Tiger football team falls 40-3 to Mankato West

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 7, 2002

In week one of the 2002 football season, the Albert Lea Tigers could point to big plays as the biggest reason for a lop-sided loss at Owatonna.

In week two, they have to look at themselves.

The Tigers were plagued by mistakes and inconsistency while dropping their home opener 40-3 to Mankato West at Hammer Field Friday night. The loss was the 30th in a row for the program, dating back to the 1998 season.

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&uot;I told the kids I still think we’re a better football team than we have showed,&uot; said second-year head coach Jeff Marty. &uot;We’re just not playing up to our potential.&uot;

Marty said that while he saw improvement in some areas, especially defensively, he felt the Tigers played a better overall game against Owatonna than West.

&uot;Mentally, the preparation for the game wasn’t there,&uot; said Marty. &uot;We just didn’t step up and make the big plays. We’d make two stops, then they’d get a big play on us. We’d do some nice things, then shoot ourselves in the foot. We need to get all 11 guys on the field playing together.&uot;

The Tigers found themselves in a hole early. They were penalized on the opening kickoff and managed only 2 yards on three plays from their own 10. Jason Kuipers’ punt was blocked by Adam Sorenson and resulted in a safety for the Scarlets.

West returned the ensuing kick to the Albert Lea 36 and, seven plays later, Nick Jost scored on a 1-yard run. Jordan Stolp’s PAT kick made it 9-0 with 6:36 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers’ Steve Thorn came tantalizingly close to going the distance with West’s kickoff but was tripped up on the Albert Lea 36 after a 33-yard return. Three plays later the Tigers punted.

This time West went 62 yards in eight plays, with Stolp covering the final 10. His PAT kick put West up 16-0 as the first quarter ended.

After another Tiger punt, Marcus Thorstad stopped a Scarlet drive with an interception.

The Tigers went on to pick up their initial first down of the night, driving to the West 21-yard line before coming up empty on fourth down.

After runs of 25 and 3 yards by Jost, Dan Umhoeffer broke loose up the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown run.

A holding penalty gave the Tigers a first down but they had to punt again.

The snap sailed over Kuipers’ head and West got possession on the Albert Lea 20.

Four plays later Stolp scored on a 2-yard quarterback sneak. His PAT kick made it 30-0 at halftime.

The Tigers got on the board in the fourth quarter, when an 82-yard run put them in position for a 26-yard field goal by Ross Habben.

West outgained the Tigers 380-151 in total yards and had 13 first downs to the Tigers’ four.

Kuipers finished with 127 yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Tony Tolbers was 4-for-17 for 20 yards.

Linebacker Tyler Young and defensive tackles Brandon Tlamka and Ross Anderson played well, according to Marty.

&uot;Tyler was asked to step in a middle linebacker, where he’s not used to playing, and he performed admirably,&uot; said the coach. &uot;Tlamka and Anderson were much improved from a week ago.&uot;

Mankato West





&045; 40

Albert Lea







First Quarter

MW&045;Safety, blocked punt into end zone

MW&045;Jost 1 run (Stolp kick)

MW&045;Stolp 10 run (Stolp pick)

Second Quarter

MW&045;Umhoeffer 50 run (Stolp kick)

MW&045;Stolp 2 run (Stolp kick)

Third Quarter

MW&045;Hood 3 run (Stolp kick)

MW&045;Stolp 37 field goal

Fourth Quarter

AL&045;Habben 26 field goal


First downs: 13, 4

Rushing yards: 315, 131

Passing yards: 65, 20

Total yards: 380, 151

Penalties-Yds.: 6-60, 6-41

Turnovers: 1,1


RUSHING&045;AL, Kuipers 15-127; Eggum 1-5; Tolbers 3-3; MW, Hood 14-89; Ulmhoeffer 8-87; Jost 11-74.

PASSING&045;AL, Tolbers 4-17, 132; Goodnature 0-2.

RECEIVING&045;AL, Kuipers 1-16; Young 1-6; McClaskey 1-1; Habben 1 &045;3.