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Jesse Hein, #78, watches his game-winning point after attempt sail over and split the uprights. Photo by Bob Willams.

Football: Hein brothers lead Yellowjacket comeback

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Football: Hein brothers lead Yellowjacket comeback
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

If an opposing team needed a scouting report on how to stop the Perham football team it would be simple--control the Hein brothers.

That is easier said than done, as the Thief River Falls Prowlers found out the hard way. Both Jesse and Jordan Hein made critical plays down the stretch in a must-win comeback victory on Parent's and Senior night, 28-27, in overtime.


"Jesse and Jordan Hein are truly a gift to our community, school, and program," Head Coach Mike Jordahl said. "They each bring so much more than just athleticism. They truly are positive, fun people to be around. That breeds success. What's more amazing is that they are so much different than each other on the field. Jesse anchors our offensive and defensive lines with his power and size. Jordan moves the football with his athletic arm and ability to run all over the field."

Down 21-7 at the end of the third quarter, Jordan Hein led a 16-play 80-yard drive to cut the lead to 21-14 with 9:33 remaining in the game.

Hein completed three of six passes in the final 10 plays of the drive for 24 yards and ran the ball 29 yards on the final two plays scoring from seven yards out.

With a Prowler chance to run out the clock, the Perham defense stiffened after allowing a first down in Perham territory at the 43-yard line.

On third and one, Jacob Still forced a Ralph Williams fumble at the 40 and Brandon Olson pounced on it at the 39.

During the Prowler drive, like the majority of the game, Jesse Hein was on the bottom of piles making big stops. He led the team with season-high 14 tackles, three for losses.

Both Hein brothers displayed a lot of emotion as the game wound down and implored the home crowd to aid the Yellowjacket comeback.

"They stepped up and were a big part of our win on Friday," Jordahl said. "How often does a D-lineman have 14 tackles in one game, especially against a good team like Thief River Falls? Jesse did just that, blocked well offensively, and was 4 for 4 on PATs. Jordan is such so much fun to watch, simply because when he has the ball in his hands, anything goes. He passes well, has tremendous quickness and speed, and runs people over and a solid punter as well. What a great combination of attributes from two wonderful people."

From their own 39, Jordan Hein completed passes to Josh Nordick for 12 yards and Gabe Pankonin for 14. Jordan Hein and Pankonin gained 17 more yards on the ground before Hein hit Matt Shipman for six yards to the Prowler 12-yard line.

Pankonin hauled in a Hein pass from 12 yards out and Jesse Hein's extra point kick was good tying the score at 21 with 5:38 remaining.

A pumped up Perham defense stymied the Prowlers on their next drive.

Jesse Hein stopped Kaleb Torgerson for a minimal gain on first down. Mark Schumacher charged in all alone to sack Alex Johnson for a loss of eight yards on second down. Hein and Schumacher, with help from Dan Ingrebrand sent running back Ralph Williams three yards deep to force a punt.

Perham managed a first down on their next drive before a sack of Jordan Hein on fourth and six gave the ball back to the Prowlers on the Thief River Falls 32.

Johnson drove the Prowlers to the Perham 29 before three incomplete passes to Jacob Mattison turned the ball over on downs.

With only 23 ticks on the clock, Jordan Hein missed Shipman on a pass, but on second down made an unbelievable run of 61 yards eluding multiple tacklers before going out of bounds with one second on the clock.

The officiating crew played a critical role in the final seconds.

Jesse Hein trotted out for what would be a game-winning 27-yard field goal. Jordan Hein was set for the hold but the referee called a delay of game penalty moving the kick back five yards.

From 32 yards, Jesse Hein's kick had the distance but just faded wide of the goal post sending the game to an extra session of four downs from the 10-yard line.

With new life, the Prowlers' Ralph Williams ran off the left side untouched for a touchdown on the first play in overtime.

The officiating crew would strike again.

An encroachment penalty flag moved the ball from the extra point dash to the one-yard line. With such a small distance to go, the Prowler coaching staff elected to go for two, but Torgerson was stuffed in the middle of the line.

From the goal line perspective it was nearly indeterminable on whether or not Torgerson actually crossed the plane of the goal line. It was a matter of inches.

Which is exactly how Perham would tie the game.

Jordan Hein, as he had the entire game, made the play to set up the win. He rushed three times failing to score, but moved the ball to the one-foot line.

On fourth and goal, he ran up the middle and was met by a crowd of players from both teams in what looked more like a rugby scrum than a dive play.

When the pile was cleared, Hein had the ball resting just over the goal line. During the digging, the Prowlers' players on the field, bench and fan base were cheering thinking the game was over.

A late touchdown signal from the line judge on the Thief River Falls side of the field sent the bellowing across the field to the Perham faithful and Jesse Hein trotted out for another shot at kicking a game-winner.

His boot was dead center and well over the goal posts sending the clamor of the Perham fans to its loudest crescendo of the season.

Perham got off to a good start scoring on their first drive of the game eating up 6:34 from the opening kick when Still scored on a seven-yard run.

The first quarter ended 7-0 Perham, but Thief River Falls scored 21 unanswered points on touchdowns by: Mattison on 33-yard and seven-yard receptions; Torgerson rushed in the third score from a yard out.

The Prowlers led 14-7 at halftime and 21-7 at the end of the third, before Perham outscored Thief River Falls 21-6 to finish the game.

"We were so proud of our young men," Jordahl said. "Right when things seemed to looked grim, they stepped up and persevered."

Jordan Hein rushed for 126 yards on 19 attempts and threw for 131 yards with a touchdown hitting 13 of 26 pass attempts.

Jordan Hein accounted for 257 of Perham's 303 total yards. Pankonin had 65 yards receiving on five catches with a score. Nordick caught four passes for 34 yards.

Williams, who had scored eight touchdowns in Thief River Falls' past three games was held in check scoring just once, gaining 46 yards on 12 carries. Torgerson led the Prowlers rushing for 87 yards on 19 carries.

Perham won the turnover battle fumbling once but recovering it. Hein was picked off once. The Prowlers put the ball on the ground twice losing it both times.

Winds that had been gusting near 45 mph early in the day settled over the evening allowing passing games, when in the late afternoon weather appeared to be dictating a ground battle only.

Jordan Hein continues to rack up big numbers offensively. He has accumulated 732 yards rushing and 889 passing with 18 total touchdowns. He is averaging 122 yards rushing per game and 148.2 passing per game, making up the bulk of Perham yardage.

This Friday, the Yellowjackets (3-1, 3-3) travel to Detroit Lakes (3-1, 5-1) in a battle to stay alive for the Heart O' Lakes-North Conference crown.

Pequot Lakes leads the conference with a record of 4-1. The Patriots' only loss came on an upset by Park Rapids Area (2-3, 2-4).

Pequot Lakes has victories over Detroit Lakes and Perham this year, so both schools will need some help from Thief River Falls on MEA Wednesday when the Prowlers meet the Patriots in Thief River Falls the final game of the regular season.

If the Prowlers defeat the Patriots and Perham beats Detroit Lakes, they will need to defeat East Grand Forks (1-3, 2-4) at home Wednesday, Oct. 19 to finish the season 5-1 in conference play for the title. If DL defeats Perham with a Patriots' loss, they will need to beat Crookston, winless in the conference, (0-4, 1-5) in DL to finish atop the HOL-North.

Game time this Friday, Oct. 14 is 7 p.m. at Mollberg Field in Detroit Lakes.

It will assuredly be a battle of quarterbacks with Jordan Hein versus DL's highly touted Joe Mollberg.

"This was a huge victory for us," Jordahl said. "We'll definitely use it as a springboard for the rest of our regular season and into the playoffs. DL is a tremendous program that we truly look forward to competing with. They have a good mix of speed, finesse, and power."

Jesse Hein and the Perham defense will have their hands full. The Yellowjackets average giving up 21.3 points per game. The Lakers have held opponents to an average of 13.7 points per game.

Detroit Lakes has won four games in a row after their only loss, an 8-7 nail biter, at Pequot Lakes.

Perham will have to change this season's trend of losing one game, then winning the next.

Robert Williams
Robert is the Sports Editor of Detroit Lakes Newspapers. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 
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