In a game that showcased two Class 1A state ranked opponents you had the feeling a great game was in store. The # 3 ranked Forreston Cardinals played host to the #6 ranked Lena-Winslow Panthers on Friday night. Forreston came into the game 0-8 all time against Lena-Winslow at home, and were hoping to get that monkey off their back.
Forreston had a much slower start to the game than they would have liked. On their opening possession they quickly went 3 and out from their own 32 yard line, setting up Le-Win in great field position. Le-Win would quickly move the ball to Forreston's 31 yard line, but the Forreston D rose to the occasion as Lane Henneman would intercept a Tanner Lawfer pass at Forreston's 14 yard line. Forreston would gift wrap field position for Le-Win, as on the first play of the possession Gavin Fuchs would take a helmet to the ball jarring it loose and the Panthers would recover at the Forreston 16 yard line. Once again the Cardinal D came to the rescue, only allowing Le-Win to gain 3 yards on 4 downs and turning the ball over on downs at the Cardinal 13 yard line. These tough breaks would haunt Le-Win for the majority of the first half.
Le-Win would start their 3rd drive from their own 42 yard line with 5:13 left in the 1st quarter. A minute later running back Rhaveon Valentine found some daylight for a brief moment, but fumbled the ball on the exchange as the Cardinals would recover at the 48 yard line. Forreston then went to work, chewing 4 minutes off the clock and punching the ball into the end zone from 1 yard out on a Matt Akins dive. The extra point was good, giving the Cardinals a 7-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
With 8 minutes left in the first half Le-Win started a drive from the Forreston 29 yard line after they pinned Forreston on their own 7 yard line and forced the punt. The Panthers would answer quickly, 37 seconds later, as Payden Lingle would break a tackle and burst down the left sideline for a 27 yard TD run. The Panthers would tie the game after the extra point attempt with 7:28 remaining until half.
With 5:25 to go before half, Le-Win had a chance to take control of the game. Starting from their own 43 yard line the Panthers began to drive, chewing 5 minutes off the clock. With 27 seconds remaining in the half, the Panthers found themselves knocking on the door with 4th and goal from the 1 yard line. Once again the Cardinal D saved the day, forcing Bailey Litow to fumble at the goal line and Forreston recovered in the end zone, leaving the score tied at the break.
The 3rd quarter belonged to Forreston, as they would control the ball for 7 minutes. After a drive that would end at the Panther 32 yard line, the Cardinal D made quick work forcing the Panthers to punt after going 3 and out, gaining only 1 yard. Forreston would take the ball at their own 30 yard line and go to work. With a drive that would take up 4 and a half minutes, Hunter Daws found pay dirt from 3 yards out on a nifty play. Le-Win guessed the play as they caught Anthony Christensen in the backfield on an option play, but Daws pulled the ball out as Christensen was hit and veered to the right with nothing but open grass ahead. They would fail to connect on their extra point try, giving them a 13-7 lead heading to the 4th quarter.
In the 4th quarter the Panthers were able to get something going for the first time in the 2nd half. Starting from their own 14 yard line they were able to put a drive together, getting to the Cardinal 40 yard line. Facing a 4th and 4 from there, the Panthers came up yard short on a Lingle run, turning the ball over on downs and allowing Forreston to run the clock out once they gained a first down. Forreston would hold on to win the game 13-7 in a very exciting match up, leaving no disappointment for a well fought game.
Forreston finished the night with 272 yards of total offense versus Le-Win's 169 yards of total offense. All of Forreston's yardage came on the ground while Le-Win had 109 yards rushing and 60 yards passing.
Leading the way for Forreston was Matt Akins who had 13 carries for 91 yards and 1 TD. Garett Badertscher finished with 11 carries for 66 yards. Hunter Daws had 11 carries for 47 yards, as his last 3 carries were to take a knee, and was 0-4 passing with 1 INT, but scored the game winning TD in the 3rd quarter. Anthony Christensen had a tough night going finishing with 8 carries for 32 yards, while his running mate Gavin Fuchs was bottled up all night gaining 4 yards on 6 carries. Lane Henneman also chipped in with 27 yards rushing on 5 carries and an INT on defense.
For Le-Win Payden Lingle had 13 carries for 33 yards and the lone TD. Rhaveon Valentine had a team high 54 yards rushing on 14 carries and 2 receptions for 5 yards. Bailey Litow chipped in 21 yards rushing on 12 carries and 1 reception for 3 yards. Tanner Lawfer was 6-13 passing for 60 yards and 1 INT. Ty Chrisman caught 3 passes for 52 yards.
Forreston at EPC | Le-Win vs East Dubuque