Albert Lea snaps losing skid, beats East

Published 3:24pm Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Albert Lea Tigers notched a win on the season by beating Mankato East on the road Friday. The final score was 46-28.

Coach Max Jeffrey praised his the team for taking good care of the football. The Tigers had zero turnovers, and quarterback Derek Burkard had five touchdowns, which could be a school record or at least the most in a long spell.

He said the offensive line held the Cougars back, giving Albert Lea quarterback Derek Burkard time to throw. He said the Tigers got hungry and ran hard to the football to make blocks on offense and tackles on defense.

“It was a good bus ride home,” Jeffrey said.

A key moment came when the score was tied at 28-28 in the fourth quarter. The Cougars struggled when a bad snap on a fourth down sent the ball flying for a 23-yard loss and a turnover on downs. Then, Burkard threw a 57-yard pass to receiver Dylan See-Rockers, who despite being held caught the ball and reached the end zone, giving the Tigers a 6-point lead.

Jeffrey said it deflated the Cougars.

“Their body language changed at that point,” he said.

The Tigers now are 1-5 on the season, with the Cougars are 0-6.

Having the wind at their backs also gave the Tigers an advantage in the fourth quarter, the coach noted.

No Albert Lea High statistics had been turned over to the Albert Lea Tribune by press time on Saturday; however, Jeffrey said his prelimary figures showed Albert Lea had 407 yards total, with 127 rushing and 255 passing.

Mankato East stats printed in the Mankato Free Press showed Albert Lea having 489 yards, with 292 yards in passing.

“I am proud of our team,” Jeffrey said.

East goes on to play Winona next week, while Albert Lea faces Faribault.