Defense shuts down scoring threats inside 20
The Pelican Rapids Vikings capitalized on a fast start and situational success to defeat the Park Rapids Panthers 38-14 Oct. 8 on the Vikes home field.
The Vikings were able to move the ball well throughout the night as they gained 346 yards of total offense. Once again leading the Vikings’ attack was sophomore quarterback Timmy Guler as he passed for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. Guler also rushed for 146 yards and 2 more trips to the endzone.
Peyton Blakeway was on the receiving end of both touchdown passes from Guler, and he was also the yardage leader for the game as he made 6 receptions for 79 yards.
A strong first half showing allowed the Vikings to take a 24-0 halftime lead. After a difficult game defending the run, the Viking’s defensive emphasis paid off as Pelican Rapids was dominant in controlling the ground game all night, rushing for 183 yards while holding the Panthers to only 26 yards on 28 attempts.
The Vikings also showed their ability to bend but not break as Park Rapids came away empty handed after two trips inside the 20-yard line.
The Viking defensive success was built on strong play from their starting defensive linemen Nick Haugrud, Ian Fahje, Hunter Williams, and Justin Jacobson. Kaden Holt also made significant contributions as he picked up 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack as a part of the rotation.
Building on strong play from the defensive lineman was sophomore Tristan Landberg who led the defense with 8 tackles as he made plays all over the field.
Luke Sjolie forced a fumble that was recovered by Landberg. Tristan Landberg also disrupted the Park Rapids backfield by making 2.5 tackles for loss, which was even with Hunter Williams for the team lead.
Junior captain Carter Johnson also showed his knack for making big plays and as he picked off the Park Rapids quarterback and took it 79 yards for a score, bringing the score to a 30-8 Viking advantage.
Following the Johnson touchdown, each team was able to score one more time as the Vikings fought their way to a 38-14 victory. The Vikings move to 4-2 on the season.
Pelican Rapids will travel to Roseau on Friday for a 6:00 game on October 15.
PHOTOS COURTESY RACHEL ZIEBELL