Grizzlies begin 2nd season with win

Published 10:51 pm Monday, May 2, 2011

The Albert Lea Grizzlies football team opened their second season with a 28-26 win Saturday over the Buffalo Ridge Wilcats in Lake Benton.

With the Grizzlies leading 28-26 late in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats attempted a quarterback sneak on second-and-goal from the two-yard line. Defensive lineman Mikey Salinas stripped the ball and it was recovered by cornerback Tyler Kibbee to secure the win.

“The Wildcats are always a tough team,” Grizzles’ offensive lineman Craig Schmidt said. “It really puts some momentum behind us to come away with a big victory like that on the road.”

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After a scoreless first quarter, the Wildcats found the endzone first before Tony Tolbers threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Peterson down the middle in second quarter to pull the Grizzlies within 7-6. Peterson then scored on the ensuing two-point conversion to put the Grizzlies ahead 8-7. The Wildcats scored once more before halftime and held a 13-8 lead at the break.

In the third quarter, safety Jason Kuipers returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown before Levi Fossen took over in the fourth.

In the final quarter, cornerback Levi Fossen intercepted the Wildcats’ quarterback on back-to-back plays from scrimmage and return both interceptions 40 yards for a touchdown. Tolbers successfully passed to wide receiver Jake McClaskey on the second two-point conversion attempt.

Schmidt said the strong winds and a wet field made passing difficult. He also said the Grizzlies’ running back George Gerdes moved the ball well.

The Grizzlies play again Sunday against the Minnesota Silverbacks at Burnsville High School.

Albert Lea 28, Buffalo Ridge 26

AL 0 8 6 14 — 28

BR 0 13 6 7 — 26