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Reed's fumble return wins it for Shoreland

Reed's fumble return wins it for Shoreland

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Paul Huebner

Shoreland Lutheran coach Paul Huebner.

Trying to protect a six-point lead in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee Hamilton quarterback Montreal Patin kept the ball on an off-tackle run and was stood up at the line of scrimmage by the Shoreland Lutheran defense, creating a scrum of bodies.

Suddenly, Michael Reed had the ball.

No whistle had blown, and Reed — a sophomore defensive lineman — ripped the ball out and carried the fumble 30 yards for a stunning touchdown with 9 minutes, 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a season-opening non-conference game Thursday night at South Stadium in Milwaukee.

Junior Sawyer Smith’s extra point gave the Pacers a 21-20 lead, and that’s the way it ended.

“All of a sudden, there goes Michael running with the football,” Shoreland coach Paul Huebner said. “Nobody caught him.”

Shoreland trailed 20-14 at halftime in the back-and-forth game, getting touchdown runs of four yards by Smith — the starting quarterback — in the first quarter and six yards by junior multi-purpose threat Konnor Hill in the second.

But the young Pacers, trying to learn the triple-option offense, struggled with ball security and failed to score in the second half. Shoreland lost five fumbles.

Shoreland’s defense, however, was up to the task.

“We struggled with ball security,” Huebner said. “We’ve got young guys in the backfield. Mastering the triple option is something that takes a long time to perfect.

“... But our defense stepped up when (it) needed to. Our defense pitched a shutout and scored a touchdown in the second half. It was awesome. To get to celebrate on top of it (after facing adversity) was a wonderful feeling.”

Mike Johnson

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