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Football: NY Mills dominates UNC 28-6 in season opener

Tyler Patron runs over UNC's Tyler Eckman on his way to the goal line. Patron scored three touchdowns in the Eagles' victory. Robert Williams/FOCUS

NEW YORK MILLS — Tyler Patron scored three touchdowns to lead the New York Mills Eagles to their first season-opening victory in five years in a dominating 28-6 win over the United North Central Warriors Thursday evening in Prairie Conference play.

“It’s huge,” Patron said about the opening night win. “About time; feels good.”

“I’m just happy,” Head Coach Matt Radniecki said. “We’ve been trying to take steps every year.”

This year’s team is the first class to go through Radniecki’s system since his return to the helm in NY Mills four years ago.

“It’s kind of special to me to see the first class go through,” said Radniecki.

Patron opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter. The PAT was wide right. NY MIlls led 6-0.

The score came after UNC returned the opening kickoff for a score only to have the play called back on a holding call.

The Eagles’ took advantage of a fumble and had the ball at the 10-yard line looking to score at the end of the first quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Warriors forced a fumble from Patron and Tristan Kjellberg tied the game with a 90-yard return to the end zone.

Patron erased the turnover minutes later scoring untouched from 52 yards out with 10:16 to go until halftime putting NY Mills up 12-6.

“We made some big plays and we talked about that,” said Radniecki. “We have to learn to make some big plays. That’s kind of what we lacked.”

The Eagles defense kept the Warriors offense stymied the entire game and UNC made plenty of gaffes to hurt their cause.

“It’s nice when you know what’s going to happen,” Patron said. “We practiced their plays. We knew what they were going to run.”

On the ensuing drive a bad shotgun snap gave Mills the ball at the UNC 38. The Eagles failed to score but tilted the field position burying the Warriors inside the 10.

Sam Erckenback sacked UNC quarterback Taylor Carlson for a safety at 5:51 to make the score 14-6.

A last drive before the break by UNC went backwards 30 yards before Keaton Norton picked off Carlson in the waning seconds.

The third quarter remained scoreless until the final minute when Dan Kraft hit Norton from 21 yards out on a fourth-and-nine pass to the end zone and a 21-6 lead for the Eagles.

Patron capped off his night with his third touchdown of the game, an interception of Carlson returned untouched for the final score of 28-6.

“Tyler Patron is a big play player for us,” Radniecki said. “That’s what you need is a difference maker.”

Patron rushed seven times for 83 yards scoring twice. On defense, he led the Eagles with 12 tackles and 1 interception return for a score.

The Eagles (1-0) will face a stiff task next Friday, Sept. 6 at Barnesville (1-0). The Trojans defeated Ottertail Central in Henning tonight 37-14.


Game statistics:

                   UNC       NYM

1st downs   8    13

Rushing yards  26-53 yds  45-183 yds 2 TD   

Passing yards   5-16-34 yds    2-6-34 yds 1 TD

Turnovers   5        2

Penalities  3-35 yds     4-20 yds

Scoring Summary:

UNC   0 6 0 0 — 6

NYM   6 8 14 0 — 28

1st quarter

NYM-Tyler Patron 1 yd touchdown run, Patron point after no good

2nd quarter

UNC- Kjellberg 90 yard fumble return, point after no good

NYM- Tyler Patron 46 yd touchdown run, point after kick no good

3rd quarter

NYM- Taylor Carlson sacked in end zone for safety by Sam Erkenbrack

NYM- Dan Kraft 21 yard touchdown pass to Keaton Norton, Patron point after good

NYM- Tyler Patron 27 yd interception return for TD, Patron point after good

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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