Late Aronson TD propels L-A-E comeback

Ray Maloney, Sports

COLFAX, N.D. —  When Tate Aronson walks up to receive his diploma at graduation next spring a small sigh of relief may permeate from southeast North Dakota.

Richland High School has certainly seen enough of the talented Lakota-Adams-Edmore running back.

One year after Aronson rushed for 179 yards in a 32-0 L-A-E victory over the Colts to open the 2009 season he was up to his old tricks again.

A 5-9 senior, Aronson scored from seven yards out with two minutes remaining to propel Lakota-A-E to a 30-28 win over Richland on Tuesday to open the 2010 campaign.

“We came out flat,” said L-A-E coach Joe Harder, whose Raiders are the defending Region 3 champion, “and Richland took it to us for a good part of the game.”

But Harder’s squad had the final say.

After holding the Colts on downs with about four minutes to go in the game the Raiders put together a drive that culiminated with Aronson finding the end zone to tie the game at 28-28. His PAT run provided the final margin of victory for L-A-W, which will take a 1-0 record into its home opener Saturday against Benson County.

Richland had broken a 22-22 tie heading into the final period on a pass from Austin?Heyen to Kayne Griffith that covered 60 yards. The Colts came up short in their two-point conversion attempt that set the stage for Aronson’s heroics after both teams were held on downs.

The long pass from Heyen to Griffith was the only passing yards picked up by the Colts, who were held to just 102 total yards of offense in the second half by a stingy Raider defense.

“Our kids showed some grit with a big stop at the four-minute mark,” Harder said. “Then our offense simply imposed their will to drive the ball and score the TD and the extra point to win the game.

Richland scored twice in the second quarter to take a 22-16 lead at halftime.

Aronson finished with 239 yards on 37 carries and now has 418 yards in his last two games against Richland. He scored three touchdowns on Tuesday.

Rick Hamel added 94 rushing yards for the Raiders, who finished the game with 356 yards on the ground.

David Todd paced Richland with 164 yards on 13 carries. The Colts had 237 yards on the ground in addition to the one long pass completion.

“I was pleased with the intensity we played with the second half and I hope that we see that we have to come ready to play the entire game,” the L-A-E coach added. “Our kids are trying to shape their own identity with a new team this year and they did a nice job of hanging in there and not quitting when it would have been easy to do so.”

Lakota     6     8     8     8     —     30

Richland    6    16    8     6     —     28