BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Turnovers and a lack of consistency on both offense and defense was not was Delano coach Merrill Pavlovich was looking for from his players when facing undefeated Hutchinson for homecoming Friday.
The result was a 36-12 defeat and missed opportunity to tie for the Wright County Conference lead.
Delano trailed 36-0 in the fourth quarter before getting on the scoreboard. However, Hutchinson was not as dominating as it appeared in the first part of the game.
On Delano’s first two drives, fumbles negated scoring opportunities and gave Hutchinson momentum for a 15-point lead. Meanwhile, Hutchinson made key third down plays to keep drives alive.
Pavlovich said how linemen Eric Russek, Arick Neisen and Ben Jacobs opened holes for Tiger runners. Jack Nelson gained 97 yards on 11 carries and scored on a 37-yard run. Ben Ditty rushed for 67 yards with 11 carries and Zach Checkal rushed nine times for 33 yards.
The passing attack was nullified by a strong cross wind. The Tigers continued to alternate two quarterbacks. Toby Hanson completed 1 of 4 passes for 28 yards and Dalton Danielson was 1 of 3 for 20 yards.
Christian Triplett had both receptions for a total of 48 yards. The other Delano touchdown was scored by Seth Norling on a 17-yard run.
Defensively, Checkal led with 10 tackles while Damon Longstreet had seven. Triplett, Ditty and Adam Kraft each had six tackles.
Delano plays at Litchfield Friday, Oct. 12 and at Holy Family Wednesday, Oct. 17 to end the regular season.