SLEEPY EYE - There is no "I" in team, but for the Sleepy Eye Indians football team Friday night, there's a "W" in ragged.
It wasn't the prettiest game ever played, but the Indians helped themselves to five turnovers from the visiting Kingsland Knights in a 27-14 victory in the season opener.
Sleepy Eye amassed 363 total yards on offense, with quarterback Brandon Polesky accounting for 126 yards on the ground and 169 in the air. Isaac Braun and John Mangen had big nights for the Indians defense, with Braun snagging two interceptions and a fumble recovery and Mangen grabbing a fumble and an interception.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Sleepy Eye’s Jake Trebesch (7) fights through a tackle as Julius Wall (54) of Kingsland looks on during the third quarter of the Indians’ win Friday.
"There wasn't a lot of flow to the game," Sleepy Eye coach Cory Haala said. "We're running a little bit of a different offense this year and we have to learn to make adjustments, but I'm pleased with the win. We created turnovers and our defense bent, but didn't break."
The first defensive stop came early in the game, when Kingsland was threatening at the goal line but fumbled, with the ball recovered by Mangen.
Starting at his own nine, Polesky hit Jake Trebesch with a pass and watched as Trebesch shrugged off two tackles and headed down the right sideline for an 80-yard touchdown.
The Knights tied it at 6-6 later on in the quarter after an Indians fumble, but Sleepy Eye's Matt Schroepfer intercepted a pass on their next possession and took it back to the Knights' 28.
Five plays later, Polesky took it over left tackle for the Indians' second score, with Polesky also taking it in for the two-point conversion to make it 14-6. Kingsland then went on its longest drive of the game, only to have it end when Braun made his fumble recovery.
Braun got his first pick the next time Kingsland had the ball, with the score 14-6 at halftime.
On Kingsland's third possession of the second half, Mangen took a tipped pass back to the Knights' six-yard line and three plays later, Polesky threw a great pass where only Tyler Netzke could catch it in the end zone. An extra point from Chris Linan was good and the Indians increased their lead to 21-6.
Another tipped pass led to Braun's second interception, but after another fumble by the Knights on their next possession, Polesky ran it in around the right side for a two-yard touchdown that increased the Indians' margin to 27-6. The Knights scored their second touchdown with 2:38 left in the game.
The Indians resume play on Friday night at 7 p.m. with their annual matchup with cross-town rival Sleepy Eye St. Mary's, at St. Mary's.