Facing Lourdes Academy is a tough task, but facing Lourdes Academy without key starters proved to be an even tougher task as the Deerfield Demons were defeated 55-8 on Thursday, Oct. 7.
“They’ve been the cream of the conference for the last couple of years, and it was a tough one,” said Deerfield head coach Derek Sweger. “We went in short-handed, which is never what you want to do, but that’s not an excuse, we didn’t execute.”
Lourdes Academy scored off a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Wade Lindahl to wide receiver Gavin Stelter with 7:50 left in the first quarter. A five-yard touchdown run by running back Gabe Bohn and a 12-yard pass from Lindahl to wide receiver Peyton Eiden put Lourdes Academy up 20-0 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Lourdes added to its lead with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Lindahl to wide receiver Adam Arnoldussen. Running back Marshall Koch scored on a two-yard touchdown run and running back Brayden Mecklenberg broke free on a 33-yard touchdown run to put Lourdes Academy up 41-0 at the half.
Lourdes increased its lead to 48-0 after Lindahl found wide receiver Armani Fisher for a 36-yard touchdown.
Deerfield broke the shutout with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter after senior wide receiver Dayton Lasack scored from one yard. Sophomore quarterback Austin Anderson converted the two-point conversion, finding sophomore running back Jackson Drobac to make the score 48-8.
“Our kids battled the whole time. You go into the game without Lees, Klade, Trey Jordan and then we lose Mancheski in the second quarter, so you’re down some of your best guys, and it’s really easy to roll over and feel bad for yourself and wait for the game to end, but our guys kept fighting,” said Sweger.
Lourdes added one more touchdown after running back Nathan Lewan scored from 38 yards, giving Lourdes the 55-8 victory.
Anderson finished 11 of 28 for 100 yards with three interceptions. Junior running back Mason Bettehauser led the team with three receptions for 29 yards.
“Austin got put into a tough spot, finding out on Wednesday that he was going to make his varsity debut, and he did a really nice job under the circumstances,” said Sweger.
Deerfield (3-6 overall, 2-4 conference) still has the possibility of sneaking into the playoffs with a win against Johnson Creek (5-3 overall, 3-3 conference) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15.
“The biggest thing is we at least have one last ride together, and this is a special group of kids who’ve worked really hard, are close knit and we’re just excited that we have one more chance to take the field together on Friday,” said Sweger.
If the WIAA playoff field doesn’t consist of 224 teams who were better than .500 in conference play, some teams with three conference wins could qualify via a tiebreaker, but three win teams are considered on the playoff bubble.