Football: Hein caps comeback to keep Perham undefeated
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- It is no big secret that the way to beat the No. 2-3A Perham Yellowjackets in football is to control quarterback Jordan Hein.
Easier said than done.
The Thief River Falls Prowlers found that out the hard way as Hein scored his third touchdown with 1:22 remaining in the game to lead Perham back from the brink of the season's first defeat to a 20-19 victory.
Perham remains undefeated at 6-0, 4-0 in the Heart O' Lakes-North standings and primed for the game of the year against No. 5-4A Detroit Lakes.
The victor will have sole possession of the conference lead with one game remaining in the regular season.
For nearly 48 game minutes last Friday, it looked like Perham would be playing for a share of the title.
Nathanael Holeck and Hein accounted for all six touchdowns, three each, and the game was literally decided on the foot of Perham kicker Nick Bahls with time dwindling.
Holeck scored from two and 12 yards out in the second quarter and the Prowlers took a 13-0 lead into halftime.
Kicker Jacob Leier was 1-2 in PAT kicks, his second was blocked by Hayden Sturdevant.
Hein cut the lead to 13-6 early in the third quarter. Bahls' kick failed.
Holeck bumped the lead to 19-6 with 11:19 remaining. Leier's point-after again failed and would be the difference in the game.
Hein led a seven-play, 65-yard drive to the end zone scoring on a five-yard run and Bahls nailed the kick making the score 19-13.
The Perham offense had three fourth quarter drives; two went for touchdowns; the third sealed the game after a big defensive stand and a matter of inches led to Hein's final score to tie.
The Prowlers attempted to run out the game clock and keep Hein off the offensive side of the field.
However, with 3:41 to play a fourth-and-one rushing attempt by Ian Lund was left to the measuring stick of the officials.
Austin Erickson made the stop for no gain and Hein took over the helm from the Perham 46 with plenty of time on the clock.
Hein, Eli Beachy and Payton Jordahl worked the ball to the Prowler 38.
Hein rushed for 15 yards and was aided by a personal foul penalty on Thief River Falls setting up the Yellowjackets at the 11-yard line.
From the shotgun, Hein rambled in from the 11 to tie the score at 19.
From the turnover, the Yellowjackets moved 54 yards on six plays using 2:19 on the clock.
Bahls lined up with the hold from Hein and the kick sealed the game for Perham.
The Prowlers moved 26 yards in the final minute but failed to cross midfield turning the ball over leading to Hein kneeling in victory formation to end the upset bid.
Hein rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns, well over his average of 135.3 yards per game.
Holeck rushed for 150 yards and three scores.
Erickson led Perham on defense with 13 tackles. Dan Ingebrand had 11.
The Prowlers held an advantage of 16-14 in first downs; 305-234 in total yards, and time of possession 27:53-20:07.
Perham fumbled the ball six times, only losing two. The Prowlers fumbled twice, recovering one.
Neither team threw the ball more than seven times.
On paper, the Prowlers beat Perham, but where it counts, on the scoreboard, the same was not true.
Perham and Detroit Lakes will play for the Pigskin Paddle. It will become a traveling trophy for the two football powers. It will be presented at the conclusion of the game on Friday.