Quarterback McHale Korf trots in for a touchdown, almost untouched, late in the first half of the Oct. 9 home game against Ada-Borup.
The Viking defense kept the pressure on all night. Liam Sytsma stretches his arm in attempt to block the pass, and number 79 Nick Haugrud at left.
Freshman Tristanv Landberg saw some action in the home Viking opener, carrying the ball here but grappling with Ada-Borup defenders.
Johnny Ziebell carrying the ball for Pelican Rapids.
Pelican’s #33 Alex Lynnes defends against a pass at the sidelines. At left, Pelican’s Carson McNeal.

Vikings dominate Ada-Borup in 53-20 win under lights in Pelican 

The lights came back on for Minnesota high school football in the fall of 2020 and the Pelican Rapids Vikings were ready to play. 

The Vikings offense scored on every possession except when time ran out at the end of the second quarter beginning with the opening drive of the game on a night they would go on to win 53-20. 

Using nine plays and a key fourth down conversion Johnny Ziebell scored the first touchdown of the season on a 3 yard run and the Vikings had a 6-0 lead in a game in which they would never trail. Taking advantage of a short field after a long kick return the Cougars scored on a 4th and 6 play with a 15 yard pass completion getting into the endzone. The Vikings defense stuffed the 2 point conversion attempt and the game was tied at 6. 

Vikings-Cougars tied—briefly

The tie didn’t last long as the Vikings put together an 8 play drive and Ziebell got into the endzone for the second time of the game with a 1 yard run. The 2 point conversion run by Ziebell was good and Pelican Rapids had a 14-6 lead.

The Vikings defense forced a punt and Pelican was able to build on the lead with their next possession. This time it was Jayden Rutherford’s turn to get into the endzone. Rutherford picked up a couple of key blocks and made a nice cut as he outran the defense to the endzone with an 18 yard touchdown run. The missed extra point kick left the score at 20-6, but it started to feel as if the Vikings were in control.

The Cougars were only able to gain 5 yards on their next possession as they were forced to quickly punt the ball back to a Vikings offense that was starting to roll. Pelican Rapids used the ensuing possession for their last score of the half. The drive ended when McHale Korf scored his first touchdown of the game and the season on a 2 yard run. Korf’s extra point kick was good and the lead was 27-6. 

Cougars score first in second half 

Ada-Borup started the second half with a big play as they got into the endzone with a 76 yard screen pass for a touchdown. The failed two point conversion brought the Cougars with 15 points at 27-12 however they wouldn’t get any closer than that.

Pelican Rapids scored on their next 4 possessions while the Cougars only managed a total of 16 yards on their 3 possessions within that same period of the game. Setting up one of the scoring drives for Pelican Rapids was a beautiful interception by Alex Lynnes as he went up high to pick off the Ada-Borup pass. 

During this series of events, Korf scored on touchdown runs of 6 yards and 30 yards and Johnny Ziebell scored his third touchdown of the game with a 3 yard run. Freshman Enrique Rodriquez-Lopez kicked the first PAT of his career as he went 2-3 on PAT kicks. The last scoring drive of the game for Pelican came from the reserves. The drive looked similar to all the others in the game as Peyton Blakeway scored the first touchdown of his career on a 4 yard run. The two point conversion run was stopped short.

Ada-Borup put together one last drive and scored on a 6 yard pass on the very last play of the game. After a successful 2 point conversion, the final score stood at 53-20.

 “Defensively I was really pleased with our overall effort. We played with great effort allowing us to limit the success of the Cougar offense. Offensively I was really pleased with our balance,” said Head Coach Dave Haugen. “With Jayden Rutherford, Johnny Ziebell, and McHale Korf we were able to put a lot of stress on their defense by being able to attack both between the tackles and to the outside. Ziebell showed great strength and balance as he picked up several yards after contact and Rutherford looked fast and elusive in the open field. We didn’t need to pass much this game due to the success of the running attack, but threw very effectively as we picked up key yards and kept the defense guessing what we would do next.”

The offensive line of Liam Sytsma, Levi Johnson, Weston Funk, Nick Haugrud, and Isaac Olson was commended by Haugen. 

“They played a great game driving the Cougar defense off the line of scrimmage on the running plays provided good pass protection when we threw,” said Haugen. 

Vikes totalled 461 yards

Pelican Rapids had 461 yards of offense for the game while Ada-Borup was held to 270.

Next up for the Vikings will be a Sub-district game at New York Mills.

Pelican Rapids Offensive Stats vs Ada


McHale Korf – 12-120 yds, 3 TD

Johnny Ziebell – 14-82 yds, 3 TD

Jayden Rutherford – 5-59 yds, 1 TD

Timmy Guler – 3-29 yds

Justin VerDorn – 2-18 yds

Peyton Blakeway – 1-4 yds, 1 TD

Tristan Landberg – 2-2 yds


McHale Korf 9-10-147 yds


Jayden Rutherford 3-89 yds

Johnny Ziebell 3-25 yds

Logan Fahje 2-22 yds

Hunter Williams 1-11 yds

Pelican Rapids defensive leaders:

Johnny Ziebell – 4 solo tackles, 3 assist, 1 tackle for loss

Carter Johnson – 4 solo tackles, 1 assist

Liam Sytsma – 2 solo, 1 tackle for loss

Hayden Hart – 1 fumble recovery