Vikings outscore Wadena 54-20, racking up 468 yards on the ground
The Pelican Rapids Vikings traveled to Moorhead to take on the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines in high school football.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Wadena, but was moved to Moorhead high school due to poor field conditions in Wadena due to the early winter snow storm that moved through the area. The artificial surface at Moorhead was in great shape.
Pelican Rapids hadn’t played in two weeks as their game the previous week was canceled due to covid cases at Mahnomen-Waubun. The time off allowed us to get some guys healed up a bit and be fully prepared for the Wadena game, noted Coach Dave Haugen.
Senior, McHale Korf, was one player who didn’t get cleared to play as he is still recovering from an injury suffered at New York Mills. The Vikings appeared to be successful in preparing for the game as they earned a 54-20 victory.
So, what do you do when your senior quarterback isn’t able to play?
You run the ball and you keep running until the opposing defense stops you.
The Vikings ran to near perfection as they amassed an incredible 468 yards rushing for the game.
Fahje, offensive line earn praise from coach
Logan Fahje did an excellent job of running the offense as he filled in for Korf. Helping out was excellent play from the offensive line. Weston Funk, Liam Sytsma, Levi Johnson, Isaac Olson and Nick Haugrud played well as they paved the way for the running backs giving them great running lanes as the Vikings averaged 10 yds per carry on the night.
Pelican Rapids defense set a good early tone for the game as WDC received the opening kick of the game. After 3 plays Wadena was forced to punt and the Pelican Rapids offense was ready to go to work. Pelican used 8 plays on a 60 yard drive to earn the first score of the game. Fahje got the first touchdown of the game on a 4 yard run. With Johnny Ziebell running in the two point conversion the Vikings had an early 8-0 lead.
Wadena-Deer Creek didn’t flinch despite the tough start and came right back. WDC has a very good passing game.
“We knew it would be very difficult to shut them down completely but we were looking to get enough stops to give us the advantage in the game,” said Coach Haugen. The Wolverines put together an impressive 14 play drive ending with a 19 yard touchdown pass. After the 2 point conversion the game was tied at 8.
Rutherford races 65 yards for TD
Pelican answered quickly and was on their way to a big second quarter. The Vikings used only one play as Jayden Rutherford took the handoff and went 65 yards for a touchdown and the Vikings had the lead again. Johnny Ziebell ran in the two point conversion for a 16-8 lead. The next score for Pelican Rapids was set up by a beautiful diving interception by Logan Fahje.
Despite the success running the ball Pelican went to the air for the next score. Fahje connected with Hunter Williams who made an excellent catch and found his way into the endzone on the 30 yard completion.
Once again Ziebell ran in the conversion and the lead was 24-8.
Wadena narrows Viking lead
Wadena came back with another scoring drive to draw within ten points at 24-14 after the two point conversion pass was stopped short with a tackle by Justin VerDorn. The score came a little too quickly as far as the Wolverines were concerned as the Vikings had 2:41 left in the half and were able to put together another scoring drive before the half. Pelican used 7 plays to cover 69 yards and scored with 14 seconds left in the half. Johnny Ziebell finished off the drive with a 1 yard run and once again ran in the two point conversion as the Vikings went into the halftime break with a 32-16 lead.
“We felt good at the half, but not totally comfortable as we knew that Wadena had the ability to score quickly with their passing game and several good athletes on the field,” said Haugen.
The Vikings may have put the game away on the first drive of the second half as they found the endzone to finish off the 7 play drive. Justin VerDorn got the touchdown a 2 yard run. This time the conversion run failed but Pelican Rapids had built the lead to 38-14.
Pelican scored two more time in the 4th quarter while Wadena added a touchdown as well in the last quarter.
Carter Johnson scored on a nice 18 yard run early in the fourth quarter. Timmy Guler connected with Brayden Ecker for a two point conversion pass.
After a WDC touchdown Pelican put together one more scoring drive as the younger players took over, but maintained a high level of success. The last touchdown for the night was scored by freshman Tristan Landberg who finished off the scoring drive with a 1 yard run. After the 2 point conversion run by Timmy Guler the final score stood at 54-20 with the Vikings picking up a well-deserved win.
Seven different Vikings scored
A real interesting trivia piece might be the fact that Pelican Rapids scored 7 touchdowns by 7 different players. 7 touchdowns is obviously a lot and to have that many scored without anyone having multiple touchdowns has to be an extremely rare event.
“I was really pleased with a solid, well played game by our guys. The running game was obviously great,” said Coach Haugen. “I was also pleased with the defensive effort as we really made them work for everything they got and didn’t give up big plays. I believe this is the type of game that we can really build off of as we head into the final weeks of the regular season.”
Next up for the Vikings is a Friday night match up at Underwood.
Pelican Rapids Stats vs. Wadena-Deer Creek
Jayden Rutherford 8-121 yds, 1 TD
Timmy Guler 8-116 yds
Logan Fahje 7-67 yds, 1 TD
Johnny Ziebell 9-64 yds, 1 TD
Carter Johnson 3-45 yds, 1 TD
Carson McNeal 4-25 yds
Justin VerDorn 3-14 yds, 1 TD
Tristan Landberg 4-17 yds, 1 TD
Logan Fahje 2-2-36 yds, 1 TD
Hunter Williams 1-30 yds, 1 TD
Johnny Ziebell 1 – 6 yds
Logan Fahje 4 tackles, 1 INT
Johnny Ziebell 1 tackle, 6 assists
Carter Johnson 2 tackles, 3 assists, 1 tackle for loss
Weston Funk 2 tackles, 1 assist, 2 tackles for loss
PHOTOS COURTESY OF RACHEL ZIEBELL