White Bear Lake kept the pressure on unbeaten Cretin-Derham Hall throughout the game Friday night.
However, the Raiders fended off the Bears, mainly via big plays by Tony Underwood, 28-13, at University of St. Thomas.
Underwood dashed 85 yards for a touchdown to break a 7-7 tie late in the third period, then turned a short pass from Preston Thelemann into a 55-yard score early in the fourth to make it 21-7. He had opened the scoring with a 15-yard TD on another screen pass.
The Bears closed the gap again with Nate Laroache hauling in a 21-yard TD pass from Branden Berwald with 5:21 left. The kick was blocked and the Bears trailed 21-13.
The Raiders answered with a long drive keyed by Underwood’s slashing runs — he totaled 191 yards in just 14 carries — leading to a one-yard sneak by Thelemann for a 28-13 lead with 1:35 left.
White Bear Lake (2-2) missed three chances to score in the first half. Two promising drives were foiled when the Raiders stopped fourth-and-one runs. Jeff Odamtten just missed a 36-yard field goal attempt with four seconds left.
CDH mistakes helped keep the Bears in the game. The Raiders had 13 penalties for 110 yards. And they inexplicably went for a first down on a 4th-and-29 play from just over midfield in the third quarter while up 7-0, and lost yardage when a lateral was fumbled.
That gave the Bears a short field and they capitalized with a 50-yard scoring drive. Cam Zalenski’s 20-yard run gave them a first down at the two. It still took four plays but Berwald burrowed the last two feet on fourth down and Odamtten’s kick tied it 7-7.
Zalenski carried 21 times for 93 yards. Berwald completed 11 of 23 for 114 yards, to seven different receivers. His last throw was intercepted after CDH took the 28-13 lead. The Bears ground game was otherwise blunted as the Bears netted 97 yards in 34 attempts.
Brice Peters gave the Bears some spark on kick returns; he averaged 15.3 yards on four punt returns, including a 33-yarder, and 22.3 yards on four kick returns.
The Raiders totaled 277 yards on 37 rushes, and Thelemann hit 11 of 19 for another 147 yards, and they had no turnovers.
The Bears will host East Ridge (2-2) on Friday.
White Bear Lake ……... 0 0 7 6 — 13
Cretin-Derham Hall ….. 7 0 7 14 — 28
CDH — Tony Underwood 15 pass from Preston Thelemann (Reardon kick)
WBL — Branden Berwald 1 run (Jeff Odamtten kick)
CDH — Underwood 85 run (Jimmy Reardon kick)
CDH — Underwood 55 pass from Thelemann (Reardon kick)
CDH — Nata Laroache 21 pass from Berwald (kick blocked)
CDH — Thelemann 1 run (Reardon kick)