Eagles celebrate Homecoming with second straight win
NEW YORK MILLS -- The Eagles football team scored two quick touchdowns early and never trailed in a 20-8 Homecoming Night victory over Ottertail Central Friday night.
The win is the second in as many weeks for New York Mills, after starting the season 0-4.
"We have been talking about beating a good program and OTC has been year in and year out a very good team," Eagles Head Coach Matt Radniecki said. "For us to beat a 4-1 team says volumes about what our kids are doing."
The Bulldogs came into the game a game back of Browerville for the Prairie Conference-South lead. Earlier in the season, they were ranked No. 10 in Class 1A and had defeated Royalton when the Royals were ranked.
The Eagles looked like a different team than that which took the field in the season's first half.
From the opening kickoff, the Eagles controlled the line of scrimmage, came up with big defensive stops and took command and the lead early.
A program that has seen its share of flaws the past few seasons played a nearly flawless game to defeat a rival that had beaten New York Mills five straight years.
The Eagles did not turn the ball over, forced two miscues from Ottertail Central and were only flagged once in the game.
"We have talked all year about winning the turnover battle and not beating ourselves and we did that," Radniecki said. "We are a team that needs to do this to have success."
Shane Novak scored from five yards out to give the Eagles an early 6-0 lead. Novak's PAT kick attempt sailed wide left.
The Eagles forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive of the Bulldogs and marched down the field.
Tyler Patron scored from four yards out to give the Homecoming crowd a lot to cheer for in a 12-0 advantage in the first quarter.
Novak's PAT kick was blocked.
The Eagles rushed for 268 yards in the game. Quarterback Charlie Peeters gained 64 of those yards.
"Our quarterback play the last two weeks has been good and I believe that it can get better. Charlie did a nice job this week of running the ball. It is nice to have another running option beside Tyler and Shane."
The Bulldogs tightened up the scoreboard with their only score of the game in the second quarter, a four-yard touchdown run and a successful two-point conversion to cut the Eagles' lead to just four points, 12-8, heading into halftime.
The Eagles continued their dominance in the second half on both sides of the ball.
After a scoreless third period, Peeters went to the air and found Taylor Ericksrud on a 49-yard touchdown pass. Peeters converted the two- point rushing for the 20-8 final.
"Another key area was the amount of plays we ran compared to OTC. We ran a total of 64 plays to their 40. When you can run 24 more plays than the other team it shows that you are controlling the ball and we did that with an effective running game that was consistent but not flashy."
After the winless first half of the season, the Eagles have responded positively in the last two ball games. Rather than being down early and clawing to stay in the game, it has been the Eagles putting up points first and controlling play.
"We did call some people out and challenge them a couple of weeks ago and made a few changes but in reality the kids responded to it.
"Another big difference is the turnovers. We have one turnover in two weeks...you know that really helps to lead to victories. We are making plays and not giving the other team that momentum with a key turnover."
The win puts the Eagles in a four-way tie for second place in the conference at 2-2.
Ottertail Central, Royalton, K-M-S are all at 2-2, with Browerville on top, undefeated at 4-0. West Central Area is 0-4. Browerville has clinched the conference title with one game to go.
New York Mills will try to put a conference blemish on the Tigers in Browerville this coming Friday at 7 p.m.
The Eagles underclassmen made it a clean sweep of Ottertail Central. The Junior Varsity team defeated OTC 22-14 on Thursday.
"This group is also doing an outstanding job of getting better but also pushing our older kids in practice to get better."
1st downs 12 18
Rushing yards 36-216 yds - 1 TD 60-238 yds -2TD
Passing yards 2-6-35 yds 3-4-81 yds 1 TD
Turnovers 2 fum. 0
Penalities 3-25 yds 1-5 yds
OTC 0 8 0 0 8 total
NYM 12 0 0 8 20 total
1st- Shane Novak 5 yd touchdown run Extra point Novak no good
1st- Tyler Patron 4 yd touchdown run Extra point Novak no good
2nd- OTC 4 yd touchdown run 2 point conversion good
4th- Peeters to Ericksrud 49 yd touchdown pass 2 pt run by Peeters good