Wriiten by Adam VanSickle, Play-by-Play Ned Newburg and Joey Hudson
Wednesday, October 18, 2023 | Tartan High School, Oakdale, MN —
Jake Geiger touched the ball four times on offense for the Raiders. The speedy senior wide receiver converted three of those opportunities into touchdowns on Wednesday night as Northfield cruised to a 36-6 cross-section win over Tartan.
After exchanging punts on each of their first two drives in the first half, it was Northfield (4-3) that would strike first on their third possession. Taking advantage of a short field, Cam Kaiser would move the Raiders down to the Tartan nine-yard line. On third down, it was Geiger taking a handoff on a misdirection run play that completely fooled the Tartan defense as he went in clean for the touchdown.
Turns out Geiger’s legs were just getting warmed up. Jake operates as the holder in the kicking game. Following the TD, he was set to hold for the point-after kick attempt. Geiger snagged the errant snap, popped up and initially looked to his right for an outlet to pass. With nothing open, he decided to tuck the ball and run to his left weaving his way to the pylon for the 2-point conversion giving the Raiders an 8-0 lead.
Tartan (2-5) would look to get some offense going on their ensuing possession. But on third down for the Titans, it was Kaiser coming up with a highlight reel interception return for 24 yards to set up the Raiders second touchdown drive.
Taking over inside Tartan territory, an incomplete pass, no gain and a penalty had the Raiders facing third-and-25. Seth Thompson connected with Gavin Novotny for a nine-yard gain. On the next play, Thompson was looking to connect with Geiger who somehow came down with it for the 36-yard touchdown on fourth and 16. Stephen Kallestad would add the extra point and the Raiders had a 15-0 lead with 6:42 to go in the second quarter.
Northfield’s defense had the Titan offense stymied throughout the first half and would force a fourth Tartan in five first half possessions. The Raiders would start their fifth drive at the Titan 45-yard line. Owen Murphy and Kaiser would exchange positive runs before a horse collar penalty on Tartan would set up the Raiders deep in Titan territory. On the fifth play of the drive, it was Thompson finding Kayden Oakland in the corner of the end zone for his first varsity reception and touchdown for the Raiders. Kallestad would add the extra point and Northfield would extend their lead to 22-0 with 1:38 to go in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Kallestad would hit one of the Tartan up-backs with the kick and the Raiders jumped on the ball at their own 47-yard line. After a Gavin Novotny 18-yard reception for a first down, Kaiser would add a 13-yard catch and run setting up third and short. Thompson’s next pass was intercepted, and the Titans would take over with 1:19 left in the half. Again, the Raider defense held. Limiting Tartan to only 85 tot yards in the first half, Northfield went into halftime with a 22-0 lead. After receiving the second half kickoff, the Raiders would run a combined eight plays on their next two scoring drives. First, it was a seven play, 67-yard drive that was capped off by Geiger’s third touchdown of the night. This time Thompson found Geiger again from 36-yards out for the score, that included a Tartan foul for pass interference.
Next, after the Raider defense swallowed up a fake punt attempt, it was Kaiser finding his way to the end zone with a 16-yard touchdown run. Kallestad remained perfect with his point after attempts (4-for-4 on the night) and Northfield was up 36-0 over Tartan with 4:40 to go in the third quarter.
After the Titans and Raiders exchanged punts, Tartan would take advantage of a short field and punch in their only score of the night on a Jerror Borsay touchdown run. Titans point after attempt would fail and Northfield had a 36-6 lead with 4:27 to go in the game. That would be the last time Tartan touched the ball as JT Graupmann and the Raider reserves were able to run out the clock and seal the victory for Northfield.
Geiger was “Mr. Efficient” on the night for the Raiders as he finished with 4 touches for 84 total yards, three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion run. Kaiser chipped in 24 touches for 110 yards of total offense, a touchdown and an interception on defense. Gavin Novotny grabbed two catches on seven targets and Seth Thomson threw for 146 yards and three touchdowns. With the win, the Raiders finish the regular season at 5-3 and earn the 2-seed in the Northstar South Maroon section tournament. Northfield will host the third seeded New Prague Trojans in the section semifinals on Saturday, October 28th at Memorial Field in Northfield.