The Cambridge-Isanti football team’s Chance Laidly rushed for 219 yards on 21 carries (9.5 ave.) and scored five touchdowns to lead the Jackets to an impressive 42-6 win over Big Lake on Oct. 12.
“We played well,” said coach Mike Hennen.
Big Lake, knowing that the Bluejackets run the ball 95 percent of the time, played at least nine to 11 players within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage to stop the run. Yet, the Jackets ran the ball successfully, rushing for 377 yards.
“Our offensive coaches did a fantastic job,” Hennen said. “They were making little adjustments all game long.”
The defensive coaches also did a great job.
Big Lake took the opening kickoff and drove 81 yards to take a 6-0 lead.
The Hornets’ offensive strength, shown on the first drive, was kept in check the rest of the game by C-I’s defense who sacked the Big Lake quarterback six times.
Hennen felt the key to controlling the game was C-I not making any turnovers.
“We have not turned over the ball for the last three games. It makes a big difference,” Hennen said.
The coach summed up his club’s ability to win games so decisively: “Play good defense and control the ball on offense.”
After Big Lake captured the early TD, the Jackets returned the favor by marching down the field to score on John Solberg’s 4-yard pass to Laidly.
Josh Rouse kicked the extra point with C-I taking a 7-6 lead.
Laidly was a work horse and scored three TDs in the second quarter on 40, 23 and 2-yard runs. Rouse kicked the extra point on all three TDs, and C-I enjoyed a 28-6 edge at halftime.
In the third quarter, Solberg threw a perfect 36-yard pass to Hunter Vavra for a TD, and later Laidly bullied over from the 1-yard line for his fourth TD on the ground. Rouse routinely successfully kicked the extra point. The Jackets gained a solid 42-6 advantage and with reserses playing the rest of the game, they held for the rest of the game to earn the victory.
Besides Laidly’s running the ball well, Sam Thomas and Max Knowlton were successful in gaining 69 and 54 yards, respectively.
Solberg completed three of five aerials for 51 yards and two TDs. Solberg also intercepted a pass on defense.
Travis Holt led in tackles with eight, while Knowlton and Vavra had six and five tackles, respectively. Codie Auren came through with 4.5 tackles. Jake Braaten recovered a Big Lake fumble.
All of this made for a very impressive night for the Bluejackets.
The Section 7 5A playoff begins on Oct. 23 with the top two teams earning a bye. C-I, as of Oct. 12, is the No. 1 seed with a 6-1 record. Chisago Lakes and Bemidji each post a 4-2 mark. All three teams faced tough opponents on Oct. 17. The results of those games will determine the top three seeds.
The section semifinals will be Oct. 27 at the higher seed’s field.