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Wildcats edge Lakers, 24-20

BREWSTER -- Sparked by the second-half rushing of Tyler Obermoller Tuesday night, the Southwestern United Wildcats earned a key 24-20 victory over the Lakeview Lakers in Southwest Ridge Conference football action.

Lakeview scored a pair of touchdowns in the opening quarter and controlled most of the first half, building a 14-0 lead at the intermission.

However, Obermoller, after playing at wide receiver in the first half, carried the ball 17 times for 246 second-half yards and three touchdowns to help lift the Wildcats to a 21-14 lead.

Octavio Jimenez (3-for-3 on PAT kicks) then booted a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats held on for the victory.

"We did a great job of coming back and earning an exciting victory," SWU co-head coach Jason Fisher said. "We played with a little more desire in the second half, and we also did a better job of running the ball and containing their quarterback."

Lakeview, which defeated SWU 16-9 on Sept. 14, opened the game with the ball, and on the fourth play from scrimmage, the Lakers were in the end zone.

Quarterback Chris Dahl (9-for-22, 180 yards) scrambled and hooked up with Josh Ramos for a 60-yard, catch-and-run touchdown down the right sideline with 10:18 showing on the clock. Joe Bakker's extra-point kick was no good, but the Lakers were up 6-0.

Lakeview's Derek Willman then came up with an interception on SWU's second play of the ensuing possession, but the Wildcats got the ball right back after Mike Stenzel (10 tackles, one sack) recovered a fumble.

The Wildcats were then forced to punt after a three-and-out, and the Lakers responded with a 9-play, 57-yard drive to increase their lead to 14-0 with 5:04 left in the first period.

The drive's big play was a 32-yard completion from Dahl to Cory Madison, putting the ball at the Wildcats' one-yard line. Dakota Fiene punched it in from there on the next play and also dashed in for the two-point conversion.

SWU (3-2, 4-3) answered that scoring march by reaching Lakeview's 19-yard line, but Fiene sacked Ben Scheevel (6-for-14 passing with 70 yards, five carries for 50 yards) for a 17-yard loss on third down to halt the Wildcats'' scoring opportunity -- the best one for either team the rest of the half.

The Wildcats started the second half at their own 34, and after a 36-yard burst by Obermoller and a 9-yard reception by Nick Ober, SWU cut the lead in half on the next play.

Obermoller took the handoff on a dive up the middle and went 21 yards for a touchdown. Jimenez added the kick to make it 14-7 with 10:35 to go in the third quarter.

Scheevel (two interceptions, one fumble recovery) then intercepted an aerial from Dahl on the third play of Lakeview's next possession, and SWU started at its own 45-yard line.

It took just four plays to cover the 55 yards and tie the game at 14-14, as Riley Van Westen had an 11-yard reception, and Stenzel carried the ball once for eight yards.

Obermoller gained the other 36 yards, including 24 on the drive's second play and 12 to reach the end zone with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter. Jimenez's second PAT knotted the score at 14.

Lakeview (3-2, 4-3) was stopped on a fourth-down play on the next series, as Dahl managed to get seven of the eight yards needed for a first down. SWU took over at its own 45.

On the second play of the possession, Obermoller took a sweep to the left and, after making a cutback to the middle of the field, ripped off a 55-yard touchdown sprint. Jimenez's kick gave the Wildcats a 21-14 advantage with 5:15 on the third-quarter clock.

"Tyler really gave us a spark when we needed it," Fisher said. "We spread things out a little bit and just ran it up the middle for the most part."

Lakeview responded to trailing for the first time by driving to SWU's 13-yard line behind a 29-yard diving catch by Bakker. The Wildcat defense held, though, and the score remained the same after an incompletion on fourth down.

SWU later put together a 75-yard scoring drive to make it a two-possession lead at 24-14. Obermoller gained 54 of those yards, including 42 on a tackle-breaking burst.

The other 21 yards came from the leg of Jimenez, who booted a 31-yard field goal with 6:32 left in the fourth quarter to increase SWU's lead to ten.

Lakeview cut into the lead when Fiene took a direct snap in for a 10-yard touchdown with 3:02 to play. Dahl was stopped short on the two-point conversion attempt to leave the score at 24-20.

After an unsuccessful onside kick by the Lakers and a quick possession from the Wildcats, Lakeview got the ball back one last time with just over a minute to play.

However, the Lakers couldn't move the ball past midfield, as the Wildcats sealed the victory.

Jake Smith had 11 tackles and two sacks for the Wildcats, while Alex Busch had nine tackles and a sack, and Alex Obermoller had seven tackles.

SWU plays Cedar Mountain/Comfrey at 1 p.m. Saturday in Morgan. Lakeview hosts CM/C next Wednesday night.

Lakeview 14 0 0 6 -- 20

SWU 0 0 21 3 -- 24