WEBSTER – Flandreau snapped a 32-game losing streak with a 12-6 defeat of Webster Area on Friday night.
“It was great to get that first win on the season,” said Flier Head Coach Derek Genzlinger. “Our defense played lights out all night, forcing turnovers, scoring a touchdown, and really winning us the game. (Webster’s only score was a defensive touchdown.) Our defense shut them out,” he said.
Although, he added, “We really struggled offensively moving the ball, and (also) with penalties (13 for 105 yards).”
The Bearcats opened the scoring with a 25-yard Jacob Pereboom interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. The extra point kick was blocked by Tash Lunday.
The Fliers were sparked by Tathan Headrick’s big defensive play in the second. The Bearcats had moved the ball to the Flier one-yard line and after a Webster time out - and a boisterous huddle talk from Coach Genzlinger - the Flier defense stepped up.
Headrick returned a fumble 98 yards to paydirt to knot the score at 6-all with 9:34 to go in the second. The 2 point conversion was no good and neither team scored again in the half.
“Going into the second half we told the guys to not give up the good play because we knew they (Webster Area) couldn’t sustain a whole drive the way we were playing so it really turned into a field position game in the second half for us. Eventually our guys made the plays in the 4th quarter to win.”
In the fourth, Tanner Christenson hooked up with Mario Bonilla for a 49-yard touchdown toss at the 5:51 mark. The PAT pass was tipped away to set the score at 12-6.
Webster had three chances to score late in the game, but the Flier defense stopped them, once on fourth down and twice by interceptions, one by Tash Lunday and one by Ethan Hoffman with :47.8 left in the game to secure the win.
“The close loss last week obviously still hurts, but I think that is also the reason we won this game. We dominated the fourth quarter and learned from last week’s mistakes. I’m really proud of these guys, it wasn’t pretty but not all of them can be, we found a way.”
Flandreau fell 28-21 to Beresford in its home finale the prior week.
The Fliers outgained the Bearcats 194-169 in total yards of offense.
Christenson was 5-of-14 for 93 yards with the TD and two INTs.
Bonilla had two receptions for 56 yards and Tash Lunday added a pair for 31.
Headrick ran for 59 yards and Ethan Hoffman added 28.
Headrick recorded eight tackles. Lunday made four stops, including a sack, picked off a pass, recovered a fumble and blocked a PAT kick.
Christenson and Sergio Morales each logged five tackles. Hoffman added four stops and an interception and Brady Johnson (sack) three.
Flandreau’s last win was a 9-7 defeat of Beresford on Oct. 14, 2016.
The Fliers (1-6) close out the season at Elk Point-Jefferson on Friday.