Central Lakes College's Findorff Athletic Field has been the sight of many big plays during the Greg Medeck era.
Most of those plays have gone the way of the CLC Raiders. That wasn't the case, Saturday, Sept. 1 as Minnesota West handed CLC a 36-12 season-opening defeat.
The Blue Jays converted on four big-play opportunities in the first half and put another score on the board early in the second half.
"We clearly made a lot of mistakes in the first half and I don't think it was because we were unprepared to play," Medeck said. "We do have a young team and this is a new level of competition. A lot of credit to Minnesota West who has a mighty fine roster and was well coached. That was one of the better teams that we have faced in a while and they are going to make a lot of noise in the Western Division."
Blue Jays' quarterback Andrew Ortiz threw for 252 yards and four scores. He was also elusive in the pocket finishing with 47 yards on 11 carries.
CLC's offense outgained the Blue Jays 397 yards to 383, however, with Ridge Reed rushing for 67 yards on 13 carries and Nuke Crowell adding 46 yards on 14 carries.
Transfer quarterback Jake Franklin threw for 217 yards and a touchdown.
"Jake settled in just fine. I don't have any concerns for us," said Medeck. "This was his first taste of college football in this role in a long time and he is a great leader and a great learner. He will be just fine."
Leading 13-0 midway through the second quarter, a pressured Ortiz bought himself time and heaved a pass to receiver Gary Smith who got behind the CLC secondary for an 85-yard touchdown.
Later in the second, Minnesota West drove to the CLC 2 where the Raiders defense stiffened to hold the Blue Jays to a field goal with five seconds left.
After a downed kickoff, Franklin handed off to Crowell for the final play of the half. Crowell fumbled and Minnesota West's Steve Lucas Jr. ran it in for a 30-0 halftime score.
"There are three plays clearly in the first half that we will look at on film on Monday with the team," Medeck said. "We had two blown coverages that were a communication error and second-chance opportunities for their quarterback where we didn't finish the pressure. And the last play of the half where we had an option to take a knee and could have done that and we were looking for a lucky play and it turned into an unlucky play."
The Raiders outscored the Blue Jays 12-6 in the second half.
Franklin rushed for a 2-yard score in the third quarter and connected with Zach Severtson in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard scoring pass.
"A lot of our focus was on trying to perfect our craft and we've got a foundation off of that and hopefully we can build on it," Medeck said.
For more photos go to https://bit.ly/2oFABi5.
Minnesota West 6 24 6 0 — 36
Central Lakes 0 0 6 6 — 12
MW-Reginald Colson 24 pass from Andrew Ortiz (kick failed) 4:50
MW-Colson 37 pass from Ortiz (Caleb Tinklenberg kick) 14:44
MW-Gar Smith 85 pass from Ortiz (Tinklenberg kick) 7:31
MW-Tinklenberg 20 field goal :05
MW-Steven Lucas Jr. 25 fumble return (Tinklenberg kick) :00
MW-Colson 9 pass from Ortiz (kick failed) 13:26
CLC - Jake Franklin 2 run (conversion failed) 8:19
CLC-Zach Severtson 10 pass from Franklin (conversion failed) 11:21
Rushes-yards: CLC 36-124, MW 29-131
Pass comp-att-int-yds: CLC 21-40-0-273, MW 13-23-1-252
Total offense: CLC 397, MW 383
Rushing: CLC-Ridge Reed 13-67, Nuke Crowell 14-46, Jaron Moor 2-21, Trae Martin 1-0, Jake Franklin 4-(1), Zach Severtson 1-(2), Dan Griep 1-(7); MW-Khaileb Desmond 10-60, Andrew Ortiz 11-47, Brandon Jackson 5-32
Passing: CLC-Jake Franklin 18-36-0-217, Dan Griep 3-4-0-56; MW-13-23-1-252
Receiving: CLC-Zach Severtson 5-108, Jordan Thompson 7-93, Trae Martin 3-28, Cameron Whitney 2-23, Jacob Harvey 1-10, Noah Burchardt 1-5, Nuke Crowell 1-3, Will Peabody 1-3, Talcon Bradley 1-0 ;
Overall: CLC 0-1. Next:CLC at North Dakota State College of Science 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8.