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NY Mills holds off Parkers Prairie

By John George sports@eot.com Despite a slight hangover effect from a huge Homecoming win a week earlier, the New York Mills football team did just enough to win last Friday as they edged Parkers Prairie, 27-25. "The Panthers were ready to play a...

By John George

sports@eot.com

Despite a slight hangover effect from a huge Homecoming win a week earlier, the New York Mills football team did just enough to win last Friday as they edged Parkers Prairie, 27-25.

"The Panthers were ready to play and we just didn't match their intensity at the beginning of the game," head coach Matt Radniecki said.

Parkers Prairie got on the scoreboard first, capping a long drive with a two-yard touchdown pass for a 6-0 lead. The Eagles answered with a score late in the first quarter on a 30 yard touchdown pass from Grant Cameron to Tarrel Flanigan. Andrew Frost's extra point gave Mills a 7-6 lead.

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The Panthers came right back on Andrew Velde's second score, a two yard run, to regain the lead in the second quarter. Once again, the Eagles responded as Brenden Frost scored on a 10-yard run. Parkers Prairie didn't back down as they scored one more time before the half on a five-yard run by Derek Neiman, giving the Panthers a 19-13 lead at the break.

"I thought we didn't quit playing after falling behind," Radniecki said. "I really credit their offensive and defensive lines for controlling the line of scrimmage play and they really created some big plays for themselves by simply getting off the ball."

NY Mills took control in the third quarter, starting with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Cameron to Flanigan. A two-point run by Brendan Frost gave the Eagles a 21-19 lead. They extended that lead to 27-19 later in the third when Cameron scored on a one-yard run. Parkers Prairie scored one more time in the fourth quarter to make the final, 27-25.

"It helped that we made some big plays in the passing game and we will need to be able to continue that to be able to have success down the road," Radniecki said.

Cameron finished with 143 yards on 5-for-10 passing. Flanigan caught three of those passes for 121 yards and the two scores. Cameron also rushed for 39 yards on 12 carries. Jason Burg (19 rushes for 119 yards) and Brendan Frost (19 carries for 98 yards) carried the bulk of the offensive load, collecting 217 of the teams 256 rushing yards.

"Our backs did a nice job of running hard, but we missed some blocks and didn't get off the ball like we're capable of," Radniecki said. "We made some big plays on offense and defense, but our consistent play wasn't there and if we are going to make a playoff run, we will need to have that."

The Eagles are setting themselves up for a nice playoff run. Win or lose Wednesday night against Royalton (2-5) at Smith Field, the Eagles are assured of at least the No. 2 seed in Section 6A playoffs. Should Mills win Wednesday and Browerville (6-1) falls to United North Central in Sebeka, the Eagles will claim the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.

The first round of 6A playoffs will be Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the site of the higher seed. The semifinals will be Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., also at the site of the high seed. The 6A finals are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2 at the FargoDome at 5:30 p.m.

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