Rangers lose on homecoming

Kat Ladwig
Sports Editor

The Forest Lake football squad came out fighting last Friday in its homecoming game against Roseville, but fell short in a 42-14 loss.

Early in the game, the Raiders set the pace and proved why they are No. 2 in the conference in passing yards with a 43-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Conor Perra from senior quarterback Jacques Perra. Minutes later, Conor Perra broke a 24-yard run to make the score 14-0.

Forest Lake junior Derek Giesner rumbles to the outside during Friday’s homecoming showdown. (Photo by TLC Digital Images)

Senior captain Trent Rabel came back in the second quarter with a short one-yard touchdown run to break apart the Raider scoring streak. Rabel passed for 110 yards, and completed 11 of 17 throws on the night, but struggled late in the game with two interceptions after suffering a concussion that will keep him out of the lineup for this week’s game at Cretin-Derham Hall.

“Quarterback is the hardest position on the team,” head coach Billy Kirch said. “Trent’s a great athlete, a great leader and he’s always doing everything he can to win. ”

Ranger sophomore Brandon Rogers came in during the fourth quarter to replace Rabel and completed one attempt for 11 yards. Kirch was pleased with how the young quarterback ran the offense while on the field.

“Rogers played great,” Kirch said. “It’s a tough situation to come in late in the game on a varsity field, especially for an underclassmen.”

Senior captain Glen Miron helped take the pressure off his quarterbacks by going 173 yards in 22 attempts including a touchdown to jumpstart the second half. Miron’s 66-yard touchdown run came on the first offensive drive of the third quarter and made it a 28-14 ball game. Miron continues to be a key element to the Ranger team.

“No doubt he’s really the whole package,” Kirch said. “His leadership shows not only on the fields, but in practice, pre-game and the off-season.”

Following Miron’s long touchdown run, the Rangers kept the pressure on the Raider offense, forcing an interception by junior Dan Wassman, and putting Forest Lake in position to make it a one-score game.  The Ranger defense was led by junior Leighton Bierman with eight tackles. Wassman, junior Zach Voss and senior Mitch O’Brien followed with four each.

After chipping away at the Roseville defense for first-down gains following the Wassman interception, holding and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties halted the Rangers’ progress downfield. Roseville went on to score two more times in third quarter.

“In the third quarter, you know, we looked great,” Kirch said. “But then all of a sudden it’s a couple penalties and turnovers and you’re stopped. That’s the ball game.”

Forest Lake had five more penalties than the previous matchup against Stillwater, totaling eight on the night. Besides some mental errors by the Rangers, Kirch said Roseville was a hard team with a standout quarterback who had a strong arm.

Roseville currently stands sixth in the conference, while the Rangers now sit at 0-5. Forest Lake travels to St. Thomas this Friday for a 7 p.m. matchup against Cretin-Derham Hall, who is 3-2.