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Football: Knight gridders edge Jaguars 27-20

The West Central Area football team built a big lead and then held on late to win its opener against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, 27-20.

The Knights dominated on the ground, rushing for 242 yards on 46 attempts. Dayton Sternhagen led the way with 176 yards on 27 carries.

The Knights' defense forced a three and out on the Jaguars' first offensive possession. On the ensuing punt, Cody Blehr took the kick and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.

WCA added to that lead on its first offensive possession when Cole Amundson ended the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Amundson rushed for 62 yards in the game on 12 carries.

The Jaguars could not find the same success on the ground so they turned to quarterback Jackson Illies to get the job done. He did just that, connecting on a 60-yard pass to Shane Weller that set up BBE's first touchdown. That cut the lead to 14-6 after a missed extra point.

The Knights scored again before the end of the half on a pass from Colten Blascyk to Donald Lacey from the six-yard line. That made it a 21-6 game at halftime.

BBE did not go away quietly in the final two quarters. Two touchdown passes of 25 and 30 yards to Weller made it a 27-20 game in the fourth quarter. Weller had 192 yards receiving in the game. The Knights overcame that, though, and held on for the win.

Sternhagen added a touchdown in the fourth quarter that turned out to be the winning score. He led the team in rushing and also contributed on defense and special teams with 12 tackles and a blocked extra point. Brent Anderson contributed with 12 tackles as well, while Mike Gerber chipped in with 10, including two sacks.

The Knights head to Staples-Motley this Friday in search of their second win. The Cardinals won their opener over East Grand Forks, 16-8.

GAME STATISTICS

BBE 0 6 0 14 - 20

WCA 14 7 0 6 - 27

WCA LEADERS - Offense - Rushing - Dayton Sternhagen - 27-176, TD; Cole Amundson - 12-62, TD; Passing - Colten Blascyk - 4-7, 80 yards, TD; Receiving - Eric Erickson - 1 catch, 50 yards; Amundson - 1 catch, 16 yards; Donald Lacey - 1 catch, six yards, TD; Punt Return - Cody Blehr - 70-yard TD

DEFENSE - Sternhagen - 12 tackles, blocked PAT; Brent Anderson - 12 tackles; Mike Gerber - 10 tackles, 2 sacks; Matt Coleman - seven tackles, two sacks

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