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Clark-Willow Lake edges Roncalli

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Ben Rohl, center, runs behind the blocking of teammates Austin Meyers (10) and Kaden Clark, far right, as Redfield’s Grady Fey, far left, gives chase during a game at Swisher Field earlier this season. Rohl had four receptions for 142 and two touchdowns in a loss to Clark-Willow Lake Friday night. Photo by John Davis taken 9/10/2021

CLARK – Another close game, this time a different result.

Last week, Aberdeen Roncalli won a game by a single point in overtime. Friday night, the Cavaliers came up one point short in a 20-19 Northeast Conference football setback to Clark-Willow Lake.

It was back and forth battle the entire way.

Clark-Willow Lake scored first and Roncalli answered when Jackson Isakson hooked up with Ben Rohl for a 34-yard TD pass.

The Cyclones surged back ahead late in the first half as Trey Huber passed 37 yards to Mitchell Larson. That lead lasted all of 18 seconds as Isakson fired a 66-yard scoring strike to Rohl to tie the game.

The Cavaliers took the lead in third quarter on a Maddox May run only to have Clark-Willow Lake grab the lead early in the fourth when Huber had his second short touchdown run of the contest.

Roncalli had a chance to win the game, but a field goal attempt in the closing seconds was wide right.

“It didn’t work out. I told our team after the game, if I had to make that decision again I’d do the same thing a hundred times in a row,” said Roncalli coach Billy Young. “We’ve got one of the best kickers in the state and I have no problem putting the game on his shoulders. If the situation comes up again next week, we’ll do the exact same thing.”

The Cyclones ran a lot of empty backfield, but still racked up more than 250 yards rushing.

“They spread you out. You have to respect the pass. They use a lot of jet motion and jet sweep, and set things up off of that,” Young said. “The quarterback can throw it and he can run it, and that makes it even harder to defend.”

In the end, it was some little things that turned out to be big things that hurt the Cavaliers in the setback.

“We hurt ourselves a little bit in other areas of special teams. We gave up a big return and we fumbled a kickoff,” Young said. “There were a lot of little things that we could have done differently that would have swung the outcome of the game, but that’s football.”

Rohl finished with four catches for 142 yards. Isakson had 156 yards passing.

Roncalli, 5-2 on the season, plays at Mobridge-Pollock to conclude the regular season on Thursday.

The Cavaliers have been involved in their share of close games this season.

“The last couple of years we’ve either won by a large margin or lost by a large margin. We didn’t have this many close games,” Young said. “I’m proud of our guys. They didn’t quit. The effort was there from start to finish. Things just didn’t go our away tonight.”

Aberdeen Roncalli 6 7 6 0 – 19

Clark-Willow Lake 6 7 0 7 – 20

First Quarter

CWL – Trey Huber 3 run, 7:34.

AR – Ben Rohl 34 pass from Jackson Isakson, 9:23.

Second Quarter

CWL – Mitchell Larson 37 pass from Huber ((kick good), 1:40.

AR – Rohl 66 pass from Isakson (Isakson kick), 1:22.

Third Quarter

AR – Maddox May 16 run, 4:58.

Fourth Quarter

CWL – Huber 1 run (kick good), 10:28.

OFFENSE: Aberdeen Roncalli rushing (Max 10-40, Isakson 10-38, Abe Kretchman 8-19, Rohl 4-11), passing (Isakson 5-15 for 156), receiving (Rohl 4-142, Andrew Brennan 1-14); Clark-Willow Lake rushing (Larson 12-116, Cole Brenden 17-107, Huber 20-48), passing (Huber 2-9-1 for 79), receiving (Huber 1-42, Larson 1-37).

DEFENSE: Aberdeen Roncalli, Brenden Livermont 9 tackles, Matthew Martinez 9 tackles, Phillip Zens 8 tackles, Abe Kretchman 8 tackles, Josh Schaunaman 5 tackles; Clark-Willow Lake, Tate Burke 10 tackles, Lucas Kannegieter 8 tackles, Griffin Musser 8 tackles, Trey Huber 5 tackles.

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