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Charlie Schmitz (42) and Jesse Hein (78) react after Ben Brill (51) recovered a fumble early in the 1st quarter of Perham's Homecoming game against East Grand Forks. The No. 5-AAA Jackets shutout EGF, 40-0. (John George/EOT Illustrated)

PHS Football: Defense dominates in shutout win

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John George

Offense sells ticks. Defense wins championships.

If that famous football saying is true, the Yellowjackets might be putting together a formula for a magical season.

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Perham once again put together a balanced offensive attack, but their defense was the story Friday night as the Jackets crushed East Grand Forks, 40-0, in front of a packed-house at Homecoming.

The Green Wave picked up a first down in their first possession, just before turning the ball over on a fumble recovered by Ben Brill. It would be EGF's only first down of the first half as they managed just six yards of total offense in the first two quarters.

EGF would finish with just four first downs in the game. They finished with 30 yards rushing on 33 carries, and had only 19 yards on 2-for-10 passing.

"Well, our offense has been so good, just how good our defense is can be lost," head coach Howie Kangas said. "The scary thing is we're far from playing our best. On either side of the ball. We will get better. We have the guys who can play. But we'll get a little more disciplined and learn our assignments better."

Perham's offense wasn't able to take advantage of the first turnover of the game, but after another defensive stop, EGF was forced to punt.

Ben Waldon took the punt at the EGF 48 and returned it 42 yards to the six-yard line. After a two-yard run by Harvey McMahon, Chris Scheidecker scored from four-yards out, and the route was on.

Another three-and-out and punt by EGF gave Perham the ball at the 48. Again, Perham needed just two plays to score. A 21-yard run by McMahon and a 27-yard TD pass from Ben Bucholz to Alex Phelps, and the Jackets were up, 12-0.

Perham put together a seven-play, 57-yard drive to score one more time in the opening quarter on a 12-yard pass from Bucholz to Charlie Schmitz to go up, 20-0. Early in the second quarter, the Jackets had another 57-yard drive taking six plays. Bucholz capped this drive with his third TD pass, hitting Matt Dreyer from 18 yards out.

A five-yard run by McMahon later in the quarter gave Perham a 33-0 halftime lead.

EGF had two drives in the second half that used 17 plays (they ran 23 in the entire first half on seven possessions), but they combined to go only 34 yards and both ended when Perham's defense stopped fourth down conversion attempts.

One week after having five different guys score in a 33-6 win over Crookston, the Jackets spread the wealth again against the Green Wave. Four different players scored, nine guys had at least one carry, and seven different receivers caught a pass.

"I think the thing with our offense is who do you stop?" Kangas said. "What makes us special is the defense can't take away one person, or one part of our game. If they stuff the middle, we'll go outside. Try to keep us from running outside, and we'll go inside or throw over you. We have a lot of great weapons and can play different styles if we need to."

The Jackets have now won four-straight against East Grand Forks (1-3, 1-2 HOL North).

Road test

This week, Perham will hit the road to take on Pequot Lakes. The Patriots (3-1, 2-0 HOL North) are in second place in the HOL North division behind Perham and are coming off a 45-0 win over Crookston, their second-straight shutout win. Pequot Lakes is averaging 30.8 points per game this season while allowing just 10.5.

"This is a team we can't look past," Kangas said. "We always take it one game at a time. These guys are really good. We'll have to keep improving and see what happens."

Perham has had their share of success against Pequot Lakes in recent years. The Yellowjackets are 6-0 against them over the last seven years, including a 14-7 win last year at Perham's Homecoming.

Friday, September 25

Perham 40, East Grand Forks 0

EGF 0- 0- 0- 0--0

Perham 20-13-0-7--40

First Quarter

Per--Chris Scheidecker 4 run (kick failed) 6:34

Per--Alex Phelps 27 pass from Ben Bucholz (run failed) 4:56

Per--Charlie Schmitz 12 pass from Bucholz (Schmitz pass from Bucholz) :36

Second Quarter

Per--Matt Dreyer 18 pass from Bucholz (kick failed) 8:35

Per--Harvey McMahon 5 run (Allan Alvand kick) 4:21

Fourth Quarter

Per--McMahon 4 run (Alvand kick) 11:55

Perham EGF

1st Downs 22 4

Rush--yds 34-159 33-30

Pass yds 199 19

Return yds 84 119

Comp--Att-In 14-23-0 2-10-0

Sacks-yds 1-8 1-7

Punts-ave 1-30.0 5-27.4

Fbles-lost 5-2 5-2

Pen-yds 7-57 4-33

3rd Downs 5-9 0-12

4th Downs 1-2 2-4

Possession 25:48 22:12

Individual Statistics

Rushing--McMahon 10-70-2; Tim Hermann 3-28; Ethan Honer 3-23; Mike Wiskow 3-19; Scheidecker 5-19-1; Bucholz 7-11.

Passing--Bucholz 14-23-0, 199 yds, 3 TD

Receiving--Schmitz 4-37-1; Dreyer 3-64-1; Phelps 1-27-1; Ben Waldon 2-31; Scheidecker 2-26; Cody Soderstrom 1-10; Hermann 1-4.

Defense--(solo-assist): McMahon (4-3) FF; Ty Haverland (1-5); Sam Babler (4-1) FR; Ben Brill (3-2) FF, FR; Ethan Honer (1-4) Mark Schumacher (2-0) Sack; Hilarion Beyer (2-0) FF.

HOL North Conf. All

#5-AAA Perham 3-0 4-0

Pequot Lakes 2-0 3-1

Thief River Falls 2-1 2-2

Park Rapids 1-2 2-2

East Grand Forks 1-2 1-3

Crookston 1-3 1-3

Roseau 0-2 0-4

HOL Classic Conf. All

#8-AA D-G-F 3-0 4-0

#9-AAA Staples-Motley 2-0 4-0

Breckenridge 2-1 2-2

West Central Area 1-1 3-1

Warroad 1-2 2-2

Pelican Rapids 0-2 0-4

Wadena-Deer Creek 0-3 0-4

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