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Turnovers, penalties and mistakes at the wrong time cost the Clearwater/Orchard football team in its second-round matchup against Lawrence-Nelson Wednesday afternoon at Lawrence in the Class D-2 state playoffs.
The Cyclones turned the ball over three times and committed almost 50 yards in penalties.
"It was just not our day," stated OC mentor Jeff Shabram. "Lawrence-Nelson is a really good, tough and physical team. I guess today just wasn't our day."
OC struck first with a one-yard TD plunge by Jacob Long and a Chris Kester two-point conversion run for an 8-0 lead.
L-N answered on the ensuing drive when Lane Heikkinen sprung free for 37-yard score and two-point conversion.
Following a failed fake punt attempt, the Raiders executed a textbook double pass as Blake Janda found Brody Himmelberg for a 33-yard touchdown.
The Cyclones struck back with a 22-yard TD run by Kester and a Long two-point conversion reception to take a 16-14 advantage.
After a goal line stand by OC, the Cyclones fumbled on their first offensive play of the drive and L-N cashed in with a six-yard TD reception by Himmelberg, to take a 20-16 lead into the half.
Following a three-and-out to start the second half for the Raiders, OC methodically drove the field, 62 yards in 10 plays, and reclaimed the lead on an Eli Macke 16-yard touchdown reception.
On the Cyclones next drive, Kester connected on a 25-yard TD pass to Blake Hoke to extend the green and black's lead to 30-20.
L-N responded on its next drive with a five-yard touchdown reception by Janda.
Macke set up the Cyclones with great field position after returning the ensuing kickoff to the 40, but the Raiders recorded their fourth sack of the game to put OC in a fourth-and-long and forced a punt.
Heikkinen found an open Trevin Lotinek, who broke a tackle, and scampered 30 yards to the house. A PAT gave the home team a 33-30 advantage with 6:11 remaining in the contest.
With still plenty of time remaining, OC went to its potent running attack and drove to the L-N 35-yard line with two minutes remaining in the game.
On fourth-and-one, Kester was stuffed on a quarterback sneak and the Cyclones turned the ball over on downs.
The Raiders ran out the clock, to secure the upset, and advance to the state quarterfinals, where Lawrence-Nelson (7-3) travels to Kenesaw Tuesday.
Heikkinen led the way with more than 100 yards passing, 100 yards rushing and four total touchdowns. Himmelberg caught five passes for more than 70 yards and two scores.
Long led the Cyclones with 108 yards rushing and a touchdown. Macke accumulated more than 93 yards of offense and a receiving touchdown and Kester ran for 44 yards, passed for 66 yards and collected three total TDs. Donaven Nolze had a monster game defensively after recording numerous tackles for loss and a sack.
Clearwater/Orchard ends its season with an 8-2 record. Twelve seniors played their final game for the Cyclones. Tristan Ahlers, Austin Pokorny, Ryan Wilhelm, Jaccob Bennett, Codey Snider, Tommie Peed, Zach King, Nolze, Kester, Long, Hoke and Clay Thiele helped guide OC to its first district title as a consolidated program in 2018.
"The seniors are awesome and they're great," Shabram concluded. "I've loved coaching them every day, preparing with them, game planning with them and they're great. We're going to miss them, we're really going to miss them."
OC 8 8 14 0 - 30
L-N 14 6 0 13 - 33
Clearwater/Orchard - Passing: Chris Kester 5-11-1 66 yards.
Rushing: Jacob Long 21-108. Eli Macke 18-74. Chris Kester 18-44.
Receiving: Blake Hoke 1-25. Eli Macke 2-19. Clay Thiele 1-19. Jacob Long 1-3.