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Football Preview: Pequot Lakes at Perham

In last season's section final at Alerus Center in Grand Forks, the Perham defense knocked around Nolan Michaelson and two other Patriot quarterbacks. Jordan Hein tackled Michaelson near the Perham sideline. Michaelson was down, out of bounds, and left the game with an ankle injury. He did not return. Senior Nevin Greer and junior Jordan Redmond handled the snaps, but after the first drive of the game, the Patriots would put no more points on the scoreboard in the section final. Robert Williams/FOCUS

The Perham Yellowjackets football team - ranked No. 3 in the latest AP poll, No. 3 in the first QRF and atop both standings in the Heart O' Lakes Conference (2-0), tied with No. 6-4A Detroit Lakes, and alone atop the Section 8-3A standings (3-0) - takes on Pequot Lakes at 7 p.m. Friday night at Ted Meinhover Field capping off Homecoming Week.

The Patriots are 1-3 overall, 1-2 in the HOL-North, and 1-1 in Section 8 play. Pequot Lakes holds a QRF ranking of No. 40 of 55 3A schools and will have their hands full in taming Jordan Hein and the Perham offense, while trying to move the ball against an opportunistic and aggressive Perham defense, led by linebackers Payton Jordahl - 39 tackles and Dan Ingebrand - 44 tackles.

Luke Sailer and Josh Nordick are tied for third on the team in tackles with 27. Nordick leads the Heart O' Lakes Conference with four interceptions.

Pequot Lakes' only victory game in the Patriots' home opener versus winless Staples-Motley (0-4). The Cardinals are struggling this season averaging only six points per game, including a 51-0 shutout loss at Hawley and a 48-0 pounding to Detroit Lakes in Staples.

The Patriots' defense will attempt to key on Jordahl and Hein and should expect little success. Hein is averaging 140.5 yards rushing per game to go with seven rushing TDs in four games.

Hein has proven he can throw successfully, when necessary. He is averaging 107 yards passing per game, connecting on 50 percent of his passes, 18-36, for 428 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Hein is 10 yards away from 1,000 total yards on the season.

Jordahl has rushed 53 times for 223 yards and two touchdowns and has emerged as a back who can control the clock eating up yardage with a 4.2 yards per rush average.

Eric Brauch leads Perham in receiving with 10 grabs for 141 yards and two scores, including the game-winner in Perham's late fourth quarter comeback to down Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

Perham is averaging 348.5 yards per game, while allowing 279.8 to their four opponents and have outscored their opponents 109-62. Perham has only allowed seven points in the fourth quarter.

Even-numbered quarters have been most profitable for the Perham offense. Their scoring by quarters is: 1st-20, 2nd-40, 3rd-13, 4th-36.

Perham is averaging 27.3 ppg and 15.5 points allowed. Conversely, the Patriots have allowed 28.8 and score, on average, 15.8 ppg.

Perham is 1-0 in Homecoming games this season as the Yellowjackets spoiled the Crookston Pirates' celebration with a 26-14 victory last week.

SInce 2002, Perham leads the series 7-4.

Pequot Lakes-Perham match-ups:

2011 Section title game: Perham 10, Pequot Lakes 3

Sept. 30, 2011: Pequot Lakes 25, Perham 14

Oct. 1, 2010: Pequot Lakes 14, Perham 7

2009 Section title game: Pequot Lakes 48, Perham 16

Oct. 2, 2009: Pequot Lakes 35, Perham 32

Sept. 26, 2008: Perham 14, Pequot Lakes 7

2007 first playoff round: Perham 32, Pequot Lakes 7

2006 second playoff round: Perham 33, Pequot Lakes 22

2004 first playoff round: Perham 32, Pequot Lakes 14

2003 first playoff round: Perham 35, Pequot Lakes 6

2002 first playoff round: Perham 27, Pequot Lakes 15

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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