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College Football: Explosive first, last quarter propel Raiders to opening victory

Twenty-one point first and fourth quarters propelled the Central Lakes College Raiders to a 51-26 hammering of Dakota College in the season opener Saturday at the Findorff Athletic Complex in Brainerd.

Central Lakes College’s Mike Tveitbakk throws the ball while Will Pendergraph (60) and Vince Magana (53) block Saturday against Dakota College. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)
Central Lakes College’s Mike Tveitbakk throws the ball while Will Pendergraph (60) and Vince Magana (53) block Saturday against Dakota College. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)

Twenty-one point first and fourth quarters propelled the Central Lakes College Raiders to a 51-26 hammering of Dakota College in the season opener Saturday at the Findorff Athletic Complex in Brainerd.

The Raiders led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and outscored the Lumberjacks 21-20 in a wild fourth quarter.

CLC quarterback Mike Tveitbakk threw for three touchdowns and 242 yards while the Raiders' defense held DC to a negative 16 yards rushing for the day. Wide receiver Cody Rau caught 11 passes for 140 yards.

The Raiders also had success on the ground with Teddy Sherva rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown and Greg Lewis running for 82 yards and a score.

Lumberjacks' quarterback Antoine Burgess threw for 212 yards which included an 82-yard strike to Jacob Clair and ran 5 yards for a score.

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"We came out pretty fired up and I was pretty excited about that," CLC sophomore defensive back Kyree McLean said. "There are definitely some kinks to work on but I thought we did a good job overall. Our defensive line, linebackers and secondary all did well, but I am going to be tough on the guys and we have some things to fix next week."

With the wind at their backs, the Raiders had a dominant first quarter. The Lumberjacks managed just one first down on their first three possessions and the Raiders turned short punts into touchdowns as Lewis scampered for a 23-yard score and Sherva scored on a 60-yard dash for a 14-0 lead.

After a fumbled snap was recovered by CLC, Daryl Weindim caught a 17-yard scoring strike from Tveibakk to give the Raiders a 21-0 edge.

Cody Rau's 9-yard reception from Tveitbakk and a blocked punt for a safety by Andrew Walock were the Raiders' only points in the second and third quarters as they entered the fourth with a 30-6 lead.

That's when things got crazy.

"There is part of me that watches that scoreboard and thinks it may be in our best interest to get this thing over with," CLC head coach Greg Medeck said of having the large lead entering the fourth quarter. "But there is another part of me that hopes it goes for another five hours just so I can keep seeing guys play and grow."

Medeck got his wish for a lengthy fourth quarter where six touchdowns were scored. The Raiders' scoring plays were explosive as Aaron Walker returned a fumble 86 yards for a touchdown, Rau scored on a 55-yard strike from Tveitbakk, and Teshawn Kelly scored on a 34-yard pass.

However, the Raiders' defense gave up an 82-yard pass from Burgess to Jacob Clair and another late score. The Lumberjacks' Derante Sanders also returned a kick 85 yards for a score.

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"I wanted this contest to be a good teaching experience, a good learning experience, and an opportunity to see a lot of guys find a way to contribute on Saturday afternoons because that is really their purpose," said Medeck. "I wanted that and I think we go that. We have a lot of learning experiences that we can continue to use through the next week of preparation."

McLean also thought being complacent may have been an issue after the Raiders had built the large lead.

"I do think that we got a little content and we can't do that anymore," McLean said. "It's the first game and a learning experience, but next week will be better."

With opening day behind them, the Raiders now prepare for two big games with a rivalry trophy game at Ridgewater next Saturday before coming home to play defending MCAC state champion Rochester.

"We are going to be excited for it and up for the challenge and it should be a nice show," said McLean.

Medeck added that "this year we might have more depth than we have ever had and we need to learn as players and coaches how to utilize that as best as possible through a continual growth pattern for the next eight weeks."

Dakota College 0 6 0 20 - 26

Central Lakes 21 7 2 21 - 51

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First quarter

CLC-Greg Lewis 23 run (Atoine Akundu kick) 10:46

CLC-Teddy Sherva 60 run (Akundu kick) 8:53

CLC-Daryl Weindim 17 pass from Mike Tveitbakk (Akundu kick) 5:17

Second quarter

CLC-Cody Rau 9 pass from Tveitbakk (Akundu kick) 12:36

DCB-Shamon Halbert 4 run (kick failed) 2:44

Third quarter

CLC-Andrew Walock blocked punt for safety 1:03

Fourth quarter

CLC-Aaron Walker 86 fumble return (Akundu kick) 11:06

DCB-Derante Sanders 85 kickoff return (conversion failed) 11:04

CLC-Rau 55 pass from Tveitbakk (Akundu kick) 10:10

DCB-Jacob Clair 82 pass from Antoine Burgess (Jachai Long run) 9:02

CLC-Teshawn Kelly 34 pass from Tveitbakk (Akundu kick) 7:45

DCB-Burgess 5 run (conversion failed) 5:22

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: CLC 34-215, DC 35-(16)

Pass comp-att-int-yds: CLC 20-33-1-245, DC 14-23-0-259

Total offense: CLC 460 , DC 460

Individual leaders

Rushing: CLC-Teddy Sherva 11-107, Greg Lewis 11-82, Blake Zortman 2-13, Chidozic Mbah 5-11, Mike Tveitbakk 5-2 ; DC-Antoine Burgess 14-38

Passing: CLC-Mike Tveitbakk 19-31-1-242, Travis Brown 1-2-0-3; DC-Antoine Burgess 6-12-0-212, Shamond Halbert 5-6-0-35

Receiving: CLC-Cody Rau 11-140, Isaac Dennis 2-14, Teshawn Kelly 1-34, Chase Fleischauer 1-20, Daryl Weindim 1-17, Mustaful Strong 1-8, Teddy Sherva 1-7, Deshaun James 1-3, Greg Lewis 1-2; DC-Jacob Clair 4-162, D'Ante Goodwin 3-74.

Overall: CLC 1-0. Next: CLC vs. Ridgewater at Willmar 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

MCAC Scores Week One

Ridgewater 16, Mesabi Range 0

Itasca 16, Minnesota West 4

NDSCS 55, Rochester 41

Northland 36, Vermilion 18

Fond du Lac 40, M State FF 19​

Related Topics: COLLEGE FOOTBALL
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