One week after snapping a 19-game losing streak, White Bear Lake is enjoying a two-game winning streak.
The Bears regrouped after a shaky start to defeat Osseo 24-14 in their home opener Friday evening, buoyed by a steady ground game — 198 net yards with no play longer than 11 yards— along with some key passes and a stout defense.
Zach Griebel carried 19 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. He capped off a clinching 70-yard drive in the fourth quarter, scoring from the two with 2:11 left for a 24-14 lead, after bolting 10, 11 and 11 yards for first downs.
Cooper Anderson hit six of nine passes for 92 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown to Brice Peters in the first quarter to knot the score 7-7, and a perfect downfield lob that Fidel Paramo hauled in over-the-shoulder for a 38-yard gain in the second quarter that set up Griebel’s five-yard score for a 14-7 lead.
The Bears started the game with a weak first series ending in a fumble, after which Osseo (0-2) zipped 50 yards in five plays, with Jake Kreuter hitting four straight passes and Reggie Dupree slashing for a five-yard touchdown.
The Bear defense didn’t falter again until giving a touchdown in the fourth quarter, picking off three passes along the way.
Paramo made the biggest of those. After Osseo’s Tayvontes Larkins returned a kickoff 70 yards to the Bear 25, giving the Orioles a good chance to erase a 14-7 deficit, Paramo swiped a screen pass and returned it 51 yards. Spencer Oxton and Anders Fisher had the other interceptions.
The Bears got a 26-yard field goal by Nicholas Blanding with 9:24 left in the game to open a 17-7 lead.
Osseo then came to life with three straight big plays as Larkins returned the kick 40 yards, Samajay Hitchcocl barged 25 yards down the sideline breaking several tackles, and Kreuter flung a 34-yard scoring pass to Jake Hill, making it 17-14.
Osseo almost came up with another huge play by shaking loose a fumble from Brice Peters on the first play after the kickoff. Fortunately, Bear tight end Eamon Kerrigan-Krodel pounced on the ball at the 30, allowing his team to launch its game-clinching drive.
The Bears, who opened with a 28-27 win over Centennial, will try for a 3-0 start playing at East Ridge (1-1) next Friday.
White Bear Lake 24, Osseo 14
Osseo ………….....… 7 0 0 7 — 14
White Bear Lake … 7 7 0 10 — 24
Oss—Reggie Dupree 5 run (Anthony Nahn kick)
WBL—Brice Peters 8 pass from Cooper Anderson (Nicholas Blanding kick)
WBL — Zachary Griebel 5 run (Blanding kick)
WBL — Blanding 25 field goal
Oss—Jake Hill 34 pass from Jake Kreuter (Nahn kick)
WBL — Griebel 2 run (Blanding kick)
Passing — Kreuter 9-for-19, 93 yards, 3 int
Rushing — Dupree 8-51, Samajay Hitchcock 6-37, Kreuter 4-11
Interception — Knowledge Johnson
White Bear Lake statistics
Passing — Anderson 6-for-9, 92 yards, 1 int
Rushing — Griebel 19-111, Andrew Kleist 10-541, Peters 16-23, Russell Schoeller 1-8, Fidel Paramo 3-14
Receiving —Dominic Smith 2-26, Paramo 1-38, Peters 1-8, Kevin Boeing 2-20,
Interceptions —Paramo, Spencer Oxton, Anders Fisher