Learning from losses: Indians look ahead after defeat by Panthers

Katie Roiger
Sleepy Eye Indians Cheerleaders, pictured earlier this fall at the Homecoming game.

The Indians lost to the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers 42-6 on Friday, Oct. 23 in Tracy.

The cold weather from the first snowfall of the season made for a chilly game, but Kegan Heiderscheidt still managed to complete eight passes for 135 yards. The Indians had 141 passing yards and 102 rushing for a total of 243 yards.

The Panthers were the first on the board with one touchdown in the first quarter. They had a strong rushing game and scored three more times before the end of the first half.

“We struggled at times tackling in space and allowed too many big runs for their offense,” said Coach Cory Haala.

In the second quarter, the Indians scored their only touchdown of the game. Jackson Huiras caught a 13-yard pass from Heiderscheidt. The Indians’ try for a two-point conversion was no good. Jack Nelson also scored on a return for a touchdown, but the score was recalled due to a penalty.

The third and fourth quarters saw three more touchdowns for the Panthers. At the end of the fourth quarter, the Panthers caught an interception and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.

“On the offensive side, we had our first two turnovers of the season and threw the ball more than we’d like to,” Haala said.

Arian Saenz completed 28 of the Indians’ rushing yards. Huiras and Mason Sellner were close behind with 26 and 25 rushing yards respectively.

Kadon Strong led the defense with six tackles and nine assists. Erizen Traconis had six tackles and three assists. Enrique Flores and Nelson both had fumble recoveries and Flores had a forced fumble.

Reflecting on Indians’ showing against the Panthers, Haala said that he wants to have a better balance of running and passing in the future.

“We need to move forward and plan for our next game, and try to correct our mistakes,” said Haala.

On Friday, Oct. 30, the Indians will face the Wabasso Rabbits at 7 p.m. in Sleepy Eye.