DES LACS - Whenever the Des Lacs-Burlington football team needed a big play, senior Tanner Holte delivered.
The 225-pound linebacker picked off Velva senior quarterback Drew Effertz with 12 seconds remaining, sealing a 22-20 victory for the Lakers in a Class A Region 3 game Friday.
Holte recorded the only DL-B sack and also caught two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Austin Schestler. His second - a 6-yard reception - proved to be the decisive score.
Des Lacs-Burlington senior quarterback Austin Schestler throws a pass over the outstretched hand of Velva senior Tucker Wojahn during Friday’s game in Des Lacs.
"I'm a captain and the coaches said the seniors needed to step up," Holte said. "It was a big win. We've been rivals ever since I can remember. It's just so great to win it."
The Lakers (3-0 overall, 2-1 region) fell behind 13-0 halfway through the second quarter. Schestler's second pass attempt of the game was intercepted by junior defensive back Isaac Effertz midway through the first quarter. The Aggies (1-2, 1-1) capitalized on the turnover as Drew Effertz hit senior running back Hunter Schreiner for a 5-yard touchdown with 3 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first period.
DL-B junior Brett Schaefer turned around the Lakers' fortunes with an interception off a tipped pass from Drew Effertz. Schaefer put the Lakers on the board with a 52-yard run on the next play. Schaefer rushed for 118 yards on 18 carries.
Schaefer's play re-energized the Lakers heading into halftime, especially Holte. The senior did most of his damage in the second half, starting with a 65-yard touchdown reception with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter. Schaefer's extra point gave the Lakers their first lead of the contest at 14-13.
"It was Tanner's night," DL-B coach James Johnson said. "He's a player. He makes big plays in big games and tonight was a big game and Tanner did one heck of a nice job."
The defense matched the offense's intensity and kept the Aggies off the scoreboard in the third quarter. Velva's only points in the second half came on a 65-yard kickoff return from senior running back Michael Thingstad. Holte stuffed Thingstad on a fourth-and-1 inside the red zone earlier in the game to preserve DL-B's advantage.
"(The defense) got better as the game went along," Johnson said. "We got some energy off the excitement with the big crowd. I'm just really proud of the whole team, defense and offense."
The Aggies were limited to 76 yards of offense in the second half. Velva committed two turnovers and were flagged for eight penalties, including a crucial holding call on the Aggies' final drive.
"You just can't have mental errors and breakdowns, whether that be on offense, defense or special teams," Velva coach Larry Sandy said. "Every little play counts and you learn from it and move on."
Schestler found his grove in the second half after only completing two passes in the opening 24 minutes. He finished 9 for 18 with 146 yards.
Drew Effertz threw for 152 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the losing effort.
Both teams are home Friday. DL-B plays Williams County at 7 p.m. and Velva hosts Lewis & Clark-Our Redeemer's at 7:30 p.m.
Mike Kraft covers high school athletics, the Minot Minotauros and the Minot State University men's club hockey team. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.