The Chatfield football team improved to 4-0 at the midway point of the regular season with an impressive 24-6 win over Southland last Friday night. The win over the Rebels started the TRC-South schedule for Chatfield, now 1-0 in conference play.

"Our defense played extremely well," said Coach Jeff Johnson. "We bent a little, but we didn't break. They didn't score an offensive point, which is very impressive when you're talking about stopping Southland's offense," continued Johnson.

"Our offensive line blocked well and kept getting better as the game went on," added Johnson. "I felt like our 'O' line wore them down in the second half."

Nate Skare was also cited for his fine kicking game, 3/3 in PAT's, a 29 yard field goal and a 44 yard average in two punts.

The offensive line blocked for eight different running backs, allowing Chatfield to pick up 300 yards on the ground. Jake Neis (I had Nate first) picked up 89 yards on 12 carries, including a 17 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. His longest carry of 27 yards came in the fourth quarter touchdown drive. Justin Viss had two touchdowns in his 13 carries, and a total of 81 yards. Viss' touchdowns were three and one yard runs in the second and third quarters. Alex Haffner had 37 yards in five carries, quarterback Nate Skare picked up 34 yards on seven carries, including a longest run of 40 yards in the second quarter touchdown drive. Obviously, Nate lost a few yards on a couple of Southland quarterback sacks! Also getting into the running game were Ryan Meeker (3/36), Ethan Wright (1/1), Drew Hurley (1/0) and Alex Bradt (1/2).

In the passing department, Skare hit on three of eight passes, losing one for Southland's only touchdown in the third quarter. That 'pick-six' by the Rebels would cut the Gopher lead to 10-6. On the receiving end of those three completions were Justin Viss (1/29) and Jake Neis (2/0).

Defensively, the Gophers were led by Justin Viss (26 points), Drew Hurley (20), Tommy Jech (20), Alex Haffner (19), Jayme LaPlante (17) and Sawyer Prinsen (17). Coming up with the two Chatfield take-aways were Hurley(interception) and Prinsen (fumble recovery).

Special teams also played a big roll in the Chatfield win. Following Southland's 'pick-six', Jake Neis returned the kickoff 88 yards, setting up the Gophers on the Southland five yard line. Two plays later Viss would score his second touchdown, returning the Gophers to a more comfortable lead of 17-6.

The final score for Chatfield was "a statement drive!" according to CCTV's Ken Jacobson. Southland missed a field goal after driving 67 yards to the Gopher nine yard line. Chatfield got the ball on their own 20 yard line and proceeded down the field, 80 yards in seven plays. The final tally gave the Gophers a 24-6 lead and 'put the final nail in the coffin'. A 17 yard run, with a 'little hitch', by Jake Neis, clinched the win.

This Friday night the Chatfield Gophers will host Fillmore Central in the annual homecoming game. Fillmore Central comes into the game with a 1-3 record. The Falcon's lone win was against Wabasha-Kellogg on the opening game of the season.

Scoring by quarters

Chatfield 3-7-7-7 = 24

Southland 0-0-6-0 = 6

Team stats.

Southland Chatfield

First downs 10 13

Rushing 31c, 71 yds 43c, 300 yds

Passing 10/19, 108 yds 3/8, 18 yds

Total yards 50 plays, 179 yds 51 plays, 318 yds

Turnovers 1 (INT) 2 (fumble, INT)

Penalties 6/50 yds 3/20 yds