The top-seeded Perham Yellowjackets know who they will square off against on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Ted Meinhover Field in the Section 8AAA semi-finals. The Yellowjackets will face a familiar foe in the East Grand Forks Green Wave.
The Green Wave advanced with a 22-19 victory over Thief River Falls Prowlers in the opening round, using a 19-point second quarter to pick up the win.
The Yellowjackets are very familiar with the Green Wave, posting a 45-12 victory in East Grand Forks on Oct. 6.
The Green Wave scored the first touchdown of the game, but it was all Perham after that. Zack Peterson rushed for three touchdowns while Jenson Beachy rushed for one and threw for one. Noah Monson had a rushing touchdown as well in the win.
The Yellowjackets used a strong ground attack, pounding the Green Wave. They rushed for 310 yards as a team, while passing for 178 yards in racking up 25 first downs. The Yellowjackets controlled the game on offense, converting eight of their 11 third down attempts.
Peterson and Beachy each went over the 100-yard plateau on the ground. Peterson rushed for 110 yards on 13 carries, while Beachy rushed for 101 yards on 17 carries. Martin LaFond added 51 yards on eight carries in the win.
Beachy completed 10 of his 17 passes for 178 yards with one touchdown. He was picked off twice in the win.
East Grand Forks found success on the ground against Thief River Falls in their 22-19 win. Maguire Stanislowski finished with 54 yards, while Ethan Trebil rushed for 57 yards in the win over the Prowlers.
Stanislowski rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown against the Yellowjackets. His big run was a 51-yard touchdown run, giving the Green Wave the early lead in the first quarter.
Carter Beck completed three passes for 29 yards, but was picked twice in the game by the Yellowjackets. Tanner Knutson recorded two of his team high six interceptions in the win.
The Yellowjackets have showcased they can win in a variety of different ways with success on the ground and through the air.
LaFond led the team in rushing with 347 yards on 31 carries. Ty Moser added 208 yards on 51 carries, while Zach Peterson has rushed for 265 yards on 50 carries. Beachy has carried the ball 69 times for 239 yards.
Of late, the Yellowjackets have found success through the air. Beachy has passed for 1,853 yards, with 782 of them in their last two games against Park Rapids Area and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. He has 18 touchdowns on the season, compared to seven interceptions. Moser leads the team with 33 receptions for 605 yards. LaFond has 25 receptions for 453 yards, while Zack Zajac has 176 receptions for 368 yards.
The Yellowjackets and the Green Wave kick off the playoffs at 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Ted Meinhover Field in Perham.
In other Section 8AA action
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton will meet Pequot Lakes in the Minnesota Class 3A, Section 8 playoffs for the fifth straight season, but for the first time it will not be in the section championship game. D-G-F has knocked off Pequot Lakes in the section title game the last four seasons, and the Rebels will have to go on the road in the section semifinals against the Patriots on Saturday, Oct. 28, if they want a shot at their fifth straight section title.
The Rebels used a 45-12 win over Park Rapids on Tuesday to set up the rematch with Pequot Lakes. Park Rapids scored first, but D-G-F responded with two touchdown runs from Steven Taves, including one from 54 yards out, and a 41-yard touchdown pass from Aiden Leach to Carter Kohler for a 19-6 lead. Despite coming into the game 0-8, the Panthers didn't go away quietly, scoring right before halftime to cut the lead to 19-12.
Park Rapids would get no closer, as D-G-F (6-3) scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to get plenty of separation. Taves rushed for 230 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, while Leach threw for 147 yards and two touchdowns to lead D-G-F.
Tom Miller of the Grand Forks Herald, along with the Forum News Service contributed to this report