GARNER | Learn from the past and move on.
That’s what 10th-ranked (2A) Clear Lake’s focus was coming into Friday night’s rivalry game at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, and the Lions were able to move on from a big loss a week ago to fire on all cylinders Friday in a 48-14 victory.
“We battled through adversity really well,” Clear Lake senior Zach Lester said. “Last game we were thinking we were too good at halftime and we just got caught up in it. This game we came out and did what we needed to do.”
Clear Lake put four quarters together again to do so, and it had all phases of its game rolling.
Sophomore quarterback Jaylen DeVries had one of his best games as a started with a 20 for 26 passing performance for 350 yards and four touchdowns.
The Lions’ three-headed monster at receiver also torched the back end of the Cards’ defense. Lester hauled in nine passes for 150 yards and two scores, junior Drew Enke had eight catches for 139 yards and a score, and sophomore Nick Danielson caught a touchdown and ran for another.
“I just feel like we’re coming together as a team more than we ever have,” Lester said.
GHV (1-2, 0-1) did make it a game in the opening half, though.
The Lions (2-1, 1-0) struck first on a 4-yard pass from DeVries to Lester before the Cardinals tied the game on the ensuing kickoff when the electrifying senior Nick Joynt took back the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown.
Clear Lake was seemingly unfazed by the play as they marched down the field for two consecutive scores — the first on a 30-yard pass from DeVries to Danielson and the other a 1-yard TD run by Speed Toyne.
GHV got back with in a score after a 14-yard pass from Ryan Meyers to Anthony Sherwood, but could get no closer.
“We have some talented guys on the offensive and defensive line and they just came to play,” Clear Lake coach Jared DeVries said.
Clear Lake finished the game out with 27 unanswered points to start off district play with a victory.
The Lions outgained the Cardinals 494 to 143, forced two turnovers and sacked GHV quarterback Meyers six times.
“We hold them to short plays on those things and maybe we’re in the ball game,” GHV coach Scott Van Dusseldorp said. “Jaylen had a great night … and they’ve got some athletic guys on the outside. If we got up on them, they’d go over our heads, and if we played off them, they’d hit the little ones and we’d miss tackles.
“I think we probably played the district champion tonight. Not to take anything away from New Hampton or Crestwood but this was a good football team.”
Joynt led the Cardinals with 66 receiving yards and ran for 47 more.
Clear Lake returns home next week to square off with Osage while GHV hosts Forest City.