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College Football: CLC win over Mesabi 100th for Medeck as Raiders' head coach

VIRGINIA—Last season the Mesabi Range Norse won a key Eastern Division game and the chance to celebrate on the home field of the Central Lakes College Raiders.

With that win as momentum, the Norse went on to win the state championship game.

On Saturday, Sept 29, the Raiders got a chance to return the favor and they did with a 31-16 win over Mesabi, which was undefeated and ranked 17th in the NJCAA poll.

The Raiders improved to 3-0 in division play, and 3-2 overall. They have two division games left against Itasca and Fond du Lac, before ending the regular season against Minnesota State Fergus Falls.

"What a fun game for our squad as we beat a previously undefeated and ranked Mesabi team," said CLC coach Greg Medeck, who earned his 100th victory as the Raiders head coach. "All three phases played exceptionally well as we put together our best game of the year. So much enthusiasm and joy from our group who were prepared, focused and determined to continue their growth this season.

"We are very excited for the direction our team is heading and looking forward to seeing continued progress at home this week against a tough Itasca team."

The Raiders led 15-0 at that half courtesy of a Nuke Crowell 17 yard-run and a 43-yard passing connection from Jake Franklin to Jordan Thompson, along with a safety from the defense.

The Norse grabbed some momentum back on a 32-yard field goal from Connor Cusick early in the third quarter, but the Raiders took the momentum right back on the ensuing kickoff on a 91-yard return from Crowell to make it 21-3 Raiders.

Mesabi went back on the attack and Kevin Shuler connected with Marlso Johnson to the CLC 37 but Gabriel "Bubba" Magelei, who returned after sitting out with an injury last week, knocked the ball loose. Isaak Hines picked it up and returned it 63 yards for a CLC score to make it 28-3. The teams traded scores after that but the damage had been done to the Norse in the third quarter.

Crowell finished with 118 yards on 19 rushing attempts, and Jake Franklin threw for 124 yards with seven completions on 13 attempts. Thompson was his favorite target, catching three balls for 72 yards along with the touchdown.

Central Lakes 6 9 13 3 — 31

Mesabi 0 0 10 6 — 16

First quarter

CLC-Nuke Crowell 17 run (kick failed) 12:34

Second quarter

CLC-John Guerra sacked, safety 12:34

CLC-Jordan Thompson 43 pass from Jake Franklin (Jack Quaal kick) 9:30

Third quarter

MRCC-Connor Cusick 32 FG 7:29

CLC-Nuke Crowell 91 kickoff return (kick failed) 7:15

CLC-Isaak Hines 63 fumble return (Jack Quaal kick) 3:06

MRCC-Ny'Travious Barkley 35 run (Cusick kick) 1:37

Fourth quarter

CLC-Quaal 23 FG 13:05

MRCC-Kevin Shuler 8 run (kick failed) 11:29

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: CLC 44-209, M 42-242

Pass comp-att-int-yds: CLC 9-17-1-166, M 11-22-1-79

Total offense: CLC 375, M 321

Individual leaders

Rushing: CLC-Nuke Crowell 19-118, Ridge Reed 16-58, Jake Franklin 6-33; M-Ny'Travious Barkley 12-154

Passing: CLC-Jake Franklin 7-13-1-124, Dan Griep 2-4-0-42; M-Kevin Shuler 5-9-0-37

Receiving: CLC-Jordan Thompson 3-72, Talon Bradley 1-28, Noah Burchardt 1-18, Trae Martin 1-15, Zach Severtson 1-14, Will Peabody 1-11, Ridge Reed 1-8; M-Avery Brown 2-30

Div: CLC 3-0. Overall: CLC 4-2. Next: Itasca at Central Lakes 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct 6.