six minutes, the Rebels went for it on fourth and nine from their own 25 with four minutes left and the game tied at 42. That’s when Cael Gilbert broke up a pass and gave GM a short field and Corbin Ludemann punched in a four-yard TD run to give GM its first lead of the night at 50-42 with 3:22 left.

Ludemann scored three fourth quarter TDs as GM put up 38 points in the final quarter. He was able to get going in the wildcat formation as he had four fourth quarter runs of over 20 yards after being held in check for most of the first three quarters.

“We want back to the basics and we ran north and south,” Ludemann, who ran for a total of 231 yards and four scores, said. “I trusted our linemen and ran behind them.”

GM suffered some injuries late in the game, but Superlark head coach Josh Bain was glad to at least have Kraft back on the field again.

“He’s a leader and an athlete and we’re so happy to have him back,” Bain said. “You can see what he can do with one hand, wait until we get to see him with two.”

A series of fortunate events for Southland allowed the Rebels to seize momentum right before halftime. The Rebels led 14-12 with five minutes left in the first half when they blocked a punt to set up a one-yard TD run by Ethan Stern that made it 20-12 with 53 seconds left in the half.

Southland’s Tyson Stevens picked off a pass on GM’s ensuing possession and Noah Bauer hit Sam Boe on a 37-yard hail Mary bomb to make it 28-12 with 14.2 seconds left in the frame.

“We knew the first half was ugly, but JJ (Galle) got his boys ready to go,” Bain said. “They came out firing and kept shooting ourselves in the foot. The key word of tonight was finish and it was a tale of two halves.”

SCORING SUMMARY

Southland 14  14   6  14    42

GM 0    12   6  38    56    

First quarter

(S) Ethan Stern 1 run (kick failed) (5 plays, 12 yards) 8:31

(S) Jack Bruggeman 7 pass from Noah Bauer (Bruggeman from Bauer) (8 plays, 55 yards) :41

Second quarter

(GM) Cael Gilbert 4 run (run failed) (9 plays, 70 yards) 8:26

(GM) Ludemann 4 run (run failed) (7 plays, 25 yards) 5:24

(S) Stern 1 run (Stern run) (2 plays, 8 yards) :53

Third quarter

(S) Bruggeman 62 pass from Bauer (run failed) (3 plays, 68 yards) 10:23

(GM) Isaac Harmening 5 run (run failed) (5 plays, 37 yards) 7:25

Fourth quarter

(GM) Ludemann 1 run (Gilbert run) (9 plays, 73 yards) 10:36

(GM) Ludemann 27 run (Ludemann run) (4 plays, 60 yards) 6:53

(S) Bruggeman 54 pass from Bauer (Bruggeman from Bauer) 5:06

(S) Sam Boe 37 pass from Bauer (run failed) (2 plays, 37 yards) :14.2

(GM) Harmening 2 run (Ludemann run) (2 plays, 60 yards) 5:42

(GM) Ludemann 4 run (Harmening run) (2 plays, 25 yards) 3:22

(GM) Jace Kraft 24 interception (1 play, 24 yards) 2:18

GM STATS

Rushing: Corbin Ludemann, 21-for-231, 4 TDs; Isaac Harmening, 22-for-139, 2 TD; Ethan Gilbert, 7-for-63, TD

Passing: Ethan Gilbert, 0-for-7, 1 interception

Defense: Ludemann, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception; Jace Kraft, 1 interception; Aaron Mork, 1 fumble recovery

Penalties: 4-for-30

SOUTHLAND STATS

Rushing: Isaac Felten, 9-for-21; Ethan Stern, 2-for-2, 2 TDs

Passing: Noah Bauer, 13-for-21, 238, 4 TDs, 2 INT

Receiving: Jack Bruggeman, 6-for-171, 3 TDs; Sam Boe, 1-for-37, TD; Tyson Stevens, 4-for-27

Defense: Boe, 1 fumble recovery; Stevens, 1 interception; Felten, 1 sack

Penalties: 6-for-35