(Photos by Michael Fischer)
Carroll entered Friday's game against Spencer at 1-4 on the year but were able to put together a solid all-around game and hand the visiting Tigers a 28-7 district loss Friday night. It's the second loss in a row for Spencer, who falls to 3-3 on the year and 2-2 in district play.
Things got off on the wrong foot for Spencer as they lost a fumble on an option pitch, which Carroll returned 35 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage to take a 7-0 lead.
Spencer answered with an 8-play drive capped by an Austin Lauck 35-yard run to tie the game on its next drive. Carroll would take a 14-7 halftime lead on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jarret White.
"A lot of things were off tonight," Spencer coach Jim Tighe said. "Give them credit, they caused some problems for us but we had some plays to answer what they were doing. We had a touchdown run called back on a hold, we missed some open throws on the play-action. And the punt block in the endzone. It was a combination of things. We just didn't play well. We have to flush these mistakes and get ready for next week."
Finnern was held under 100 yards rushing for the first time this season, finishing the game with 68 yards on 19 carries. The junior quarterback was 5-of-8 passing for 89 yards and two interceptions. Two passes went to Phil Huisenga for 49 yards.
Lauck led the Tigers in rushing with 73 yards and the Tigers' only score. Brady Illg gained 37 yards on the ground. Spencer totaled 187 yards rushing, their lowest of the season.
Carroll had two running backs over 100 yards in the game. Beyerink gained 121 on the ground on 15 carries and Nate Johnston rushed 23 times for 120 yards. White completed 6-of-11 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown and an interception. The Carroll Tigers totaled 270 yards rushing on the night.
With the loss, the district standings become even more congested as the season nears the end. Spencer has three games remaining, two are in the district. Next week, the Tigers will need to bounce back against Denison-Schleswig, who they host for homecoming. Denison lost to Le Mars Friday, 24-21.That game is followed by two more road games, a non-district tilt in Algona and the regular season finale at Bishop Heelan, who is ranked second in 3A.
"We're going to have to be ready to bounce back. We've got to stay focused during homecoming week," Tighe said. "We're capable of beating anybody if we show up and play like we can. We also can lose to any of these teams if we don't play well."