The narrative surrounding LCL’s 2022 football season has been one drastically different from years past, but the Lightning uncovered a little bit of their known magic to get the program’s all-elusive 150th win in their final home game of the season. A year which saw a transition from races to a running clock to one based on discovering chemistry and triumph within has brought its challenges, and fittingly, what was arguably the program’s most meaningful win was also its most crucial in recent memory.
Going into Friday’s game, there was an incredible weight hanging over the heads of the Lightning football team. Standing at a 2-3 conference record, winning out became the only path of reaching the postseason, a point LCL hasn’t failed to reach since 2007. Just a few hours later, fans would storm the field, and a giant “150” would be thrown into the air in celebration of Coach Brazgel’s and the LCL football program’s 150th win. Out of adversity comes the biggest triumphs, and LCL felt that to the extreme in a way that hadn’t graced the Lightning sideline since the 2019 State title game.
Watertown Luther Prep took the early advantage, storming down the field to capture a 7-0 lead as the first quarter began. The Phoenix would continue with a strong defensive presence throughout the quarter, maintaining their seven-point advantage throughout the period.
However, as the clock reset to twelve minutes turned and the field flipped, the Lightning were quick to respond. Senior running back Matt Dobson contributed three touchdowns before the half came to a close, and fellow senior Brayson Hamme also put six points on the scoreboard due to a blocked punt return, a play that only helps to further LCL’s reputation as a special teams juggernaut.
The second half saw a slight dip in productivity from both teams, as the two squads saw a total of just 19 points. Touchdowns from LCL’s Levi Benes and Cole Roehl as well as Luther Prep’s Arthur Robinson left the final score sitting at 42-13 in favor of the Lightning.
Immediately following the clock’s striking of double zeros was a celebration of both Coach Brazgel and the Lightning football program, as the victory was the 150th for Lake Country Lutheran.
When reporter Mia Thurow asked Brazgel about the accomplishment, he said “It feels amazing…I [needed] to win tonight more than any night and so it feels so good just to get back on the winning side of things.” He was also quick to point out LCL’s recent ability to overcome and the source of it being able to face adversity, saying, “The Bible says God won’t test you beyond your own strength…everything happens for a reason.”
With the prospect of reaching 150 wins now in the past, the Lightning seek to cement their place in the 2022 playoff bracket in the regular season finale against the Pacers of Shoreland Lutheran. A win would give the Lightning their fifteenth playoff appearance in as many years, a feat that would further solidify LCL as one of the state’s elite.
Congratulations to Coach Brazgel and the Lightning football program on this incredible accomplishment!