If someone would have told you 9 weeks ago that Dakota and Forreston would meet in the quarterfinals and play to a two point game, you may have said they were crazy. However, anyone paying attention over the course of the last few weeks knew that’s exactly how it would play out.
In week 3, Forreston wasted no time scoring to start the game and this week was no different. After converting a controversial 4th down, with 7:27 remaining in the first, Evan Kelsey found the endzone for the Cardinals giving them an 8-0 advantage.
Dakota, a team that hadn’t responded to adversity very often this year, did just that.
Six minutes after taking the kickoff, Josh Clark connected with Evan Riggle, putting Dakota on the board, making it an 8-7 ballgame.
Momentum was in favor of the Indians as the defense stood up to the Cardinals ground attack and set them up in great field position, after driving the field. But, from the Cardinal 8 yard line, Dakota would fumble the ball back to the Cardinals. With 4:05 left in the first half Bailey Cullor connected with Cailean Davids on a 42 yard pass, giving the Cardinals a 16-7 lead going into the half.
With a 1:19 left in the third quarter, Dom Christensen broke off a 55 yard run extending the Forreston lead to 22-7.
With their backs against the wall, Dakota would respond. With 7:10 remaining in the game and on 4th down, Clark again would make the connection. This time it would be to Jacob Kleckner. The touchdown would pull the Indians to within one score.
After a quick 3 and out, the Indians would have another opportunity to tie the game. This time it was Carter Drake’s turn for Dakota. On 4th down, Josh Clark connected with Drake on the slant route that went in the endzone for an 11 yard touchdown. With a critical 2-pt conversion needed to tie the game, the play saw Clark once again connect with Drake, only to be out of the back of the endzone by inches.
Forreston picked up a first down and would run out the clock giving them a 22-20 victory over the Dakota Indians.
Forreston will travel to Lena-Winslow next week to take on the Panthers in the semifinals for the second year in a row.