On a perfect Saturday fall afternoon in Glencoe, the Lions Football team defeated the #1 seeded Glencoe-Silver Lake Panthers 14-7. The win advances the Lions to the Section 2AAA Finals and a chance to go to the MSHSL State Football Tournament.
Glencoe Silver Lake opened the scoring on their first drive with a long touchdown pass to give them an early 7-0 lead. The Lions offense would have trouble moving the ball in the first quarter leaving the score 7-0 after the first quarter. The Lions came alive in the second and their first scoring drive covered half the field and ended on a 1 yard TD run by sophomore Jacob Meissner. Junior JP Luedke’s extra point tied the score at 7-7.
The Lions defense would force a Panther punt on their next drive and the LIons would immediately score again. Two plays into their possession Meissner found running daylight outside and raced for a 51 yard touchdown run. Luedke again converted the extra point and the Lions pulled ahead at 14-7, a lead they would not relinquish.
The second half saw outstanding play by the Lions defense who completely shutdown Glencoe’s vaunted running attack. With nowhere to run the Panthers had to throw, which didn’t help their cause, as senior cornerback Jacob Halek intercepted a Glencoe pass in the third quarter stopping another drive for the home team.
Late in the third quarter, the Lions offense, pinned back on their own 9 yard line, would go on a 15 play drive that didn’t result in any points, but would eat up most of the fourth quarter. When Glencoe got the ball back, they would have just under three minutes left to go 90 yards to tie the game. The Lions defense forced Glencoe to struggle for every yard, not giving them a big play or any major gains. The Panthers slowly got all the way down to the Lions 28 yard line with two seconds left on the clock. One last desperation pass came up short and the Lions stormed the field victorious.
Jacob Meissner played a fantastic game. The sophomore RB paced the Lions offense with 134 yards on 32 carries and two TDs. Meissner, along with senior LB Keshawn Johnson and junior defensive end Joe Andries lead the Lions defense in shutting down Glencoe.
Coach Rooney ruminates, “I am super proud of our kids. They came to a tough place, against the #1 seed and a storied program with multiple state Championships. We were the smaller team but we played bigger than Glencoe. We were more physical and intense and beat them at their own game. We just keep getting better and better with each game. I can’t wait to get back on the field next Friday night.”
The Lions will now play Dassel Cokato on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. for the section championship. The game will be held at a neutral site, Crown College, in St. Bonifacius MN. Come cheer on the Lions as they continue their journey to State!