It’s one game down and two to go for the Central Lakes College Raiders in their quest for the MCAC state football championship. The Raiders advanced to the semifinals with a 21-0 shutout performance over Minnesota West in the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon. Anthony Shelman scored twice on throws from Andrew Johnson, and the Raiders received a punt return for a touchdown from Matt Mogere. Defensively, CLC played outstanding football for the second week in a row, and the Raiders are peaking at the right time.
On Sept. 29, the Central Lakes College football team traveled to Worthington to play the Minnesota West Blue Jays. Both teams were 4-1. The game came down to a missed extra point by the Blue Jays. Since that 21-20 victory, the Raiders have rolled to the No. 1 state ranking and No. 15 in the NJCAA Division III poll. CLC will look to build on its seven-game win streak when it hosts the Blue Jays in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference quarterfinals 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Central Lakes Raiders are looking at a five game home stretch, and a chance to host the region tournament. They took the first step in that direction with a hard fought three-games-to-one win over Itasca on Tuesday night in a North Division matchup. The Raiders, ranked fifth in NJCAA Division III poll this week, split the first two games before putting the Vikings away with solid defense and strong net play in the last two games. Alanna Hansen pounded out 17 kills and Lindsay Monson collected 15, while Tiffany Hartung collected 48 set assists.
Central Lakes College versus Vermilion on Saturday afternoon at Findorff Athletic Complex was set up to be an emotional letdown game for the Raiders. They were coming off an exciting 21-20 win at Minnesota West last Saturday and were looking at a game at Ridgewater next Saturday for the division title could have been in the back of their minds. The Raiders were also facing a Vermilion team that was playing with a depleted roster with less than 30 players in uniform for the game.
T he Central Lakes College Raiders are clearing a path to a Southern Division title, and moved another step in that direction Saturday with a 39-6 win over Minnesota State-Fergus Falls. Andrew Johnson scored on three touchdown runs as the Raiders rolled up 336 total yards. The CLC defense, led by two interceptions from Jared Hoemberg, came up with another strong performance, allowing just 132 total yards. “I can’t say enough about Jared Hoemberg. He is just a tremendous kid and a great leader for us,” CLC head coach Greg Medeck said.
Central Lakes College head coach Greg Medeck’s comment summed up an eventful and exhausting day for the Raiders as they toppled Rochester 31-23 at Findorf Athletic Complex Saturday. “That was a really good college football game,” Medeck said. “I think a lot of times people are too critical about junior college football. “It is raw and sometimes it can be undisciplined from an execution stand point as we don’t have the whole year to groom kids. But I thought that was an exciting game today, and I am really proud of our guys.”
The Central Lakes College Raiders got off on the wrong foot but rebounded to defeat Fond Du Lac by a 3-1 score in the Northern Division opener for the Raiders Wednesday in Cloquet. Alanna Hansen finished with 12 kills and Lindsay Monson knocked down 10 to lead the Raiders attack. Tiffany Hartung tallied 32 set assists. Defensively Hayley Hornick and Sarah Miller each scooped 11 digs and Carlie Sweet knocked back four blocks.
Scotty Thiel returned to the winners podium Sunday night on the second night of the Mighty Axe Nationals and actually got to keep his Axe. On Saturday, Thiel was disqualified in tech for being too light after a first-place finish. On Sunday night, he finished ahead of Leigh Thomas and Jerry Richert Jr., and made it through tech with no issues. The field was shortened quite a bit for the feature event as four cars were involved in a collision in the third heat race. Jennifer Eriksen was sent flying up over he wall in turn three but she was able to walk away.
UMSS driver Chris Graf made it two wins in a row Saturday in his appearances at North Central Speedway this season in the opening round of the Mighty Axe Nationals. He was awarded first place after original winner Scotty Thiel was disqualified for his car being too light. Graf led the first three quarters of the race and was leading by a quarter of track length when the caution flag flew on lap 18 of the 25-lap feature.
A dominant defense and Beau Bellmore’s running propelled the Central Lakes College Raiders to a 28-14 victory Saturday over Mesabi Range in the Raiders’ home opener. Bellmore rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, while the Raiders’ defense didn’t allow a point and held the Norse to 70 yards of offense. The pressure from CLC’s defensive line forced quarterback DeMarco Billups into an 8-of-21 passing day for just 43 yards. The defense also limited Mesabi to 27 yards on 28 carries.