Viking defense shuts down Hornets
The Pelican Rapids Vikings and Frazee Hornets have developed a football rivalry over the last couple of years.
The intensity was evident on the field as the two teams closed out the 2020 regular season at Chauncy Martin Field in Pelican Rapids.
The Vikings were able to capitalize on an early turnover and good field position as they scored two first quarter touchdowns. After that the game became a real defensive struggle and the Pelican Rapids defense rose to the challenge helping to secure the shutout victory.
The first touchdown of the game was set up by a Frazee turnover. Johnny Zeibell recovered the fumble and returned it to the 9 yard line.
Three plays later McHale Korf ran in from two yards out for the first touchdown of the game. The PAT kick by Alex Lynnes was good and the Vikings had an early 7-0 lead.
The Vikings defense forced a 3 and out on the next Frazee possession and after the Hornets punt Pelican Rapids started their second possession near midfield. Pelican Rapids covered 49 yards in 9 plays including a key first down conversion on a 4th and 2. Johnny Ziebell finished the drive with a 2 yard run and the Vikings were up 14-0 after the Lynnes PAT kick.
Pelican Rapids was up 14-0 with four minutes left in the first quarter and it stayed that way until just over 1 minute left in the game. Evidence of the defensive struggle is that the two teams combined for 11 punts and 5 turnovers. A key difference in the game is that Pelican Rapids only had 1 of the 5 turnovers. Our defense played very well, but Frazee’s also played well as we weren’t able to take advantage of the turnovers and get more points on the board earlier. I thought we had a couple of chances to put the game away early, but weren’t able to make the play we needed at the time.
Johnny Ziebell led the way defensively with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery. McHale korf came up with 2 pass interceptions and Logan Fahje intercepted one pass. Frazee completed only 2 of 16 pass attempts.
A big reason for that was the pressure the Pelican Rapids defense was able to get on the Frazee quarterbacks. Liam Sytsma led the way with 4 quarterback pressures and Nick Haugrud had 2 quarterback pressures. That pressure was critical as they weren’t able to get comfortable in looking for open receivers. The secondary also did a good job in not giving any easy open receivers. The Vikings run defense was also strong as Frazee only averaged 2.5 yards per carry.
The final score of the game came on a 7 yard run by Carter Johnson. Alex Lynnes was perfect on the day with his PAT kicks bringing the final score to 21-0. With the win the Vikings finished the shortened 2020 regular season with a 4-1 record.
Pelican number two seed for Section playoffs, will host home game Nov. 21
Two of the Section 8AA teams have chosen not to participate in the playoffs so there are 6 teams competing for the section championship.
Pelican Rapids received the #2 seed and will have a first round bye.
On Saturday the Vikings will host the winner of the #3 Hawley vs #6 Crookston game that will be played on Tuesday. The other Tuesday game is #4 Frazee hosting #5 Warroad. Barnesville received the #1 seed.
PR vs. Frazee
Johnny Ziebell 11-50 yds, 1 TD
Jayden Rutherford 9-36 yds
McHale Korf 16-35 yds, 1 TD
Carson McNeal 4-24 yds
Carter Johnson 3-9 yds, 1 TD
McHale Korf 2-9-31 yds, 0 TD, 1 Int
Carson McNeal 1-22yds
Johnny Ziebell 1-9 yds
PR defensive leaders
Johnny Ziebell – 7 solo tackles, 3 assists, 1 tackle for loss
Levi Johnson – 4 solo tackles, 1 assist
Hunter Williams – 3 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass pressure
PHOTOS BY LOUIS HOGLUND