GRANADA - Nicollet came into Friday night's game against Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman with the No. 7 ranking in 9-Man football, an undefeated record and hopes to capture the Southern Confederacy Conference East title.
The Jaguars (5-2) were hoping to stop them to grab a share of that conference crown, but the Raiders (7-0) held off their opponent and a storm in a 34-7 win.
"We knew that this would be a big game for us as the season wore on," said Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman head coach Lee Dallager. "We hoped that we could get a share of the conference, but they are undefeated for a reason."
EVASIVE MANEUVER — Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman quarterback Josh Wolter (2) races away from Nicollet defender Jack Zins (44) as Jaguar running back Jared Green (32) provides a block during Southern Confederacy Conference football action on Friday night in Granada. The Raiders went on to win 34-7 in a game that was called in the fourth quarter due to lightning. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Nicollet junior quarterback Dalton Elliott carried the Raiders with 130 yards rushing, including a pair of touchdowns, and threw for two scores and 101 yards.
"We talked all week about their quarterback - without him, they aren't quite as good a team," Dallager said. "We contained him well the first quarter, but then he broke loose."
The Jaguars took the first lead of the game after a Travis Kroon interception gave the home team the ball on the Raiders' 23.
Jared Green, who ran 16 times for 47 yards, carried the ball on the first two plays, recording nine yards.
Jake Wolter then raced by the first-down marker with a 7-yard run.
Green earned another three yards before Jake Wolter - who compiled 30 yards on the ground for the Jaguars - ran back-to-back plays for three yards.
With the ball on the Raider 1, Josh Wolter, who had 26 yards on 10 carries, motored around the outside edge for the TD.
Logan Pytleski's PAT gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
"I think our defense really made the difference for us early on," Dallager said. "We contained Elliott and we didn't really let them get going offensively. But once they got going they were a tough team to stop."
Elliott quickly evened the score for the Raiders with his first rushing TD, racing for a 45-yard score just 30 seconds into the second quarter.
The Raiders then held the Jaguars scoreless on a pair of drives before Elliott capped a five-play drive with a 45-yard pass to Matt Fischer for the 14-7 lead.
From there, Jaguar penalties and a pair of Raider scores at the end of the second quarter helped Nicollet take a 26-7 lead into halftime.
Elliott scored on a 9-yard run with 1:38 left in the half, putting the Raiders up 20-7.
The Nicollet quarterback then connected with Matt Christenson, who made three catches for 31 yards in the game, on a two-yard TD strike with 14.2 seconds on the clock.
"We started getting penalties, and after we got down 20-7, it was a real tough mental thing to overcome," Dallager said. "When you are playing good teams you have to be disciplined, and tonight we struggled with that when we needed it."
The Raiders capped their victory with Elliott running in a 12-yard score with 5:36 left in the third quarter, before Fischer ran in the 2-point conversion to go up 34-7.
Then, like last week, the rain and lightning began and the coaches and referees decided to call the game with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter.
"That was a tough decision for me. If it had been last week, we would have rescheduled it, or if it was a one-score game," Dallager said. "But we needed to look ahead to next week, a short week before Wednesday's game and we still have the No. 2-seed going into playoffs, so we wanted to avoid injuries."
Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman travels to play Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton in a conference game at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Janesville.
Nicollet hosts Alden-Conger at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Nicollet 0 26 8 0 - 34
GHEC/T 7 0 0 0 - 7
GHEC/T - Josh Wolter 1 run (Logan Pytleski kick), 2:11.
N - Dalton Elliott 45 run (Matt Fischer kick),11:30.
N - Fischer 45 pass from Elliott (Fischer kick), 3:53.
N - Elliott 9 run (kick fail), 1:38.
N - Matt Christenson 2 pass from Elliott (run fail) 14.2
N - Elliott 12 run (Fischer run), 5:36.
Rushing: Nicollet 31-148; GHEC/T 40-103. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Yards): Nicollet 5-16-2-101; GHEC/T 4-8-1-10. Penalties: GHEC/T 10-100; Nicollet 2-20.
Offense: Rushing: Dalton Elliott (N) 25-130, Jared Green (GHEC/T) 16-47, Jake Wolter (GHEC/T) 14-30, Josh Wolter (GHEC/T) 10-26, Matt Christenson 6-18. Passing: Elliott (N) 5-16-2-101, Josh Wolter (GHEC/T) 4-8-1-10. Receiving: Matt Fischer (N) 2-70, Christenson (N) 3-31, Ryan Shumski (GHEC/T) 2-10.
Defense: Interceptions: Josh Johanson (GHEC/T), Travis Kroon (GHEC/T) and Marshall Barrer (N).