Jordan Hein's five touchdowns take down Detroit Lakes
DETROIT LAKES - Oh, how the tide can turn quickly in high school football.
Twice it appeared the Detroit Lakes football team was going in for a fourth-quarter touchdown and twice they were denied by turnovers -- one resulting in six points for the visiting Perham Yellowjackets to help preserve a 35-28 victory over the Lakers.
Of Perham junior quarterback/defensive back Jordan Hein's five touchdowns Friday, his last was probably the most unique, yet spectacular, of them all.
It not only denied the Lakers a touchdown, it was turned into seven points for his team to put Perham up by two scores late in the fourth quarter.
Hein, who rushed for four touchdowns and had a fumble return in Perham's victory over the Lakers, turned what looked like a DL second and goal and knocking on the door for the tying touchdown, into a 92-yard fumble return to put Perham up 35-21.
"We stopped ourselves with those turnovers," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "You can't have those types of turnovers."
"I thought if we could keep the ball, whoever had the ball at the end of the game would win," Perham Head Coach Mike Jordahl said.
On Hein's odd play, DL running back Jarett Nosal had taken the handoff for six yards off of right end, but was stood up by Hein on the Perham six.
"My teammates, they believed in me and I believed in them and they let me lead and they followed and played one heck of a game," Jordan Hein said.
Instead of making the tackle, Hein stripped the ball from Nosal, twirled around and went unimpeded 92 yards for the touchdown. Instead of having to face the Lakers from inside the 10 yard line up only one score 28-21, they led 35-21 -- in which they would need every one of those points.
"My good buddy, Joe Mollberg we knew he'd have a lot of weapons on offense and we said, whoever would get a turnover in the second half would win the game and that's what happened," said Hein.
Jordan Hein tied a Yellowjackets record for points scored in a game with 30 points. Chris Grismer set the record on Sept. 3, 1999 against the Frazee Hornets.
Jordan Hein also tied the Perham school record for most touchdowns scored in a game with five touchdowns. Chris Grismer had five rushing touchdowns in the same game against Frazee.
The longest fumble return on record, according to statistician Ron Berns, was a 55-yard return by Marty Hanson on Oct 8, 1999 against the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines.
"Some may say it's a fluke play, but I've seen Jordan pull plays like that all my life," said senior lineman Jesse Hein, Jordan's brother. "He just makes those kind of plays all the time."
But the Lakers continued to drive the ball down the field, with DL having no slouch of their own at quarterback.
Senior Joe Mollberg quickly drove DL down the field with 6:57 left in the game. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Mollberg hit junior slotback Taylor Magnuson in the flat.
Magnuson had a convoy of blockers in front of him, as he scooted down for 49 yards to the Perham 24.
Three plays later, Mollberg lofted a ball to the back of the end zone, as senior slotback Brian Labat made a perfect adjustment on the ball and up and over Jordan Hein for the touchdown to cut the lead to 35-28 after a Steven Labine extra-point kick -- in which he was 4-4 on the night.
"We moved the ball most of the night," Motschenbacher said.
With 5:52 left in regulation, the Laker defense took its turn to make a potential game-changing play.
This time it came by sophomore Michael Herzog, who made a tipped Hein pass back to himself for the interception, giving the ball to the DL offense on the Perham 30 yard line with just under four minutes remaining.
Mollberg hit Labat for a 15-yard gain on a catch and run for a first and 10 on the Jacket 12.
Two runs netted six yards, before Mollberg turned and found wideout Rick Hutchinson on a screenplay. Hutchinson tried to turn it in, but was blindsided by Mike Wiskow, who forced the fumble and Hayden Sturdevant recovered with just 1:43 left in the game.
"That's how our defense is designed, we may bend a bit, but they won't break," said Jordahl. "The guys just kept believing in themselves."
The game was literally back and forth, as the two premier quarterbacks exchanged touchdowns to start the game, as Hein took his in first from seven yards out and Mollberg answered on the next series, capping a 57-yard, seven-play drive on an eight-yard TD scamper around right end.
The Lakers held a 14-6 advantage after they drove the field, starting on their own 19-yard line in the second quarter, orchestrated by effective runs by Mollberg and a pretty-looking pass to Hutchinson, who straddled the sideline to pick up 34 yards.
Nosal capped the drive with a two-yard dive with 4:59 left in the first half.
The Lakers also had a goal-line stand by stuffing Perham on fourth and goal from the DL one-yard line early in the second quarter.
But Perham took a page out of DL's book with the big-play capability, as the next drive featured three gains of 11 or more yards and ending on an eight-yard TD run by Hein to send the game into halftime tied 14-14.
A game-altering holding penalty was called on DL's first drive of the second half, as it negated a first down pick-up and resulted in second and 22.
Instead of extending the drive on first down, Mollberg was pressured in the pocket and Jordan Hein picked the pass off at the Perham 32.
The next play saw Perham fullback Jacob Still ramble 46 yards up the middle, keying another Hein TD run from 13 yards out for a 21-14 Perham advantage.
Still and Hein combined for 179 rushing yards finding plenty of green to work with thanks to the work of center Jesse Hein and the Jacket offensive front.
"Our offensive lineman did a nice job," Jordahl said. "There were some big holes in there tonight."
The Lakers ran a solid possession game, snapping 19 plays to Perham's four in the third quarter, but the Yellowjackets outscored DL in the quarter 7-0.
But the Lakers did score on the first play in the fourth when Nosal went in from two yards out to tie the game again at 21-21.
Mollberg did have his best game rushing, picking up 136 yards on 22 carries, while he threw for 192 yards after going 8-11 with one interception and a touchdown.
His counterpart, Jordan Hein, threw for 140 yards and went 5-11 with two interceptions and no touchdowns. But he also rushed for 88 yards and four touchdowns.
"Jordan Hein made some plays and they kept us off balanced a bit," Motschenbacher said. "You have to give them credit."
Added Jordahl, "Jordan showed what he was all about tonight."
Although the Lakers were not stopped much during the game, after being forced to punt only once, they had three fumbles lost and an interception.
"We had some underclassmen who had to come in and play because we've had some injuries, but they came out and played well," said Jesse Hein, who played solid on both lines for Perham. "I couldn't be more proud of them and this team tonight."
The Lakers fall to 5-2 on the season and 3-2 in the Heart O'Lakes Conference, while Perham improves to 4-3 and 4-1 in the conference and still has a shot, at the very least, to share a portion of the HOL crown with Pequot Lakes.
"I didn't think we could top last week's win over Thief River Falls, but I think we did it tonight," Jordahl added.
To grab the conference title outright, Perham will need to defeat East Grand Forks on Wednesday and get some help from Thief River Falls. The Prowlers host Pequot Lakes. The Patriots and Yellowjackets are tied at the top of the standings going into MEA Wednesday.
"We cannot let ourselves get down coming off the high and expect to go in and dump on East High," Jordahl said. "They're kind of a mystery. They are very good sometimes and pretty average sometimes. We'll see what happens."