WEBSTER – Points were too scarce to let any slip away.
Unfortunately for the Webster football team, important points slipped through the cracks on Friday.
Miscues on more than one drive prevented the Tigers from adding scores that could have made the difference in a 14-6 loss at home to Turtle Lake, despite an impressive effort on defense.
Webster limited the Lakers to just five total yards rushing, though the visitor made the most of their passing yards and they benefitted from drive-ending mistakes made by the Tigers.
“We knew with the speed (Turtle Lake) had at the skill positions, that we had to limit possessions,” Webster coach Andy Smith said. “We were able to hold them to five yards rushing in the game (but) they were able to score when they had to.”
Webster had a game-opening drive that it seemingly had to score on, driving within the Turtle Lake 5-yard line, primed to take an early lead. However, the first of those key miscues occurred.
“We fumbled the ball on the 2-yard line after driving 70 yards,” Smith said.
While the defense prevented the Lakers from driving the length of the field, that fumble nixed the best opportunity for first-quarter points. Neither team was able to break the scoreless tie until the second quarter, when the Tigers couldn’t be denied a touchdown.
Keith Glienke capped the game’s first scoring drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion was denied but the Tigers held a 6-0 lead with nearly eight minutes remaining in the half.
The Webster defense was able to keep Turtle Lake off the board and opened the door for the offense to increase the lead, but a potential two-score lead became a deficit before halftime. A Tigers’ drive late in the half was halted by a holding penalty, giving Turtle Lake another shot at its first points.
“With two minutes left in the first half we had a holding penalty that killed a potential scoring drive and gave (Turtle Lake) the ball back,” Smith said. “(Turtle Lake) was able to turn that into a touchdown.”
The Lakers capitalized on the opportunity, getting to the end zone with less than 30 seconds remaining before halftime. A 2-point conversion gave them an 8-6 lead entering the break.
While the Tigers’ defense remained tough in the second half and limited the Lakers to just one more score, the offense wasn’t able to get on the board again.
Despite the Lakers adding a touchdown on a 9-yard pass late in the third quarter, they failed on the 2-point conversion, meaning the Tigers could have tied the game with a touchdown and 2-point conversion. However, the Turtle Lake defense and an occasional miscue by the Tigers prevented that from coming to fruition.
Webster finished with 196 yards rushing. Coleton Peterson had 75 yards on 18 carries; Glienke had 73 yards on 17 carries and Nathan Stadler had 60 yards on 20 carries. Turtle Lake’s Dylan Nitchey accounted for over half its offense, rushing for 132 yards on five carries.
Glienke led the Webster defense with 10 tackles; Dalton McCarthy added six tackles while Harlo Olson and Tallon Parent had five tackles each.
Webster dropped to 3-2 overall on the season and plays at Holcombe-Cornell this Friday.