Prep football: Cloquet, senior receiver earn payback in shootout victoryCloquet senior wide receiver Kaleb Kadelbach earned some redemption Friday night when he hung on to a 49-yard touchdown pass from Sean Kedrowski to help spark Cloquet’s 49-30 victory over Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin.
By: Rick Weegman, Duluth News Tribune
CLOQUET — Kaleb Kadelbach has no problem remembering the Titans.
The Cloquet senior wide receiver had all offseason to remember the 2011 Section 7AAA high school football final against Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin that ended with his dropped pass in the end zone that could have sent the game to overtime.
That’s why it was a big relief for Kadelbach when he hung on to a 49-yard touchdown pass from Sean Kedrowski to help spark Cloquet’s 49-30 victory over the Titans on Friday night at Bromberg Field.
“Early in the game I got a post right over the middle and it was déjà vu — I dropped it again right off my hands,” Kadelbach said. “Then I got revenge later (with the 49-yard score). There was no way I was dropping that one.”
Kedrowski also threw two scoring passes to Nathaniel Niemi, including a 66-yarder on the first play from scrimmage, as the Lumberjacks (4-1 overall, 3-0 Sea-Range Conference) roared to a 35-0 first-half lead before surviving a second-half passing barrage by the Titans (2-3, 1-2).
“We knew it was more than a game tonight; we didn’t want to lose to Greenway again,” said Kedrowski, a senior who completed 5 of 13 passes for 168 yards.
During the week on film, Cloquet saw the Titans had a defensive tendency whenever a player went in motion and thought they could exploit it.
“We saw that their safety was sliding over on all motion plays and we knew it was a 1-on-1 matchup with their cornerback,” Kedrowski said of the opening play. “We had been thinking about that all week and we decided to run it on the first play.”
The left-hander spotted Niemi, his tight end, over the middle and 66 yards later it was 7-0 just 11 seconds into the game.
“I give our quarterback and tight end a lot of credit, they executed it perfectly,” Cloquet coach Tom Lenarz said. “Sean’s worked really hard to take advantage against some of the defenses we see. Opponents used to stack eight, nine in the box and they can’t do that anymore.”
Two drives later, after Tanner Louhela blocked a punt, Jeffery Sarkela scored from 5 yards out to make the score 14-0.
The Lumberjacks’ next offensive play came at midfield and was designed for Kadelbach, who made a double move on the defender before running a fly pattern down the left sideline and hauling in Kedrowski’s pass over his shoulder.
It’s an opportunity he’s been thinking about since that 14-7 loss to GNK at Malosky Stadium.
“I’ve thought about it quite a bit,” he said. “It would have been great to go to state for the seniors on the team. I really regret that. It’s frustrating to think that I had an opportunity to send this team to the next level, but I dropped the ball. But part of being an athlete is forgetting about the last play and moving on.”
Marquez Evans, who led a 218-yard rushing effort, ran in from the 4-yard line in the second quarter and Kedrowski and Niemi teamed up for a second time from the 9 to give Cloquet a 35-point lead.
The Titans didn’t quit, however, led by quarterback Jayden Gangl’s 19-for-38, 249-yard, three-touchdown performance. Gangl’s third scoring pass cut the deficit to 42-22 at the end of the third quarter, but Kedrowski’s 1-yard sneak ended the comeback.
C — Nathaniel Niemi 66 pass from Sean Kedrowski (Nicholas Niemi kick)
C — Jeffery Sarkela 5 run (Ni. Niemi kick)
C — Kaleb Kadelbach 49 pass from Kedrowski (Ni. Niemi kick)
C — Marquez Evans 4 run (Ni. Niemi kick)
C — Na. Niemi 9 pass from Kedrowski (Ni. Niemi kick)
GNK — Mitch Bonderson 11 pass from Jayden Gangl (pass failed)
GNK — Josh Engle 15 pass from Gangl (Bonderson pass from Gangl)
C — Evans 13 run (Ni. Niemi kick)
GNK — Aaron Trunt 11 pass from Gangl (Engle pass from Gangl)
C — Kedrowski 1 run (Ni. Niemi kick)
GNK — Bonderson 2 run (Gangl run)