NEW ULM - On the last play of the first quarter, Minnesota Valley Lutheran's Nate Wong put Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart in a hole with an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Late in the third quarter, he put some dirt in the hole.
Wong, who also had an interception in the game, foiled a two-point BLHS two-point conversion that would have given the Mustangs a 15-14 lead as the Chargers went on to a 22-13 win Friday night at Johnson Field in a Southern Minnesota Conference game.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran senior quarterback DeAndre parker tosses a touchdown pass during the first half of the Chargers’ win Friday at Johnson Field in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Chargers quarterback DeAndre Parker threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Chad Lease and also ran in for a score from a yard out.
Jake Pettit threw touchdown passes of 20 and eight yards to Tyler Schulte and Tate Lange respectively for the Mustangs' touchdowns.
After three straight losses in the Southern Minnesota Conference, the Chargers have now ran off two straight wins.
"I am for the victory and happy that the guys hung in there," said Chargers' coach Jim Buboltz. "I thought that our defense in the fourth quarter was exceptional and that really led to the victory."
MVL's defense forced two Mustangs' turnovers with Josh Wong and Lease stepping in front of errant Pettit aerials.
The Chargers' defense also held the Mustangs out of the end zone late in the second quarter, stalling a drive at the 9.
Both the Mustangs and the Chargers exchanged scores in the first quarter.
A Nate Wong interception led to a four-play, 29-yard drive that ended when Parker hooked up with Lease for a 24-yard touchdown at the 4:28 mark. Parker then found Seth Kroells for the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
But BLHS marched 59 yards in nine plays that culminated when Pettit threw for his first touchdown when he rolled to his left and found Schulte for a touchdown.
Johanne Bosse's extra point kick cut the lead to 8-7.
But on the ensuing kick-off, Wong did his thing fielding the ball on his own 20. He raced down the left sidelines for an 80-yard run for a touchdown just nine seconds affer BLHS had gained some momentum.
"He had himself a nice game," said Buboltz about Wong, who ended with 82 yards on 10 carries in addition to the long kick-off return.
The point after failed but MVL had a lead that they never lost.
After a scoreless second quarter, BLHS got on track for its second touchdown in the third quarter putting together a 13 play, 73-yard march that ended when Pettit found Lange for an 8-yard touchdown with 2:13 left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs elected to go for two points but were denied when Nate Wong knocked down a pass from Pettit that was intended for Schulte.
"I really think that was the play of the game," said Buboltz. "He made a great stop - that would have put them ahead 15-14 and could have changed momentum. It kept the momentum on our side. We came back - got the ball back - and put it in the end zone."
That came early in the fourth quarter when the Chargers strolled 60 yards in five plays for a touchdown. And Wong again had a hand (or rather leg) in the play when he ran off a 34-yard run to put the ball on the two yard line.
Two plays later, Parker worked his way in from a yard out for a 22-13 lead after Parker and Grant Wilson hooked up for a two-point conversion.
"I thought that our offensive line did a nice job tonight," said Buboltz. "We need to clean a few things up with games with Springfield [next weekend] and Cathedral [the following week] coming at us."