Updated: October 03, 2019 12:56 AM
Created: October 03, 2019 12:09 AM
(ABC 6 News) - October 9, 2015. That was the last time the Lyle/Pacelli Athletics won a football game.
A 32-game skid that's been on their minds all off-season, the off-season before that and really for almost four years.
Before the 2019 season began, Athletics Head Coach Brad Walter said, "we have the kids to be successful, we just need to get our first win."
The team knew it wasn't going to be easy to snap the skid, but last Friday, after learning things from their past seasons, and their games so far this season, the Athletics brought it.
The Mabel-Canton Cougars were in Lyle for the Athletics homecoming game where they came out victorious winning 30-18.
Two key parts to the team's win were a pair of juniors who play both sides of the ball, quarterback Jed Nelson and wide receiver Zach Bollingberg.
"They're our two captains," Athletics Head Coach Brad Walter said. "It was a big piece of that. I think they led by example.They know the program, they know the system, they know football. Great kids and I know other kids feed off of them. They bring great energy every day. At practice when they talk in games and lead by example, everybody just feeds off of that."
On offense, Nelson accounted for over 350 total yards and three touchdowns with 9 tackles and a sack on defense. While Zach had five grabs for 119 yards and two scores. On the other side of the ball, he had 10 tackles, one sack, and an interception.
"It was a team effort, it wasn't just one or two people," Jed Nelson said. "The O-line did a really good job of blocking up front, letting us run and all that. Zach and Cole did a really good job at catching the ball and running. We came out and played really good defense and that really, I think, helped us win the game. "
Besides the win, there was something different about Friday's game. Coach Walter said the team had four good quarters of football.
"Whenever we made mistakes on offense, it seems we would just get more pumped up on defense and we'd just come out and make more plays on defense," Zach Bollingberg explained. "If we made mistakes on defense we would just come out on offense and make up for it that way."
As the game was coming to an end, LP knew it was theirs.
"We just looked up at the scoreboard; just saw that we were winning and that we won," Nelson boasted. "It was just crazy seeing the fans run out on the field and all that. It was exciting.
Having been almost four years since the program won a game, the team was unsure of what to do in those final minutes.
"With two minutes left in the game we were just running around with the ball because we'd never really been in victory formation so we don't really know what to do," Bollingberg said with a chuckle. "So, that was pretty fun just to know that we won a game."
This win is not only huge for the program, it also meant a great deal to the senior class and the town.
"Especially [winning] on homecoming, that's probably the biggest thing we've done in a while," senior Evan Hrabak said.
"I think people don't realize the impact football has on communities.//Not winning a football game in three and a half years is pretty tough on a town. So, finally being able to just win one and just have everyone there to supporting us, really helped us."
The Athletics are going to use this win as momentum and a foundation for this season, and more to come. LP hits the gridiron again on Friday in Spring Valley when they face the Kingsland Knights. Kick-off set for 7 p.m.
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