By Mark Maxwell
Coach Rick Arand led the Lena-Winslow Panthers to two state finals in four years and brought home the Class 1A state title both times.
Lena-Winslow (11-3) defeated the Tri-Valley Vikings (13-1) at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb on Friday morning. The Panthers needed a halftime speech from Arand to regain their focus and make some much needed corrections. Lena-Winslow looked like a completely new team in the second half after stalling on offense during the first two frames.
The Vikings led the Panthers at the half, 21-14. Both Panthers' touchdowns were defensive scores. Tyler Oakley recovered two fumbles and ran both back for touchdowns, one for 60 and another for 65 yards. Oakley added a rushing touchdown and an interception to his stat line in the closing minutes to seal the victory and the state title for Lena-Winslow. The only other Panther to reach the end zone was Ben Moest, punching it in on a one-yard carry in the third quarter.