Lightning Top Spartans in Conference Redemption Game
It was November 6th, 2020, when LCL was handed their only loss of the regular season by sister school Martin Luther. The Spartans’ 21-16 victory crowned them the Metro Classic Conference champions, with the Lightning coming in second place in their first season in the new conference. It was a respectable win for Martin Luther, one in which LCL could only tip their hats to their sister school afterwards. As Coach Brazgel said, “It was the first game I had ever been kind of happy after losing...they had a great senior class and it was a good win for them.” However, it was still a loss, and losses sting. Eddie Farrell mentioned that it was “pretty devastating” to lose that game, but in the end it fueled them for this season’s rematch. This time around, LCL welcomed Martin Luther to their home turf, and the game was on.
On just the third play of the game, Luke Haertle broke loose and scrambled almost all the way to midfield, followed up by a seven-yard run by Sam Heicher who refused to be taken down. Not long after, Haertle went to the right on another carry, and Colin Amack picked up the first down. The offense continued barreling down the field when Haertle’s teardrop pass was caught on the far left side by Tim Frerking. About four minutes into the game, Heicher ran over a defender to find the endzone for an eight-yard score. Then, after the Martin Luther offense was suffocated by the LCL defense, Heicher nearly ran through someone again on the punt return. The Lightning were also forced to punt, but the ball would come right back on a L’Shawn Taylor fumble that was scooped up by Heicher. Levi Benes brought the offense back towards the endzone on a screen pass pickup from Haertle, and then Luke Boldt added to the scoreboard. Mike Sterr snagged a two-point conversion pass, and the score was 14-0. Back on defense, Eddie Farrell made a nice tackle. On the next play, Gavin Roehl sprinted to recover a fumble caused by an awry snap. Boldt came up big on offense for two major first downs, and Heicher was forced out of bounds just shy of the endzone on another big run. However, the Lightning turned the ball over on downs before they could score again. A good defensive hold by LCL would offer another chance, though. From 31 yards out, Haertle dropped a dime to Boldt in the corner of the endzone, upping the lead to 20 points. With Martin Luther back on offense, Matt Dobson tripped up the running back in the backfield, and then Clay Roehl took down Jack Henry Strohmeyer for a major loss of yardage. As the Spartans were forced to punt from their own 10-yard line, Sam Heicher brought the ball back within one yard of the endzone, setting up an unconventional and exciting scoring play. Farrell ran the ball in to score, where he was met by the rest of his teammates cheering him on. Luke Boldt’s successful two-point conversion made the score 28-0 with two minutes left before halftime. While Martin Luther made their way well into Lighting territory, they were eventually turned over again. Heicher tried to up the score, carrying the ball past midfield and then again toward the redzone, but the Lightning wouldn’t add any more points to their total before halftime, either.
On the Spartans’ first drive of the second half, Gunnar Grosenick picked off Strohmeyer, and after a strong run by Tim Frerking, Grosenick was able to score off a nice pass from Haertle. Mike Sterr and Carter Leibham took down the kick returner instantly, and then Lucas Lombardo made a nice tackle. With LCL getting the ball back, Stephen Connell ran in for a score, and Frerking grabbed the conversion to make the score 42-0. Adam Boldt contributed on the defensive side, sacking the quarterback to set up 2nd-and-15. Shortly after, Jayden Bridgewater reached the endzone for Martin Luther, spoiling the LCL defense’s shutout.
The game clock ran out with the score set at 42-7, a stark contrast to last year’s close, low-scoring matchup. However, the post-game was similar: a scene of athletes and friends from opposite teams congratulating each other and conversing on the field before they went their separate ways again.
Final score: Lake Country Lutheran 42, Martin Luther 7
Photos Taken By LCL Student Taylor Brockmeier