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Preds Can't Hold On

Posted 6/20/2012

By Jocelyn Syrstad

Leader-Telegram staff

The Chippewa Valley Predators couldn't hold on against the No. 1 team in the league, the Lake Superior Rage, on Saturday night at Carson Park .

Despite maintaining the lead late into the fourth quarter, the Predators gave up two last-minute touchdowns en route to a 25-15 loss in Northern Elite Football League action.

Chippewa Valley dropped to 2-2 on the season, while Lake Superior improved to 5-0.

"At the end (Lake Superior) just kept moving the chains and were keeping possession of the ball for a long time," Chippewa Valley coach Martin Adams said. "That is ultimately what cost us the game."

Despite trailing late in the game, the Rage scored on a Keldric Stokes run with 26 seconds left to play to take a 19-15 lead.

In a final attempt to win the game, the Predators fumbled the ball with seconds remaining and Bill O'Connell recovered it in the end zone as time expired, giving the Rage their 25-15 victory.

"We had some tough breaks there at the end," Adams said. "But we played hard out there, there's no doubt about that."

Entering the second half, the Predators had an 8-3 advantage.

However, Maurice Henderson scored on a 32-yard pass from former Predator Stokes with 6:28 left to play in the third quarter, giving the Rage an 11-8 lead after the two-point conversion was successful.

But Chippewa Valley responded quickly.

An outstanding one-handed catch by Joseph Mapson put the ball on the Lake Superior 26 with 4:16 left in the quarter.

Four plays later, Deshay Hudson ran 2 yards for a touchdown, once again giving Chippewa Valley the lead with 2:18 left in the third quarter. After the kick from Kirby Weston was good, the score was 15-11 in favor of the Predators.

"We got into a good rhythm and that's what kept us going in the third quarter," Adams said.

The score didn't change for the majority of the fourth quarter.

The Predators had their chance to extend their lead, pushing the ball into Lake Superior territory midway through the final quarter. However, L.A. Anderson was picked off by Hood McMillon with 8:41 left to play and the Predators hardly had the ball in their possession after that.

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