Zach Otto hands the ball off to Patrick Ramirez on a reverse in season-opening action while Kylo Courteau takes a fake . Photo by Jim Hanson
By Bruce Huber
Triton opened their 2013 football season on the road at LaCrescent this past Friday evening. Hopes were high that the Cobras could find a way to grab a victory from the larger Red Division Lancers but in the end turnovers doomed the effort. The Lancers trailed early but came on strong late in the second half to secure a 34-18 victory.
Senior running back Seth Johnson put the Cobras up late in the first quarter when he pounded across the goal line from one yard out. The point after touchdown kick sailed wide left to mark the only score of the first half with Triton leading 6-0.
With just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter, running back Austin DeBoer of LaCrescent scored his first of three touchdowns on the evening to give the Lancers their first lead of the night. Kicker Jon Wilson converted the extra point to make it 7-6 Lancers. Triton answered with a big kickoff return by newcomer Stacy Jackson to the Lancer 30 yard line. Patrick Ramirez finished the drive with a three yard run to the end zone to make the score 12-7. The two point conversion pass from quarterback Zach Otto to Derick Wencl fell short. Not to be outdone, the Lancers ripped off a 58 yard run on their next offensive series and DeBoer scored with 36 seconds remaining in the quarter to regain the lead after the Wilson kick was successful.
All phases of Triton's game struggled at times to be consistent. Untimely penalties, losses and turnovers doomed offensive drives or gave the Lancers great field position. The Cobras outgained the Lancers offensively picking up 306 yards on the ground and through the air and giving up 279 yards to LaCrescent. It was two turnovers that ultimately were the deciding factor in the game. Brady Barton and Zack Melbostad picked off quarterbacks Zach Otto and Jax Bryngenson and returned both interceptions for touchdowns. Triton also had a punt blocked which gave the Lancers great field position.
Sophomore running back Randy Henderson punched across from one yard out as time expired in the game to mark the final tally for the Cobras. Johnson led the rushing attack for Triton with 51 yards on 16 carried while Ramirez added 46 yards on 11 carries. Wencl led the receiving corps with two catches for 23 yards. Zach Otto completed five passes on 11 attempts for 40 yards.
Triton travels to Winona (0-1) this coming Saturday for a rare high school afternoon game at Winona State University. Game time is scheduled at noon. The Cobras will return home the following Friday night, Sept. 13, for their home opener with Southern Football Alliance White Division favorite Lewiston-Altura.