Chickasaws rally to claim district title
New Hampton is headed back to the playoffs thanks to an inspired half of football as the Chickasaws rallied for a 14-7 victory over Clear Lake Friday night to claim the Class 2A, District 2 title.
With both Osage losing and Crestwood winning Friday night, the Chickasaws had to win to claim a playoff berth, and they did it by rallying from a 7-0 halftime deficit.
“I’m just so proud of all of you guys,” New Hampton coach Scott Frerichs said after his team improved to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in district play. “You showed so much heart tonight … you deserved this.”
The Chickasaws cut into Clear Lake’s deficit when Braydon Fisher caught an 8-yard pass from Keagan John midway through the third quarter, but a botched extra point kept Clear Lake in the lead at 7-6.
But New Hampton put together another solid drive in the fourth quarter. John hit Josh Fenske with two third-down passes and Max Schwickerath had a 16-yard run that brought the ball to the 7-yard line, and the junior fullback barreled into the end zone to give New Hampton a 12-7 lead, and John’s two-point run to the pylon made it 14-7 with 7:46 left.
A Tyler Rentschler interception gave New Hampton the ball back, and although the Chickasaws could pick up just one first down, John punted the ball to the 5-yard line.
The Lions, ranked fourth in the latest Associated Press poll, got two first downs, but New Hampton’s defense held on a fourth-and-16 with a minute left.
New Hampton will now play a home playoff game next Friday against Dike-New Hartford, which finished 6-3 in the regular season.
— For more on this story, see the Oct. 24 Tribune