Tigers’ homecoming spoiled by Century

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 1999

The Albert Lea Tigers hung in there for homecoming.

Saturday, September 25, 1999

The Albert Lea Tigers hung in there for homecoming. They just couldn’t do it for four quarters.

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The Tigers, obviously inspired for their homecoming football game and playing before one of the largest crowds in years at Hammer Field, kept it close against Rochester Century before surrendering 21 second-half points while falling 27-0 Friday night.

&uot;We just ran out of manpower,&uot; said Tigers coach Steve Cunningham. &uot;We’re a small squad, we’re not very deep, and in the fourth quarter we started getting some people nicked up. The bottom line is we just don’t have enough quality, experienced depth to be able to fill the gaps.&uot;

It was the second consecutive shutout loss for the Tigers, who fell to 0-4.

Century, which a week earlier upset Rochester Mayo 16-7 for the first victory in its brief two-year history, improved to 2-2.

The first quarter was a battle of defense, turnovers and penalties – a sign of things to come.

Both teams’ opening possession ended with an interception, the Tigers’ on their first play from scrimmage. The Tigers had back-to-back penalties to start their second drive.

The first quarter ended 0-0.

The only scoring in the second period came on quick five-play, 48-yard drive that ended with a 29-yard touchdown run by talented senior Derrick Malone. Lee Cunningham added PAT kick.

It looked like the Panthers would add another score before halftime as they drove inside the Albert Lea 10-yard line, but the threat ended with the Tigers recovering a fumble in their end zone.

Malone went on to score on runs of 20 and 6 yards in the third quarter, the latter capping a nine-play, 84 yard drive.

Century added a 53-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Kolpack to Brian Kerr in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers were held to 43 yards of offense, including 10 net rushing yards. Nick Cunningham was 4-for-16 passing for 33 yards and one interception. Jeremy Jacobson caught three passes for 14 yards. Andy Davis led the Tigers in rushing with 13 yards on four carries.

Malone, who ran for 210 yards on 32 carries against Mayo, totaled 147 yards on 18 tries. Kolpack was 5-for-17 passing for 86 yards and one interception.

The Tigers were penalized seven times for 50 yards, Century 11 for 110.

Coach Cunningham said the Tigers were an improved team from last Friday, especially on defense.

And the coach pointed to Century’s turnaround as an example for the Tigers.

&uot;Last year Century lost 55-0 to Mayo,&uot; said Cunningham. &uot;This year they beat Mayo. We could be in the same situation next year. That’s not to say we’re giving up on this year, but just to let the juniors know, if they hang in there good things can happen.&uot;

The Tigers face another tough test this Friday when Rochester Mayo comes to town.