Tigers topple unbeaten Red Level, 14-13

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 9, 2006

The Luverne Tigers used a rock solid defense and an unusual call from the Red Level side lines at home last Friday night to drop Red Level from the ranks of the undefeated. The call came on a pat after the Black Cats had scored what seemed to be a tying touchdown with 1:51 left in the game.

The Red Level Tigers had a kicker who kicked the ball over the Luverne band building on his first try for

the extra point when the Black Cats had scored their first touchdown in the third quarter. The sideline staff decided to go for a two-point conversion on the try instead of going for the tie. On the play tailback Ray Knight was stopped short of the goal line by a host of Luverne Tigers to preserve the win and their unbeaten streak.

The game started with the Red cats winning the toss and deferring to the second half. The Luverne kick was deep and taken in at the Red Level 10 and returned out to their 21 yard line. The Tigers held the visiting cats to 1 yard of offense and forced a punt. The Tigers took over on their 34 yard line and managed to pick up one first down before the Red Level defense stiffened and forced them to punt.

Andrew Smith, who was punting for an injured Chase Free, pinned the visitors back on their 14 yard line with a 36 yard kick.

Again the Tiger defense held and forced the much-heralded Red Level eleven to punt again. Fred Hawkins returned the Red Level punt 43 yards down to the Level 6 yard line. But the Red Level defense took charge and forced the Tigers to turn the ball over on downs at the Red Level 14 yard line.

Red Level could mount no threat against the powerful Tiger defense and again had to turn the ball over after they failed to pick up a first down. Luverne took over on their 46 yard line and managed one first down before they were forced to punt. Red Level took over on their 20 yard line and seemed to bog down as soon as they got the ball.

First, they were hit with a major distance penalty, and quarterback Blake Pate was hit in the backfield and fumbled.

He was able to recover his own drop and saved a turn over. But on the next play, Pate fumbled again and Josh Butts recovered for the Tigers at the Red Level 32 yard line. The Tigers wasted little time as they moved in for the score. It came on a 15 yard run by Narvais Cole. Allan Foster was good on the try after, but a motion penalty nullified the try, and he was forced to kick again. This time the try failed, but the Tigers had a 6 point lead with 4: 46 left in the first half.

Luverne received the second half kick, and Cory Oliver returned it 22 yards out to the Tiger 40 yard line. The Tigers picked up one first down before Narvais Cole was hit and fumbled the ball at the Red Level 34 yard line.

Red Level fell on the ball and set up camp at their 34 yard line.

The visiting Tigers started a 15 play drive that covered 66 yards. The big play in the drive was a 15 yard penalty on Luverne after the Tigers had seemed to stop Red Level on a third and 13 at the Luverne 21 yard line. The infraction gave the visitors new life, and in 5 plays had found the Tiger end zone. The TD came on a one yard run by Pate. The try for point after was good and with 2: 53 left in the third quarter, Red Level had a 7 to 6 lead. After the ensuing kick off the Tigers took over on their 37 yard line. It seemed as if the Tigers were snake bitten as on the second down Quarterback Chad Free was hit and fumbled the ball over to Red Level on the Tiger 46 yard line. The Tiger defense stiffened and forced Red Level to turn the ball over on downs after they had managed to move the ball down to the Tiger 20 yard line.

From here the Tigers started a 13 play drive that covered 80 yards. The touchdown came on a one yard run by quarterback Free. The try for two was good and the Tigers had regained the lead at 14 to 7 with 6:02 left in the game. The next score came after an exchange of punts. Andrew Smith punted down to the Red Level 25 yard line, where a speedster, Terrance Marshal, scooped up the ball in front of two Tiger defenders and raced 75 yards for what seemed to be the tying score.

However, instead of going for the tie, Red Level went for the win. They tried a sweep to the right of the Tiger defense and were stopped short of the Tiger goal line by a host of red cats. Neither team could mount any offense in the final few minutes of the game, and it ended Red Level13, Luverne14. Coach Brad Waggoner said that this was &#8220a big win” for Luverne and that Red Level had a good football team.

Luverne mustered up 193 yards of total offense while giving up only 107 to the Red Level Tigers. The Tigers were led on defense by Corey Oliver with 11 tackles,

while Josh Kilpatrick and Marco Jones had 9 each. Davis Lester tallied 8, while several other Tigers had 6 each.

Next week, Luverne will host their county rival, the Highland Home Flying Squadron.

This is a key area game for both teams and could send the loser on the road in the first round of the play offs. Kick off time is 7 p.m.