Lakers fend off Velva-Sawyer

DES LACS The postseason always brings out the best in opposing teams.

That is especially true when two region rivals are playing.

Such was the case Saturday afternoon as Des Lacs-Burlington and Velva-Sawyer squared off in the quarterfinals of the Class A state playoffs in Des Lacs.

DL-B senior quarterback Dylan Schestler threw two second half touchdown passes as the Lakers punched their ticket in next weekend’s Class A state semifinals with a 18-14 win over the Aggies. The win avenges a loss at Velva-Sawyer two weeks ago.

“It was two good football teams going at it,” DL-B coach James Johnson said. “I tip my cap to Velva, they are a classy bunch.”

After the two teams played a scoreless opening quarter, it was the Lakers who opened the scoring, as Schestler found senior Rylan Bachmeier from 3 yards out. DL-B missed on the two-point attempt and were forced to settle for a 6-0 lead.

It didn’t take long for the Aggies to respond.

Velva-Sawyer marched 60 yards in 10 plays on its ensuing possession to find the end zone. The drive was capped by a 5-yard pass from junior quarterback Nick Effertz to senior running back Dylan Lund. The Aggies converted the two-point conversion to take a 8-6 lead into intermission.

The Aggies seemed to have momentum in their corner as they got the ball to open the second half.

However, the momentum shifted in favor of DL-B early in the third as the Aggies fumbled the ball away at midfield.

Later in the quarter, Schestler found junior Josh Knutson from 7 yards out to give the Lakers a 12-8 lead. It was a lead the Lakers never surrendered.

In the early moments of the fourth quarter, Schestler hurt the Aggies with his arm again. This time it came on a 19-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Tanner Johnson. That scoring drive was set up by a Aggie fumble at their own 35.

“Field position was key all day,” Velva-Sawyer coach Larry Sandy said. “It’s tough to defend. We had to defend short fields all day.”

Despite a two-score deficit, the Aggies weren’t out of it.

Velva-Sawyer got the ball back at the DL-B 20, following a bad snap on fourth down, leading to the DL-B punter being tackled at the 20.

From there, Effertz ran in from 4 yards out to trim DL-B’s lead to 18-14.

DL-B was forced into a three-and-out on its next possession, allowing the Aggies one last chance with less than two minutes to play and having to drive 95 yards.

However, the drive ended on another Aggie fumble, and from there the Lakers ran out the clock, setting up a rematch with Bishop Ryan in next week’s semifinals. The Lions won 31-14 at Hazen on Saturday.

“We didn’t get a whole lot done on offense,” Sandy said.

For the game, Effertz completed nine passes for 122 yards with touchdown pass. The Aggies were also limited to 92 yards rushing.

Schestler completed 17 passes for 207 yards and the three touchdowns.

Ryan will travel to Des Lacs on Saturday, with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.

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