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Tiger football team suffers loss to Bears

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Tigers caged by Bears in Laurel

The Osmond Tigers football team fell to the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge Bears on Friday, September 14 at Laurel.

Riding high into Laurel after winning their first two games of the season, the Tigers were met by a hungry Bears team itching to start firing.

And seemingly they did so on all cylinders as they scored the first twenty-four points of the game, leaving the Tigers stunned and searching for answers.

The Bears’ offense used their first four possessions to dissect the Tiger defense both through the air on the ground.

 LCC quarterback Izac Reifenrath was the main individual responsible for this considering he threw and ran the ball well. In fact, Reifenrath had a hand in all eight Bears touchdowns and both of their two-point conversion.

“Hats off to LCC. They were hungry tonight and play inspired football,” Morrison. “They have a nice group and gave us their best shot.”

On a night where the Tigers seemed to not have much to go their way, they battled and eventually caught their grove.

After finding themselves down 24-0, they rebounded and mounted a comeback. This started midway through the second quarter as Anthony Heiman (Sr., QB/OLB) came back from an injury to find Zach Huwaldt for a 40-yard pass that ignited a spark in the team.

Heiman followed this with a 35-yard pass to Josh Gansebom (Jr.) who made a great catch and scored the Tigers’ first touchdown. Connor Gutz (So., B/LB) ran in the two-point conversion.

The offensive line was particularly strong on this particular three-play stretch. Nick Reikofski (Sr., OL/LB), Alexis Solorzano (Jr., OL/DL), Landon Stelling (Jr., OL/DL), Justus Maertins (Jr., E/DB), and Huwaldt held the Bears’ attack in cheque.

“We had a couple big plays get us back in the game,” Morrison said. “This is a credit to our veteran leaders who ultimately keep fighting no matter the situation because they love each other and the game.”

Although they let up a score on the Bears’ next drive, the Tigers continued to roll offensively as the line protected Heiman long enough for him to find Maertins for a 60-yd score. Heiman then ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Bear lead to 32-16 going into the half.

The Tigers burst through the gates after halftime, scoring on the second play of scrimmage. Heiman scored on an 65-yard run aided by some great blocking upfront. Gansebom ran in the two-point conversion, and the Tigers had the Bears’ lead to 32-24.

Unfortunately this would be the closest the Tigers’ would come to submerging the Bears, who scored the game’s final three touchdowns.

“Defensively, I did not have our team ready to play,” Morrison said. “From the game’s opening snap, we we constantly a step or two behind and never really had the confidence get consistent stops.”

The Tigers are continuing to build their performances on both side of the ball. Mason Bykerk (Jr., E/LB) and Patrick Vinson (B/LB)  have both done a nice job in their roles defensively. Logan Stelling had a nice game up front.

The younger Tigers got an opportunity to step in and play a few downs. This included Parker Johnson (So., E/LB) who had two nice tackles. Bryan Solorzano got in on the hitting as well.

Blake Bahr (So., OL/DL) and Brenden Gillespie (So., B/DL) played in tandem as defensive ends. Hunter Beacom (Fr., B/DB) played some at outside linebacker.

Overall, the Tigers are moving in the right direction and are ready to grow from this experience.

“We enjoyed a lot of positives of the season so far. Our guys have put in hard work and experienced success. Mainly, though, we see them developing into young men on their way to being prepared for life.”

The Tigers will host Humphrey-St. Francis on Friday, September 24. Game Stats