FELCH - North Dickinson experienced a bittersweet conclusion to the regular season Friday.
Cole Beauchamp's 68-yard punt return in the fourth quarter lifted Lake Linden past the Nordics 16-8 in non-conference football.
"They have a good team," North Dickinson Coach Joe Reddinger said. "Their line outplayed our line the whole first half."
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Coach Joe Reddinger and North Dickinson County School’s football program were honored duiring Friday’s game with Lake Linden. The Nordics are going to the playoffs for a state record 23 straight seasons. Reddinger accepts the award from athletic director Mike Roell while Joe’s wife, Lynn, looks on. Players present from the postseason teams were introduced at halftime.
Tylor Rickard's three-yard run and conversion gave the Lakes (5-3) an 8-0 halftime lead.
North Dickinson evened the score in the fourth quarter when Matt Schultz rambled 75 yards and quarterback Logan O'Neil ran for the conversion.
With 8:38 remaining in the game, Cole Beauchamp returned a punt 68 yards to break the tie. Rickard added the conversion run.
"They had a great defensive game plan and they did enough offensively," said Reddinger, noting the Lakes dominated time of possession. "We're usually the one holding onto the football."
North Dickinson reached the Lakes one in the fourth quarter but could not dent the endzone.
Schultz paced the Nordic offense with 100 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Defensively, Schultz and Brad Gustafson each made nine tackles while Noah Berg and Derek Wagner had eight apiece. O'Neil intercepted a pass and Jordan Bosma recovered a fumble.
Reddinger and North Dickinson's football program were honored at halftime. The Nordics are going to the playoffs for a state record 23 straight years. Many players from the past teams were introduced.
North Dickinson (6-2) has next week off, with the playoffs to begin Nov. 1-2. Standout lineman-linebacker Jonas Christian (hand) will be unavailable for the postseason while the status of back Tim Hruska (leg) will be known next week.
"We're thin," Reddinger noted.
Lake Linden 0 8 0 8 - 16
North Dickinson 0 0 0 8 - 8
LL - Tylor Rickard 3 run (Rickard run), 9:32.
ND - Matt Schultz 75 run (Logan O'Neil run), 11:45.
LL - Cole Beauchamp 68 punt return (Rickard run), 8:38.
Total offense - North Dickinson 195 (156 rushing, 39 passing), Lake Linden 233 (233 rushing, 0 passing).
Rushing - ND, Schultz 100-13, Wagner 42-13, LL, Rickard 87-18,
Passing - ND, O'Neil, 3-7-0, 39; LL, Kumpula, 0-7-1, 0.