DL-B’s mental focus helps in 18-14 win over Velva-Sawyer

When the Des Lacs-Burlington football team lost at Velva-Sawyer on Oct. 14, the Lakers simply had not played their best game of the season.

In a lot of ways, in fact, it could be argued the Lakers had played their worst game of the season in the 16-8 loss. The eight points are the fewest DL-B has scored in a game all year.

DL-B also only managed 173 yards of total offense in the loss two weeks ago.

But the Lakers admit that they weren’t focused on the task at hand entering the game at Velva-Sawyer.

“We went in with our heads too big,” DL-B senior Rylan Bachmeier said.

Entering the Saturday’s Class A state quarterfinals, a rematch against Velva-Sawyer, the Lakers knew they needed to be more focused. And that they were.

“I didn’t think we had our focus in that game,” DL-B coach James Johnson said of the loss at Velva-Sawyer. “But the kids bounced back and had two (good) weeks of practice.”

And by the end of the two weeks of practice, the Lakers were ready.

DL-B senior quarterback Dylan Schestler was especially focused in Saturday’s win. Schestler completed 17 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns. In the Oct. 14 loss at Velva-Saywer, Schestler passed for only 104 yards.

In Saturday’s win, Bachmeier and junior Josh Knutson combined to catch nine passes for 125 yards. As a team, the Lakers finished with 273 yards of total offense, but were working with shorter fields than in the game two weeks ago.

The Aggies turned the ball over four times in Saturday’s contest, with three of them coming in their own territory. The fourth turnover, a fumble in the early stages of the third quarter, came at midfield.

The Lakers now turn their focus to Bishop Ryan in the state semifinals on Saturday in Des Lacs at 1:30 p.m.

The Lakers handed Ryan its lone loss of the season on Sept. 30 with a 22-20 win at Herb Parker Stadium.

The question now becomes can DL-B maintain this focus against an opponent, who may not have been focused on the Lakers? We will all find out in five days.

Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @MarkJones27_MDN.