Tigers end their season in Winona, fall 49-20

Published 9:30 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Albert Lea football team kicked off the postseason Tuesday night, traveling to Winona for the first round of the Section 1AAAA tournament.

The Tigers drew the No. 6 seed in the tournament after going 0-8 in the regular season, while the Winhawks were the No. 3 seed, finishing the regular season with a 3-5 record.

It was a rough night for the Tigers as they were unable to find the endzone until the fourth quarter when the Winhawks had already built up a solid lead. In the end the Tigers lost, 49-20.

The Tigers started strong after their defense forced a fumble on the Winhawks’ first drive. The Tigers’ luck turned quickly as they were forced into a long-play situation. On 3rd down and 22 yards to go, Albert Lea threw a pick six that gave the Winhawks a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.

It didn’t get much better for the Tigers throughout the rest of the first half. While the Tigers avoided committing any turnovers, they still struggled to gain any momentum on offense. It seemed that any good gain by the Tigers was called back by an inopportune penalty.

Albert Lea got another stop late in the half, holding Winona short of a first down on a 4th and short play. However, the Winhawks dominated on every other possession of the half, scoring a touchdown on each one.

Winona led Albert Lea 43-0 at the halftime break.

The pace was slowed down in the second half, but the Tigers found themselves in a hole that was too deep to climb their way out of.

The score remained at 43-0 for much of the third quarter, until the Winhawks added to their lead with under three minutes remaining.

Albert Lea put together its best drive of the game in their next possession, marching down the field. The drive culminated in a 14-yard connection from quarterback Dakota Jahnke to Cole Janssen. The Tigers put their first points on the board with 11:02 to play in the game, now trailing 49-7.

Jahnke kept the momentum rolling five minutes of game play later by scrambling for a 10-yard touchdown run after not finding any open receivers. A successful PAT made the score 49-14 with just over seven minutes left in the game.

Albert Lea added one more score before their season came to an end. Jahnke found Logan Strom for a seven-yard touchdown as time expired.

The Tigers end their season 0-9 and will lose 11 seniors from the team including Janssen, Garrett Giles, Dakota Allmon, Mason Drescher, Jonathon Rodriguez, Weston Dahl, Trenton Johnson, Adam Semple, Max Hacker, Justin Christensen and Caleb Banks.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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