More than 30 years ago the Cleveland Browns advanced to the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons thanks largely in part to a group of players who become known as the Kardiac Kids.
More than 30 years ago the Cleveland Browns advanced to the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons thanks largely in part to a group of players who become known as the Kardiac Kids. Devils Lake is proving to have its own version of gridiron heros as for the second straight week the Firebirds rallied to remain undefeated on the season. Nate Mertens scampered in from four yards out to provide the winning points as Devils Lake defeated Mandan 34-28 on Friday at Roller Field in double overtime. “We showed last week that when the chips on down we come together and find a way to score” said Devils Lake coach Jay Schneider in looking back to his team's season-opening win over Jamestown. “Hopefully we can build on this win and keep things going in a positive direction.” After holding the Braves out of the end zone in the second overtime the Firebirds just needed a field goal to secure the win. They wanted more. Mertens, who was holding for a kick by teammate James Olson, caught everyone by surprise and rolled to his right and went in virtually untouched to end the contest. Mandan had drawn first blood in the overtime session when Matt Ziemann ran in from 13 yards out. His attempt for a conversion came up short when the Devils Lake defense swarmed to the ball and stopped the bruising Ziemann inches short. The Firebirds responded when Austin Schall ran in from three yards out to tie the score, but Devils Lake's bid to end the game ended when a conversion kick sailed wide right to force the extra session. Schall scored a pair of touchdowns in regulation He put the Firebirds on the board first when he broke loose from 19 yards with just 3.6 second remaining in the first quarter. He added another score when he caught a pass from Mertens with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter on a play that covered 25 yards and Olson's kick tied the game at 22-22. Mandan scored twice on passes from QB Ross Effertz that covered at least 75 yards. Devils Lake play at top-ranked Bismarck on Friday. Score by Quarters Mandan 0 15 0 7 6 0 — 28 Devils Lake 7 0 8 7 6 6 — 34 Scoring Summary First Quarter DL — Austin Schall 19 run (James Olson kick), 3.6. Second Quarter M — Daniel Peterson 76 pass from Ross Effertz (Matt Ziemann run), 11:47. M — David White 5 pass from Effertz (Mogan McDowell kick), 5:07. Third Quarter DL — Nate Mertens 1 run (Austin Erickson pass from Mertens), 1:08. Fourth Quarter M — Brady Zittleman 75 pass from Effertz (McDowell kick), 11:06. DL — Schall 25 pass from Mertens (Olson kick), 5:22. First Overtime M — Ziemann 13 run (run failed). DL — Schall 3 run (kick failed). Second Overtime DL — Mertens 4 run.