McBain edged by Lake City, 14-12

September 13, 2018

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

Lake City is just the thorn in the side of the McBain football team that just won’t go away. The Ramblers hosted the Trojans Friday in both teams’ Highland Conference opener, in which Lake City barely escaped with a win, 14-12. This marks the third straight time the Trojans, who reached the division seven semi-finals last year, have gotten the better of the Ramblers, including last year’s playoff exit.

“Lake City is a good team and we had some chances we just didn’t capitalize earlier in the game,” McBain head coach Pat Maloney said. “We have a solid team and we have to identify the inches that will make us better and continue to strive for those improvements. We have to keep getting better each week. The Highland Conference will chew you up if you don’t take each week with same preparations as every other week.”

While the game opened up league play, it featured a key match-up between what might be the top teams in the conference.

Lake City opened up the scoring with a six yard touchdown run and extra point to take an early 7-0 lead. The Ramblers struck right back with a first quarter score of their own, getting a 17-yard touchdown run by Gavin Sieland.

The Trojans scored in the second quarter as well, this time getting a 23-yard pass play to make it 14-6 at the half.

Defense dominated the third frame as neither squad was able to find the end zone. With about six minutes to go in the fourth quarter the Rambler defense stopped the Trojans on a fourth down attempt, giving them the ball on their own 25-yard line.

McBain used a methodical drive to go the length of the field, needing 21 plays and having to convert on fourth down three separate times. Logan Vandenbos finished off the drive on the final play of the game, bulling his way in from a yard out.

On the two point conversion, McBain quarterback Gavin Sieland fired a pass for Justin Kamphouse but the ball was knocked away by a Lake City defender to keep the Ramblers from forcing overtime.

Sieland was nine-of-17 for 72 yards passing and he ran 19 times for 61 yards. Garrett Verberkmoes had five catches for 38 yards. Maloney also pointed out the efforts of Auden Eling and Vandenbos in the ground game. He pointed out strong defensive performances by Owen Bontekoe, George Brown, Noah Hendrickson, Logan Vandenbos and Logan Rodenbaugh.

“Our four turnovers to their one was costly and we have to improve ball security to improve as an offense,” Maloney said. “The defense shutout Lake City in the second half and did a nice job controlling their offensive line.”

McBain (1-2 overall, 0-1 Highland) heads to Evart tonight (Friday). The Wildcats are coming off a 12-6 loss to Pine River last week.

“Evart has a good running back and their quarterback has a nice arm,” Maloney said. “We have to limit their running back from getting going early and if we can get in the passing lanes of the wide outs we have a good shot at limiting their offense. We have to execute better on offense and take care of the football. Every play matters and attitude is important for us.”

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