Tigers fall, but manage to break scoreless streak

Published 11:28 pm Friday, September 15, 2017

Albert Lea football team falls to Jordan; now 0-3

The Albert Lea football team fell at home to Jordan Friday night. Despite a strong defensive second half for the Tigers, the deficit was too much to overcome. They lost to the Hubmen, 49-6.

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The opening drive for the Tigers was marred by multiple penalties and would lead to a punt. On the ensuing drive, the Hubmen started with good field position and would end up scoring on a short pass, putting them on top 6-0 after a missed two-point conversion.

Albert Lea junior quarterback Cole Wentzel takes the snap early in the game Friday night. Wentzel would score the first touchdown of the season for the Tigers in the fourth quarter. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

Despite some solid plays on offense, the Tigers would continue to struggle to move the ball through the first half.

The Jordan offense would go on to score a handful more times before the break, taking a 49-0 lead into halftime.

The Tigers would come out in the second half and look like a completely different team on both sides of the ball. The opening kick of the half was an onside kick by the Tigers, and although they didn’t recover the ball, it got their Albert Lea teammates excited on the sidelines.

On the first Hubmen possession, junior cornerback Carter Simon intercepted a pass in the end zone, giving Albert Lea a surge of momentum. That interception turned out to be one of the biggest positives coming out of the game Friday night, winning the turnover battle for Albert Lea.

The Tigers were able to take the ball away from the Hubmen once and, almost more importantly,  they didn’t give up the ball at all.

Albert Lea senior Noah Habana and junior Kolbie Eriksmoen narrowly miss the sack on Jordan’s quarterback Friday night. The Tigers would go on to lose the game 49-6. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

Head coach Corey Black talked about how important it is to win the turnover battle like that.

“It was so big for us emotionally to get that interception to start the half,” he said. “That’s what turnovers do and that’s why, if we win the turnover battle, we’re going to be put in a position to be successful.”

Albert Lea was able to find the end zone for the first time in the game — and the season — midway through the fourth quarter. The score came via a long run from junior quarterback Cole Wentzel. On top of their first score, the Tigers wouldn’t allow another point defensively in the second half.

“We came out here and we improved tonight, and that’s the big thing,” Black said. “If we keep having nights like tonight, although it may not seem like it on the scoreboard, we’re going to sneak up on teams and we’re going to be a darn good football team when we finally put four quarters together.”

Albert Lea drops to 0-3 on the year and will play again Friday when the team travels to Waseca to take on the Bluejays.

Albert Lea junior Cole Wentzel carries the ball for a nice gain Friday night. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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