Gallery: Raiders top Tigers

Published 10:22 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

Dereck Samudio of Albert Lea tries to get around Northfield's Josiah Cieluch Friday at Jim Gustafson Field. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Dereck Samudio of Albert Lea tries to get around Northfield’s Josiah Cieluch Friday at Jim Gustafson Field. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

After going down to the wire last Saturday with Austin, a game against one of the Big Nine Conference’s new members didn’t go as planned.

The Tigers lost 49-6 against Northfield Friday at Jim Gustafson Field.

“We didn’t expect this to happen, but they’ve got the right attitude that we’ve got to get back to work,” said Albert Lea coach Kevin Armbrust.

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The Raiders lit up the scoreboard first with 17-yard touchdown run by Joshua Chlan with 2 minutes and 15 seconds left in the first quarter.

Albert Lea’s ensuing possession was stunted when Northfield’s Joey Eckhoff intercepted a pass from Jake Kilby. The Raiders extended their lead to 14 points when Tommy McDonald found Billy Roecklein down the middle of the field for a touchdown.

After Northfield’s lead grew to 21 points, Albert Lea’s offense came to life. Tim Christianson plowed his way into the red zone on a 15-yard run that gave the Tigers first-and-10 at the Raiders’ 12-yard line. A five-yard scoring run by Kilby at 5:43 capped the drive. The extra point was no good.

Northfield responded by scoring 28 unanswered points with two more touchdowns in the second quarter, one in the third and one in the fourth.

Albert Lea’s rushing attack was led by Kilby. He showed leadership with 70 yards on 19 carries and the Tigers’ only score. However, Albert Lea struggled in the passing game as a unit.

Kilby completed two passes for eight yards along with his interception. Armbrust said the team is working on having a balanced attack.

“We need to be able to pass the ball better than we are right now,” he said. “Until we establish that — which is something we’re working on — they (our opponents) aren’t going to be afraid to dare us to pass the ball.”

Northfield’s athletic group that beat Red Wing 41-0 in its opener and was crushed 62-28 by Mankato West last Friday, compiled 361 yards of total offense.

“Defensively, we need to shore things up all around,” Armbrust said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball and with our kicking teams, but we’ll get it done. This is a great group of guys.”

Tim Christianson led Albert Lea’s defense with seven tackles. He also pounded the ball between the tackles for 53 yards on eight carries. Sam Moyer added 28 rushing yards on three carries.

Triston Westerlund and Dereck Samudio had six tackles each, while Parker Boyum added five.

Westerlund and Christianson tied with a team-high three tackles for loss.

Aside from the Northfield game, Albert Lea (0-3 overall, 0-3 Big Nine Conference) lost 74-14 against Mankato West in Week 1 and 42-41 at home against Austin in Week 2. Mankato West (3-0 overall, 3-0 Big Nine Conference) is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press’ Class 5A polls and has defeated its opponents by a combined score of 176-49. At 7 p.m. next Friday, the Scarlets will play at defending state champion Owatonna, the No. 3-ranked team in the polls.

Next, Albert Lea will play at 7 p.m. next Friday at Winona. The Winhawks (0-3 overall, 0-3 Big Nine Conference) had a solid showing against Owatonna in Week 1 with a 14-6 home loss. However, the Winhawks lost at 21-7 at Red Wing in Week 2, and 62-14 at Rochester Mayo on Friday.

Statistics are in the Scoreboard: Sept. 13 post.