LAND O'LAKES — River Ridge's mad scramble for a winning field goal ended with Kyle Forchion blocking it as Land O'Lakes won its home finale Friday night, 15-14.
Forchion's brother Justin had just sacked River Ridge's Josh Maisel for a 10-yard loss. Since the Royal Knights were out of timeouts they had to rush out the field-goal unit for a 48-yard attempt. James Garland's low try never had much of a chance.
"I thought they were just gonna go deep, honestly," Kyle Forchion said. "It didn't register for a few seconds what happened, that I blocked a field goal and it was over."
There was no scoring in the second half, where two turnovers undid River Ridge. James Pensyl of Land O'Lakes threw for 125 of his 154 yards in the first half, hitting on two long touchdowns to help overcome a 14-0 hole.
Land O'Lakes only ran four plays in the third quarter but kept its one-point lead thanks to Eddie Schiffer's interception as River Ridge was near the 20. Then midway through the fourth, using the legs of Justin Haystrand (111 yards), the Knights drove to the Gator 30. But he was stripped by Shaheed Salmon and Larenz Scroggins recovered with six minutes left.
After the Gators went three and out, Haystrand's 17-yard gain put the Knights in position to win. A fourth-down pass from Maisel to Chris Aldrich got them to the Gator 33 with a minute left. But the timeout they used to set up that play was their last.
The final margin came on a busted extra point. Land O'Lakes pulled within 14-6 on Pensyl's 42-yard strike to Issac Cabrera. There was a bad snap on the extra point but kicker Andrew Dowler chucked the ball forward and after two bobbles Liam Heaney caught it for two points.
"I yelled 'fire' like we're supposed to do on a bad play like that. Just as I was about to get hit I saw Liam," Dowler said.