BY DAVID PEDERSEN
The phrase often heard in sports about how a team “beat itself” held true for Delano in a 20-19 football loss to Annandale last Friday.
“Too many mistakes,” offered co
ach Merrill Pavlovich after Delano was its own worst enemy. “We put the ball on the ground eight times and had two pass interceptions late in the game.”
One of the Tiger fumbles resulted in a 52-yard touchdown for Annandale. On the first play of the game, the 80-yard touchdown run by Zach Checkal was negated by an illegal offensive formation. What could have been the winning points was not to be because of a motion penalty during a 2-point conversion.
Delano worked hard to overcome the setbacks, posting 347 yards of offense compared to 258 against a team that advanced to the state tournament last year.
Even without the 80-yard run, Checkal ran the ball 16 times for 166 yards and scored on a 5-yard run. The ball was evenly shared by three other Tiger rushers, each with 13 carries.
Zack Nelson rushed for 65 yards and scored on an 8-yard run. Quarterback Toby Hanson and Andy Rieder both gained 21 yards. Rieder scored on a 1-yard run.
Hanson completed 7 of 16 passes for 78 yards. Adam Kraft caught two passes for 46 yards and Christian Triplett had three catches for 34 yards.
Checkel and Aaron Klaers led the defense with eight tackles, while Triplett had seven and Dalton Danielson six. Klaers, Danielson, and Ben Ditty had quarterback sacks. Ditty had an interception and Pavlovich praised the play of defensive back Dennis Troussouv.
Delano opened the season with a 28-27 victory over Dassel-Cokato. The Tigers play at Waconia, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 at Waconia.