FL continues to struggle in SEC football play
The Forest Lake football fans came prepared for the home game against White Bear Lake last Friday, dressed in camouflage, face paint and sporting bear-hunting signs. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Rangers couldn’t pull out the win as they lost 48-21 despite holding White Bear Lake scoreless in the second half.
“To have them [White Bear Lake] score two quick touchdowns to end the second quarter was just devastating,” Forest Lake head coach Billy Kirch said.
Ranger defense lost control early in the match-up to give White Bear Lake a 41-point cushion at half, with Forest Lake senior quarterback Trent Rabel earning his team its only points of the half with a 4-yard run into the endzone during the first quarter. Rabel rushed for 38 yards in 17 attempts, scoring two touchdowns in the process, and had 61 percent passing completion for 117 yards in 18 attempts.
Other Ranger offensive leaders included senior running back Glen Miron with a 5-yard touchdown run in the third, and junior wide receiver Derek Giesner, who hauled in two receptions for 31 yards. Miron also averaged 8.9 yards a carry with 133 yards rushing on the day, as well as five receptions for 44 yards.
As opposed to last week, where the Rangers riddled the field with penalties, Kirch said the game-changer this week was the battle for field position, specifically on special teams. Another aspect to work on will be taking care of the ball by cutting down on interceptions and fumbles.
“We’ve been addressing the issue with penalties in practice, then came out Friday sharper and more focused,” Kirch said. “Now, our emphasis in practice is taking care of the ball on offense, and taking it away on defense.”
For the Rangers, juniors Cody Mehsikomer and Randy Rehbein led the defense with five tackles each. Stopping drives will be a necessity this Friday when the Forest Lake squad faces a strong Stillwater team. According to Kirch, the Ponies’ offensive line averages out at 280 lbs., and its balanced attack includes 60 percent power running and 40 percent passing.
While Stillwater will be a tough opponent, Kirch is excited about what he sees on the game tape from last Friday, since it mostly shows mental errors from the Rangers rather than a lack of strength or speed.
“When we’re failing to execute, it’s mainly just not being in the right position,” Kirch said. “The tape really shows them how close they are to making the big plays.”
The Ranger squad will get the chance to improve on its 0-3 record when the boys travel to Stillwater for their second away game of the season. The game begins at 7 p.m.