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Area Football: Rangers run over East Central

Crosby-Ironton 58, East Central 12 Key: Jake Larson rushed for 141 yards and 4 C-I touchdowns Overall: CI 1-0, EC 0-1 Next: Crosby-Ironton vs. Braham at Brainerd 7 p.m. Friday The best play Friday may have been a 40-yard connection between two fr...

Crosby-Ironton’s Jake Larson runs for a touchdown Friday against East Central at Brainerd’s Don Adamson field. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - gallery)
Crosby-Ironton’s Jake Larson runs for a touchdown Friday against East Central at Brainerd’s Don Adamson field. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - gallery)

Crosby-Ironton 58, East Central 12

Key: Jake Larson rushed for 141 yards and 4 C-I touchdowns

Overall: CI 1-0, EC 0-1

Next: Crosby-Ironton vs. Braham at Brainerd 7 p.m. Friday

The best play Friday may have been a 40-yard connection between two freshmen.

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But that was well after the Crosby-Ironton Rangers built a 52-point lead en route to a 58-12 season-opening victory over the East Central Eagles at Brainerd High School.

Senior Jake Larson rushed for 141 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries as the Rangers rumbled over and around the Eagles for a 39-0 halftime edge.

C-I rushed for 290 yards and gained 431 yards total.

"The holes were huge," said Larson. "Our line did an awesome job. I thought our line was going to be pretty decent this year. We were really ready to play. We've been practicing hard and I was really proud of the boys."

Larson's first-half touchdowns covered 42, 4 and 1 yards. A Noah Gindorff 8-yard run opened the scoring and Zac Myhre rushed in two touchdowns for C-I's 39-0 halftime edge.

Larson's final touchdown opened the second-half scoring as C-I built a 46-0 lead before East Central crossed into Ranger territory.

C-I had just two plays that didn't gain yards.

"Last year our offensive line was a young line and this year we knew they would be much improved," said Ranger head coach Mike Gindorff. "(Assistant coach Neal Tesdahl) has done a heck of a job in getting them ready to go. A lot of them have been lifting. They are stronger and more physical and they don't make the same mistakes they did last year."

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After the Eagles mounted a successful offensive possession that stalled at the C-I 20, backup quarterback Nate Sova hit a wide-open Gindorff, who was checking out the tight end position in preparation for next year at North Dakota State University. Gindorff hauled in the pass and capped off an 80-yard scoring play.

C-I was 4-of-4 passing for two touchdowns. The last pass may have been the best, however.

After back-to-back East Central scores in the fourth quarter, C-I faced third and 16 on the Eagles' 40. Freshman Dakota Mitchell dropped back and threw a perfect strike to a speeding Anthony Hudrlik for the game's final score.

"Tonight was a good experience because we got our younger guys into a varsity experience," Mike Gindorff said. "We got a lot of guys in the game early and were able to experience some good quality playing time.

"Our starters actually played quite a bit. We mixed in a lot of different sets where some older guys were mixing in with the younger guys early to kind of keep things stable and moving forward."

C-I's defense held East Central to negative 2 yards in the first half. Evan Edmundson picked off two passes for C-I. Gindorff and Beau Sanford posted solo sacks and the Ranger defense caught East Central behind the line of scrimmage 12 times.

"I think we're going to go a long way," said Larson. "We have a lot of young talent and, as you can see from this game, we're going to have a pretty good team this year. I'm excited."

East Central 0 0 0 12-12

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Crosby-Ironton 19 20 13 6-58

First quarter

CI-Noah Gindorff 8 run (run failed) 6:19

CI-Jake Larson 42 run (Logan Peterson kick) 4:20

CI-Larson 4 run (kick failed) :43

Second quarter

CI-Larson 1 run (Peterson kick) 9:07

CI-Zac Myhre 23 run (kick blocked) 6:51

CI-Myhre 14 run (Peterson kick)

Third quarter

CI-Larson 3 run (Peterson kick) 10:11

CI-Gindorff 80 pass from Nate Sova (kick blocked) 5:33

Fourth quarter

EC-Jace Schutt 3 pass from Brian Clennon (pass failed) 11:23

EC-Schutt 16 run (run failed) 6:15

CI-Anthony Hudrlik 40 pass from Dakota Mitchell (run failed) 2:18

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: CI 32-290, EC 26-66

Pass comp-att-int-yds: CI 4-4-0-141, EC 10-29-2-91

Total offense: CI 36-431, EC 55-157

Individual leaders

Rushing: CI-Jake Larson 11-141, Noah Gindorff 6-45, Nate Williams 4-23, Logan Peterson 1-28, Gabe Ryappy 3-7, Zac Myhre 5-46, Nate Sova 1-5, Matthew Christopher 1-5, Team 1-(-10); EC-Jamison Seibert 4-35

Passing: CI-Gindorff 2-2-21, Sova 1-1-80, Dakota Mitchell 1-1-40 ; EC-Brian Clennon 9-17-85

Receiving: CI-Gindorff 1-80, Anthony Hudrlik 1-40, Peterson 1-11, Michael Leonhardt 1-10; EC-Seibert 1-21

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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