LAND O’LAKES — As the game between the Land O’Lakes Gators and Fivay Falcons was winding down, Gators head coach Brian Wachtel found himself at the end of a water shower. No, the 36-6 victory over the Falcons on Friday night did not give the Gators a district title. The Gators aren’t making the playoffs, either. The players showered the coach who announced he was stepping down at the end of the season. The Gators’ season ended with a 4-5 record, but Wachtel and the seniors were going out winners. Fivay’s season ended at 1-8.
Key plays: Trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, Fivay put together a 12-play drive to get to the Gators 33-yard line. On fourth and 4, the Falcons fumbled, and the Gators took over on downs. … Before the half, Fivay’s Tanner Terry broke out of the pack and appeared to be on his way to a 74-yard touchdown. But Nate Howard tracked the back down from behind and knocked the ball out. Isaiah Wells recovered, and the Gators led at the half 21-0.
Key drive: After the Falcons’ fumble, Ethan Forrester scored on a 7-yard run eight plays later to give Land O’Lakes a 14-0 lead.
Stars of the game: The Gators’ Kyle Leivas had 187 yards and two TDs rushing and added an 85-yard kickoff return for a score. Michael LoSauro scored on a 12-yard run. Wells and Jacob Neary recovered fumbles. Carter Carrao was 4-of-4 on PATs. The Falcons’ Terry ran for a team-high 137 yards. Brian Hill threw for 80 yards, including a 60-yard TD to Lucas Montano. Martino had two catches for 69 yards.
Stats of the game: The Gators scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. Leivas entered the game needing 128 yards to go over 1,000. He had 133 at the half. Leivas scored two straight times he touched the ball in the third — the kickoff return and on a 45-yard TD run. Fivay was 0-for-2 inside the red zone.
Final word: "It’s kind of surreal. I’ve been doing this for 15 years. It was a great way to finish. I love these kids and I love this school. I’m proud of how hard they worked this season and I was really proud of how well they played tonight." — Wachtel