Jackets snap skid to DL to take back Paddle
The Perham Yellowjackets struck early with some razzle-dazzle and were effective in the air and on the ground in a 32-20 victory over Detroit Lakes at Ted Meinhover Field in Perham Friday night to regain the traveling Paddle trophy after a three-year absence.
The Yellowjackets’ success was more impressive after not having a game week one due to a forfeit from Frazee, but the Perham defensive unit was strong under pressure and the offense was clicking on all cylinders.
“They pounded it at us for sure,” said Perham head coach Kyle Knutson. “The first half we had some of those jitters that you have when you actually play a first game. I thought, for the most part, we responded very well and came out in the second half and played real tough.”
Ty Moser had four touchdowns in the game, three rushing and his first score was an aerial punch in the face to DL early.
“It feels great; four weeks is a long time to practice football and not be able to hit anybody,” Moser said. “It gets real frustrating and we’re beating up on each other and we came out here and got a little taste of it and wanted more. First half, got the kinks out like it’s our first game. Second half, we said this is game two now and everybody on the team performed.”
Perham held the Lakers on the opening possession when Martin LaFond deflected a fourth down pass by DL quarterback Jackson Haire giving Perham the ball at midfield.
On the Jackets’ second play of the game quarterback Jenson Beachy threw down the line to LaFond, who launched a 43-yard dagger to Moser for a 6-0 lead.
“We have some incredible talent,” said Moser. “Coach Beachy is drawing up those trick plays and he’s got a little hint of everything in there. The coaching staff really prepped us well for this game.”
DL was stopped on fourth down again at the Perham 34-yard line on a bobbled handoff between Haire and Reed Mace.
DL responded with a fourth down stop defensively and Haire and Gabe Hanninen moved the Lakers 55-yards on four plays leading to a nine-yard Hanninen rush to tie the game 6-6.
The Lakers got a quick chance at momentum thanks to a fourth down punt snap that got away from Beachy forcing an incomplete pass giving the Lakers prime real estate at the Perham 30.
Perham pushed the Lakers back one yard and held off three passing attempts, including a Zack Peterson deflection on fourth down. The teams went to the end of the first quarter knotted at a touchdown each.
Perham opened second quarter scoring moving 53 yards on 11 plays leading Moser, following the block of University of Minnesota recruit Logan Richter off the right side, into the end zone from a yard out and 12-6 lead.
“We have one of the best lines in the state, no question,” said Moser. “Everyone was really hungry to hit and with DL, it’s a huge rivalry, you can bet we’re coming to play and we did just that, everybody.”
After forcing a DL punt, Beachy hit Zack Zajac for a 63-yard touchdown reception and Peterson kicked the point after for a 19-6 lead less than two minutes from the last score.
“They were ready to play; give them credit,” said Laker head coach Josh Omang. “We weren’t ready to play, that simple. We made mistakes on both sides of the ball and it hurt us bad.”
DL responded two drives later. Haire hit Tanner Doppler for 44 yards to get to the Jacket 11-yard line. Haire scored from the one on third down and hit Mace for the deuce and the Lakers were right back in the game trailing 19-14 with 1:55 remaining in the half.
The Laker defensive unit gave the offense a shot at the lead when Reed Reller stopped Perham’s opening drive of the second half with an interception of Beachy inside Laker territory.
DL picked up a first down but Moser sacked Haire on third and 14 to force a punt.
Perham got the ball at their own 43 and lined up for some smash-mouth football.
Peterson ran right behind Richter at right guard five consecutive times to move to the Laker 30. Beachy ran play action off the sixth play and found Moser, who made a one-handed, diving grab for 17 yards. Moser was hurt on the play but came back on fourth-and-goal from the three to plunge into the end zone with an important momentum grab and a 26-14 lead with 2:35 left in the third quarter.
Perham transformed their offense from throwing successfully in the first half to pounding the ball with the lead on the scoreboard.
“That’s the form we try to live by and we have some talented kids and they’ve been working real hard for these last four weeks,” said Knutson. “Tonight it paid off for them.”
Trailing by two scores, DL got to midfield quickly but Jace Kovash picked off Haire and Perham looked to nail the coffin shut at the midfield stripe as the third quarter horn sounded.
“Mistakes again,” said Omang. “Unfortunately, the margin of error is not big against any of the teams that we play. We have to learn that. There is no magic. The playsheet doesn’t fix the problem. There are a million things that are on the list and it’s disappointing because we didn’t play that bad last week. We have to play together and be on the same page and can’t have self-inflicted errors.”
Knutson was all praise and deservedly so after a consistent effort from his team facing DL under less than ideal circumstances with the opening week.
“It was outstanding,” he said. “I give it all to the coaching staff and these kids are tough, hard-nosed kids and it’s a difficult situation, but sometimes you’re dealt stuff like that in life and it’s a good lesson in life for these guys to persevere and come out and play hard and get a victory like this. We’ll take it.”
Moser added his fourth score of the game running untouched from 20 yards out at the 4:35 mark to go up 32-14.
Haire found Logan Pratt on a seven-yard fade pass to the right corner at 2:09 for the 32-20 final.
The Lakers played without both starting running backs Ben Nordmark and Cameron Erb, both were in street clothes.
Perham (2-0) travels to Pequot Lakes Friday, Sept. 15 to face the 1-1 Patriots.
Pequot lost a heartbreaker at Fergus Falls 23-21 on a 42-yard field goal with one-second left by Noah Raitz in Fergus Falls Friday.
The 1-1 Otters come to Mollberg Field Friday to face an 0-2 Laker team that will be hungry for the win column against a third consecutive big rival.
“I told the kids you have to respond; we have seven chances to fix it and that’s what we’re going to do,” Omang said.
D 6 8 0 6 - 20
P 6 13 7 6 - 32
P - Martin LaFond 43 pass to Ty Moser. (pass failed) 10:24
D - Gabe Hanninen 9 run (run failed) 5:04
P - Ty Moser 1 run (run failed) 8:45
P - Jenson Beachy 63 pass to Zack Zajac. (Zack Peterson kick) 6:58
D - Jackson Haire 1 run. (Haire pass to Reed Mace) 1:55
P - Ty Moser 3 run. (Peterson kick) 2:35
P - Ty Moser 20 run (pass failed) 4:35
D - Haire 7 pass to Logan Pratt (run failed) 2:09