Pirates give no quarter to Knights
By Ross Pattermann
The Cornell-Lake Holcombe Knights Football team wrapped up their regular season on the road, against a Grantsburg team that has spent time ranked in the top 10 in Division 6.
The Knights had a huge effort from Tate Sauerwein, who topped the 200 mark in rushing yards against the Pirates, but not even Sauerwein’s monster game was enough to stop the Pirates’ balanced offense Oct. 18, with the Knights falling, 28-12.
The squads squared off for second place in the Lakeland Conference and for much of the night, the two rivals were evenly matched. The Pirates held the Knights scoreless in the first quarter, but the Knights limited the home team to a single touchdown.
The Knights quickly struck in the second quarter, when Sauerwein busted off a 65-yard rushing touchdown.
The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but it was suddenly a one-point, 7-6 game. It wouldn’t stay that way for long, as the Pirates answered with back-to-back touchdowns to close out the first half, scoring through the air and the ground, part of a night were Grantsburg finished with 143 rushing yards and 164 passing yards.
The Knights’ defense came alive in the third quarter, holding Grantsburg scoreless, but the Knights continued to struggle to find the endzone and after three quarters, it was 21-6, to the Pirates. Grantsburg added another score, a two-yard carry, that made it 28-6, in the fourth quarter.
The Knights ended the night on a high note, as Sauerwein once again broke through the Pirates’ defense, to score from 34 yards out.
The two-point conversion was stopped and as the clock expired, it was the Pirates who survived the Knights’ challenge.
Sauerwein had one of the best rushing performances in the state that night, picking up two touchdowns on 20 carries and going off for 224 yards. Sauerwein’s big night also held extra significance, as he eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards on the season, and is the conference’s leading rusher through the regular season.
Aden Story would add 38 yards on nine carries and Kaden Kinney finished with three of eight passes completed, for 18 yards, with Josh Jones finishing as the leading receiver, with 16 yards on one reception.
The Knights finish 5-4 overall and 5-2 in the Lakeland Conference, and will have to put their loss behind them, as they get ready for their biggest test of the year. The Knights will be back on the road Friday, Oct. 25, traveling to Carson Park to take on the No. 1 seeded Regis Ramblers, in the first round of the WIAA Division 6 playoffs.
Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.