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Paynesville Press - October 9, 2002

LPGE outscores Bulldogs, 55-26

By Kevin Mehr

LPGE's air assault proved to be too much for the Bulldogs on Friday night in a 55-26 loss. Senior quarterback Ryan Tschida threw seven touchdown passes for the Thunder, four of them to wide receiver Mathew Larson, to lead the Thunder in a 55-26 victory over the visiting Dogs.

All week in practice head coach Kyle Nehowig pleaded to his team that they couldn't have penalties on offense and couldn't surrender big plays on defense if they expected to win. But the defense gave up 300-yards passing, and the offense committed seven penalties for 65 yards.

The Thunder scored the first 14 points of the game, 34 points in the first half, and then, when the Dogs rallied to cut their lead to 34-26, they scored the last 21 points of the game.

On the Dogs' first possession of the game, a bobbled snap gave the ball to the Thunder on the Bulldogs' 25-yard line. The Thunder scored 14 unanswered points, including a questionable call on a 14-yard touchdown reception by Larson, which appeared to be incomplete.

But the Dogs answered right back in the second quarter and marched down the field with their offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage. Senior Milan Virant capped off the drive, scoring the first of his three touchdowns on the night with a five-yard plunge. That score was set up by a 42-yard run by senior halfback Kevin Mehr.

Virant scored again on the Dogs' next possession, but the defense failed to stop the Thunder on their next two drives making the score 26-12. The Dogs defense then surrendered another touchdown to the Thunder before Virant scored his third touchdown of the night on a four-yard run, thanks to an 18-yard run by senior fullback Ryan Glenz. The Bulldogs went into the half trailing 34-20.

The defense finally came up with their first stop of the night, forcing the Thunder to punt, in the third quarter. The Dogs then drove 89-yards and scored on a three-yard run by senior quarterback Chris Fuchs, which cut the Thunder lead to 34-26.

However, this score proved to be very costly as Glenz left the game after the touchdown with a leg injury, and the Bulldogs' celebration was shortlived without their starting fullback and middle linebacker.

The Thunder then scored the game's final 21 points, and the Dogs hopes of a conference title were all but crushed.

"It's hard to lose a game like that. We dominated them on offense; Milan and Kevin each had over 185 yards rushing, and we still lost. That tells you what kind of team LPGE has," said senior Josh Teicher, who had the unenviable task of covering Larson.

"I was amazed at what Tschida and Larson were capable of. Teicher had almost perfect coverage on every pass, but they still found a way to make big plays," said senior defensive end Eric Frank.

The Thunder improved to 3-0 in the conference, while the Bulldogs fell to 1- 2 in the conference and 2-4 overall. The Dogs' next game is Friday at Lac Qui Parle Valley at 7:30 p.m.

Paynesville--0 20 60-- 26
LPGE--14 20 714 -- 55

Scoring Summary
First Quarter
LPGE-Matt Larson 14 pass from Ryan Tschida (Larson kick);
LPGE-Bryan Klick 25 pass from Tschida (Larson kick);
Second Quarter
Pay-Milan Virant 5 run (failed conversion);
LPGE-Larson 20 pass from Tschida (Larson kick);
Pay-Virant run (failed conversion);
LPGE-Kyle Oostra 47 run (kick fail);
LPGE-Dan Urman 4 pass from Tschida (Larson kick);
Pay-Virant 4 run (2-point conversion);
Third Quarter
Pay-Chris Fuchs 3 run (failed conversion);
LPGE-Larson 11 pass from Tschida (Larson kick);
Fourth Quarter
LPGE-Klick 17 pass from Tschida (Larson kick);
LPGE-Larson 5 pass from Tschida (Larson kick).

Individual Statistics
Rushing (attempts-yards-TDs): Kevin Mehr 18-190; Milan Virant 42-187-3; Ryan Glenz 5-40; Jamie Paul 2-(-6);
Passing (completions-attempts-yards-TDs): Chris Fuchs 0-3-0.

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