Any football team that faces Clear Lake knows all about the Lions’ quick-strike offense that can score from anywhere on the field.
In a key district matchup against Crestwood, though, the Lions (No. 2 in Class 2A) gave those other teams something else to think about.
The Clear Lake defense put together its best performance of the season in a 35-0 rout of the Cadets that kept the Lions’ season record unblemished.
“The last three weeks, our defense has practiced with an intensity that I haven’t seen out of a high school team,” Lions coach Jared DeVries said. “We have all 11 Lions flying to the ball.”
The Lion defense actually came up with the first big play of the night as Connor O’Tool intercepted a Garrrett Ollendieck pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown that gave Clear Lake a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Clear Lake defense thwarted two more Cadet drives in the second quarter, one when Tyrus Green intercepted a pass in the end zone and another when Jack Barragy came up with Clear Lake’s third pick of the first half.
The Crestwood defense was also solid in the first half as Clear Lake managed just 90 yards of offense over the first two quarters, but a nine-yard scoring run by Jaden O’Brien-Green put Clear Lake up by two scores at intermission.
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O'Brien-Green had a team-leading 77 yards on 14 carries. Through six games, the junior running back has 605 yards and six TDs.
The Lions' offense supplied the back breaker in the third quarter when quarterback Jaylen DeVries found Nick Danielson on a deep crossing route and Danielson turned the completion into a 99-yard touchdown.
DeVries followed with two more touchdown passes in the second half, both to Kody Kearns.
DeVries, who was just 7-for-14 passing in the first half, was 5-of-7 with three scores over the final two quarters. He finished the night 12-for-21 with 243 yards.
Through six games, the senior quarterback has 89 completions for 1,530 yards and 21 touchdowns, both North Iowa high school football highs.
Clear Lake (6-0) goes on the road Friday when it travels to Forest City in another important district matchup. Forest City improved to 2-4 with a 14-2 win over Hampton-Dumont-CAL on Friday night at home.
“We won’t overlook anybody,” Coach DeVries said. “It is how we play. It is how we execute. If we get the kids to believe that, we will be a good football team.”