Lena/STAA overcomes turnovers, wins opener 26-22

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Titans gives up 8 points off 3 miscues
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Times Herald photo by Chris Caporale

Lena/STAA running back Tyler Stuart gets by Menominee Indian lineman Darius Wayka (45) during Lena/STAA’s 26-22 road victory Thursday.

Lena/STAA allowed just eight points off three second-half turnovers Thursday in a 26-22 season-opening road victory over Menominee Indian.

The Eagles drove 65 yards for Meshaen Waukau’s third touchdown of the game after forcing a fumble on the Titans’ second play of the second half but could not turn another fumble and interception into points.

“I think it’s a killer instinct thing that happens sometimes with younger teams. You don’t finish the job,” Menominee Indian head coach Chris Clache said. “They’ll think they got the interception, that’s it. They think they got the one touchdown, that’s it. It’s not that way. They’ve got to finish the job. I think they learned a hard lesson today.”

After Waukau’s touchdown gave the Eagles the 22-20 lead in the third quarter, the Titans fumbled again on the first offensive play of the next possession, and Menominee Indian’s Mariano Lyons jumped on the loose ball. The Eagles, however, could not move the ball and punted.

After Lena/STAA took the lead on quarterback Colby Borchert’s 2-yard TD run, Waukau secured the final turnover while laying on his back, catching a deflected pass for an interception at his own 10-yard line, giving Menominee Indian hope with 5:23 left in the game.

After allowing a 44-yard run to Waukau, who finished with 264 yards rushing, the Titans stood tall on the final possession, holding their ground on a fourth-and-five from the 47-yard line.

“When you get a team that is powerful running like them, if they scored on all three (turnovers), we would have been in a real hurt,” Lena/STAA head coach Dale Lange said.

After Menominee Indian scored on its first two possessions, the Titans (1-0, 1-0 MONLPC-8) found a way to slow down the rushing attack.

Lena/STAA defensive coordinator Ed Huberty made some changes at halftime to help contain the Eagles (0-1, 0-1 MONLPC-8).

“Some of it was the intensity,” Lange said. “We made just a few minor adjustments with some guys and did a little bit of switch over, we moved some guys from side to side. That was the primary difference.”

Penalties hurt Menominee Indian both offensively and defensively to the tune of 75 yards on nine infractions.

Borchert accounted for two of his team’s four scores, one on the ground and one through the air. Tyler Stuart and Alex Skrobel each added rushing touchdowns.

Menominee Indian freshman quarterback Norman Kakwitch racked up 103 rushing yards on 16 carries while also finding Jarin Reiter for two receptions and 57 yards.

Lena/STAA 26, Menominee Indian 22

Team 1 2 3 4 F

Lena/STAA 6 14 0 6 26

Menominee Indian 6 8 8 0 22

First Quarter

MI: Meshaen Waukau 1-yard run (conversion missed) 0-6 (3:54).

L/STAA: Jack Farley 9-yard reception from Colby Borchert (conversion missed) 6-6 (1:13).

Second Quarter

MI: Waukau 13-yard run (conversion good) 6-14 (9:30).

L/STAA: Tyler Stuart 6-yard run (conversion missed) 12-14 (7:12).

L/STAA: Alex Skrobel 4-yard run (conversion good) 20-14 (1:04).

Third Quarter

MI: Waukau 2-yard run (conversion good) 20-22 (6:14).

Fourth Quarter

L/STAA: Borchert 2-yard run (conversion missed) 26-22 (10:33).