ST. CLOUD — The No. 1 seeded Central Lakes Raiders hopes for a state championship could have come down to one play in the MCAC state championship game on Sunday afternoon at St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium. The Raiders were driving to the No. 2 seeded Rochester Yellowjackets goal line, clinging to a 19-17 lead over the most potent offense in the division.
The Central Lakes College Raiders and Rochester Yellowjackets will combine tradition with redemption. The Yellowjackets will stake their three state championships in five seasons against a hungry Raiders team, which has lost to Rochester two of the last three times the teams have meet in the championship.
When the Central Lakes Raiders look back at their 2012, they may look back at a team huddle before the start of the fifth and deciding game against Mesabi on Friday night. “We were kind of silent for the first minute and a half, and then decided what we needed to do,” said Haley Hornick. “Coach said that we needed to stop their outside hitter and that is what we did.”
T hree feet is the distance between the Central Lakes College Raiders and an undefeated 2012 campaign. While the Raiders can’t get a do-over in their quest for a perfect season, they can gain revenge over the team that caused such a slim margin from perfection.
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.”