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Detroit Lakes' football season ends in 4-OT loss

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - The Minnesota Class 4A state football quarterfinal between No. 3-ranked Detroit Lakes and Princeton became an instant classic Saturday at St. Cloud State University, as it took four overtimes to decide it.

Princeton football players
Princeton football players storm the field following their 34-31 victory in four overtimes as Detroit Lakes' Kirk McLeod (3) and Tyler Gebhart react in the Minnesota Class 4A state football quarterfinals Saturday at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud. Brian Basham / Forum Communications Co.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - The Minnesota Class 4A state football quarterfinal between No. 3-ranked Detroit Lakes and Princeton became an instant classic Saturday at St. Cloud State University, as it took four overtimes to decide it.

In the fourth overtime, Princeton senior running back Austin Feero ended it on a 2-yard dive play for the 34-31 victory.

The Tigers (8-4) came out of Section 7. Just two seasons ago, they went 0-8.

"This is just great for the community and team, after where we were the last two seasons," said Princeton head coach Roy Hanenburg.

The Tigers advance to the Class 4A semifinals Saturday at the Metrodome, where they will face Holy Family Catholic (9-3).

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But the Tigers can say they took the long way around to the Metrodome after their four-overtime game against Detroit Lakes, which lost for the first time all season and ended its season at 10-1.

"I feel bad for the kids, because they did everything in their power to win this game," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "Life isn't always rosy, and this is a game with a 100 different plays (that) could have decided the game."

The Lakers opened the fourth overtime with the ball on the Tigers' 10-yard line.

A couple of short losses by the Lakers set up fourth-and-goal from the Tigers' 11. Motschenbacher elected to go for the 29-yard field goal, which was hit by senior kicker Christian Tigges.

That led to Princeton's turn, with a 3-yard dive by senior Josh Osborn, followed by Feero's 5-yard run to the DL 2.

After a timeout and the dramatics evolving into yet another high pitch, Feero found a crease in the Lakers defensive line and slid through for the winning touchdown.

"It's every kid's dream to do that," said Feero, who carried the ball only three times in the game. "But all through the game, we just kept on yelling, 'Just keep trucking.' "

P 0 7 7 7 0 7 0 6 -34

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DL 0 7 0 14 0 7 0 3 -31

DL-Nosal 72 run (Tigges kick)

P-Warren 2 run (Weidenborner kick)

P-Chmielewski 73 pass from Ludwig (Weidenborner kick)

P-Ludwig 1 run (Weidenborner kick)

DL-McLeod 39 pass from Herzog (Tigges kick)

DL-Herzog 2 run (Tigges kick)

DL-Herzog 1 run (Tigges kick)

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P-McClay 5 pass from Ludwig (Weidenborner kick)

DL-Tigges 31 GF

P-Feero 2 run

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: DL, Nosal 10-104, Herzog 31-59, Erb 4-(minus)4.

PASSING: DL, Herzog 9-21-147. P, Ludwig 11-31-183, McClay 0-1-0.

RECEIVING: DL, McLeod 5-119-1, Champa 2-3-0, Erb 1-15-0, Long 1-10-0. P, Chmielewski 5-126-1, McClay 5-47-1.

Wierima writes for the Detroit Lakes Tribune

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