DELANO — Delano fell behind early and was never able to catch up in its homecoming game Sept. 28 against Dassel-Cokato.
The Chargers took the game 35-20, stayed undefeated for the season (5-0), and established themselves as the top team in the East Central South Subdistrict, where they remain as the only unbeaten team at 4-0.
The loss was Delano’s first in the East Subdistrict, where they are now 2-1. The Tigers fell to 3-2 overall.
In the game Friday, the visiting Chargers hushed Delano’s homecoming crowd with two unanswered touchdowns, and took a 21-7 into the halftime break.
Delano cut the deficit to seven points with a touchdown strike from Max Otto to Brett Unrein early in the third quarter, but Dassel-Cokato stiff-armed the threat of losing the lead with two more touchdowns before the scoreboard switched over to the fourth quarter.
The Tigers scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter.
Both teams put up some offensive numbers — 460 yards for Dassel-Cokato and 406 for Delano — but the success of each offense’s rushing attack greatly contrasted each other.
The Chargers rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns on 41 carries (4.9 yards per carry) against a banged-up Delano defense, whereas the Tigers were limitted to just 34 yards on 16 carries (2.1 yards).
Those rushing yards for Delano were trimmed a bit by Dassel-Cokato’s pass rushers, who sacked Otto five times.
Blake Johnson was a beast out of the backfield for Dassel-Cokato. Johnson toted the ball 31 times for 174 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 48 yards.
The big game greatly added to Johnson’s already-impressive season totals. Through five games he has 737 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground.
At Delano, Johnson scored the final touchdown of the first half on a seven-yard run, and iced the win with two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter.
The lack of production from the running game forced the Tigers to turn to Otto and the passing game. The junior quarterback responded, completing 18 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns.
The scoring connection from Otto to Unrein in the second quarter was from 16 yards out. Early in the third quarter, Otto connected with Reno Bredahl for a 15-yard touchdown strike. And, in the fourth quarter, Otto found Ethan Quast for the first time this season. It was memorable for Quast, as the touchdown catch and run covered 70 yards.
It was Quast’s only catch of the game.
Unrein finished with seven catches for 113 yards. Bredahl caught three balls for 52 yards.
Senior halfback Sam Kern was held to 37 yards rushing by the Dassel-Cokato defense, but he found some space in the passing game, catching five balls for 94 yards.
Otto’s counterpart, Paul Raisanen, was good as usual.
Raisanen completed 18 passes for 259 yards and one touchdown.
Caleb Keith was Raisanen’s favorite target, catching 10 balls for 107 yards and a touchdown. His scoring play was a 48-yard connection with Raisanen in the first quarter. The touchdown catch gave the Chargers a 13-0 lead.
The Delano defense played without starters Carson vanSytzama, Isaiah McManus and Christopher Glunz. All three were injured the previous week in the win at Holy Family.
DASSEL-COKATO 35, Delano 20
Friday, Sept. 28
Delano High School
1 2 3 4 – F
DC 13 8 14 0 – 35
Delano 0 7 7 6 – 20
DC – Koller 5-yard run (Asplin kick), 7-0
DC – Raisanen 48-yard pass to Keith (kick failed), 13-0
D – Otto 16-yard pass to Unrein (Horobin kick), 13-7
DC – Johnson 7-yard run (Raisanen pass to Asplin), 21-7
D – Otto 15-yard pass to Bredahl (Horobin kick), 21-14
DC – Johnson run (Asplin kick), 28-14
DC – Johnson run (Asplin kick), 35-14
D – Otto 70-yard pass to Quast (kick failed), 35-20.
TEAM Total Yards: Delano 406; DC 460. Rushing: Delano 16-34; DC 41-201 4TD. Passing: Delano 18-372 3TD; DC 18-259 TD.
INDIVIDUALS Rushing: Delano — Kern 9-37, Link 1-7, Knight 2-2, Otto 4–12; DC 31-174 3TD, Raisanen 4-20, Koller 3-5 TD, DeBoer 3-2. Passing: Delano — Otto 18-39/372 3TD; DC — Raisanen 18-31/259 TD. Receiving: Delano — Unrein 7-113 TD, Kern 5-94, Quast 1-70 TD, Bredahl 3-52 TD, Longstreet 2-43; DC — Keith 10-107 TD, Johnson 3-48, Asplin 2-45, Schmitz 1-37, Krick 2-22. Tackles: Delano — Link 9, Quast 8; DC — DeBoer 10, Miklasz 8. Quarterback Sacks: Delano — none; DC — DeBoer 2, Koller 2, Londerville 1.