by Dave Pedersen
Delano had fewer offensive options once starting quarterback Toby Hanson left the football game against Annandale Friday with a hip injury at the six minute mark.
Backup quarterback Brady Miller was not equipped with as many plays to call as Hanson, a two-year starter at the position. However, the junior had one good play, handing off to senior Jack Nelson, who rushed 25 times for 203 yards. He scored on runs of 8, 25 and 45 yards.
After having his first pass intercepted, Miller settled down to direct the 27-18 victory as the Tigers improved to 2-0. Hanson had led Delano to a 41-9 win against Dassel-Cokato.
Hanson was playing on defense in a goal line stand when he was blocked from the side and suffered a hip-pointer. He had trouble walking on Monday and his availability for the 7 p.m. home game against Waconia Friday, Sept. 13, was not known. Waconia is 0-2 under a new coach.
Miller completed 1 of 3 passes for 13 yards against Annandale. He rushed four times for 60 yards. Hanson completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Brett Norling, who caught two passes for 51 yards. Norling also had eight tackles and one interception on defense. Nate Meyer had the other interception and a fumble recovery.
“Losing Toby was big, but Brady met the challenge and kept his composure the whole time,” said coach Merrill Pavlovich about Miller, who was slated to start on defense.
Fullback Aaron Wagner rushed seven times for 24 yards and had eight tackles on defense. He also blocked a punt. Adam Kraft had nine tackles and Sawyer Thomas added six.
Pavlovich said the defense was led by senior linemen Christian Triplett and Damon Longstreet. Triplett had 12 tackles, six solo. Longstreet had eight tackles with six solo and a forced fumble. He also caught one pass for 13 yards to keep a drive alive.
“It was Damon’s best game at Delano,” adds the coach. “He was always around the football and made some big plays. Damon and Christian were never off the field.”
Offensive linemen opening holes for Nelson included Triplett, Longstreet, Ben Jacobs, Walker Russek and Kevin Kneisl.
For the game, Delano passed for 64 yards and rushed for 301 for a total of 365. The Tigers had poor field position in the second half, also limiting play options.
In two games, Nelson has carried the ball 39 times for 352 yards, an average of nine yards per carry.
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