The Lodi prep football team had its Capitol North Conference title hopes dashed with a lopsided 42-7 loss to host Lake Mills last Friday.
On a night when 113 years of football at Lake Mills’ Campus Field was remembered, the L-Cats clinched their first conference title since 1988.
Lake Mills leads the Capitol North with a 4-0 record with one game remaining.
Lodi, Columbus, Lakeside Lutheran and Lutheran Prep are all tied for second place with 2-2 marks. All four need a win to become playoff eligible.
Lake Mills opened the game with a scoring drive capped off by junior receiver Jaxson Retrum’s 27-yard touchdown catch over the top of Lodi defender Jack Hansen three minutes into the game.
It took less than two minutes for Lodi to answer as tailback Colton Nicolay busted a 57-yard run on the first play of the ensuing drive to setup a red zone opportunity. Four plays later Nicolay, a senior, scored from five yards out to tie it.
Lodi’s Connor Faust picked off Moen in Blue Devil territory on the next drive. And then the Lake Mills defense stiffened.
The Blue Devil offense punted five times and turned it over on downs another in the first half while Lake Mills (7-1, 4-0 in conference) was busy lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 28 first-half points, double the total any Lodi opponent had scored in a game all season.
Junior wideout Charlie Bender made an acrobatic, juggling catch down the sideline with Hansen in tight coverage. That reception setup Moen to Johnson from 21 yards out with 2 minutes, 52 seconds left in the first quarter. Johnson high pointed the ball near the left pylon and outleaped Faust to secure the grab, increasing the lead to 14-7.
On the first play of the second quarter, Johnson took a short pass 65 yards to the house, leaving a pair of Blue Devils in his wake.
Lodi (5-2, 2-2) got backed up on its own end after quarterback Quinn Faust was called for intentional grounding with Retrum in close pursuit. The Blue Devils got a decent punt off, a kick Hunter Buechel almost blocked, before a holding penalty led to a rekick.
Except Trysten Thiede’s second try never got airborne thanks to a block by Buechel, who more than got to the kicker this time around, that the senior fell on in the end zone for a score with 5:47 left before halftime and the L-Cats up 28-7.
Lodi moved it to the L-Cat 26-yard line before a fourth-down pass to Connor Faust was batted away by Johnson late in the half.
Retrum recovered a Quinn Faust fumble on the first drive of the second half. Moen and the L-Cat offense, one that is averaging 46.7 points in league games, capitalized and junior running back Charlie Cassady found paydirt on a 28-yard catch-and-run.
Sophomore defensive back Michael Stenbroten intercepted Quinn Faust early in the fourth. In the waning minutes of the game, Buechel hauled in a 32-yard catch to put Lake Mills in business again. Buechel finished off the drive with a 23-yard scoring grab.
Nicolay finished the game with a team-high 150 yards rushing on 24 carries, while Quinn Faust was 3-of-8 passing for 15 yards.
Garrett Edge paced Lodi on defense with 10 tackles, while Connor Faust and Logan Richards had five each.
Moen led the way for Lake Mills. He was 18-of-30 passing for 303 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed 17 times for 66 yards.
The Blue Devils will try to become playoff eligible with a win over Lakeside Lutheran this Friday. The Warriors will host Lodi at 7 p.m.