TRF beats Perham in 8AAA title game
By Tom Miller Grand Forks Herald For the first time this season, Thief River Falls needed its passing game. The Perham defense took away the Prowlers' main weapon, running back Michael Benedict. The Prowlers didn't need to worry, though. Alex Yag...
By Tom Miller
Grand Forks Herald
For the first time this season, Thief River Falls needed its passing game. The Perham defense took away the Prowlers' main weapon, running back Michael Benedict.
The Prowlers didn't need to worry, though. Alex Yaggie and Jeremy Sich weren't the least bit rusty.
Quarterback Yaggie and receiver Sich hooked up five times for 105 yards and a score to lead Thief River Falls to an 18-7 victory over Perham in the Section 8AAA championship Friday night in the Alerus Center.
Thief River Falls, 10-1, will play host to Litchfield on Friday in the quarterfinal round of the Minnesota Class AAA state tournament.
"Hats off to Perham," Thief River Falls coach Jeff Mumm said. "They took (Benedict) away. But we have other kids. It was the first time all year we had to use our passing game. And we have some pretty good wideouts."
Yaggie led the offensive attack with 134 passing yards and 103 rushing yards. He passed for two touchdowns and ran for another.
"We knew if we could get (Perham) to bite on the run, we could throw over the top of them," Yaggie said.
With 3 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first half, Yaggie did just that. Yaggie lofted a long pass to Sich, who hauled it in for a 43-yard touchdown reception. The play gave the Prowlers a 12-0 lead.
The Yellowjackets (8-3), on the other hand, struggled to find the end zone. Although Perham eclipsed the 100-yard mark in passing and rushing, the Yellowjackets were in need of a few big plays.
"The key was not that we were unable to move the ball, but our inability to finish drives," Perham coach Howard Kangas said. "We'd get down close and have a penalty. That put Thief River Falls in a comfortable position where they could come after us."
The Prowlers' pass rush caused problems for Perham quarterback Marcus Hendrickson, who was sacked nine times for a combined 51 yards in losses.
"Our defensive ends and line play is big," Yaggie said. "They put a lot of pressure on the quarterback."
The Yellowjackets' lone score came in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run from Mike Guehna set up by an interception by Elliot Hoekstra, who returned the pick to the Prowlers' 15.
Brian Schroeer led Perham with 88 rushing yards. Jonnie Schmitz had 110 yards receiving for the Yellowjackets.
Yaggie's touchdown pass to Sean Sorteberg in the fourth quarter sealed the win.
"Since the beginning of the year, our goal has been to be state champs," Yaggie said.
The first step to a state title will be in Thief River Falls. "Whoever we play next week is going to have a long drive," Yaggie said. "It's extremely nice to be at home."
After beating Perham in last year's 8AAA title game, TRF lost to Albany in the State quarterfinals, 14-6. Albany went on to the State Championship game, but lost to Becker, 28-0.
Section 8AAA Championship
at Alerus Center--Grand Forks
Friday, November 3
#1 Thief River Falls 18, #2 Perham 7
Perham 0-0-0-7-- 7
TRF--Yaggie 9 run (kick failed) 6:59
TRF--Sich 43 pass from Yaggie (run failed) 3:45
TRF--Sorteberg 29 pass from Yaggie (pass failed) 10:33
Per--Mike Guehna 1 run (Beau Bruhn kick) 4:01
1st Downs 17 6
Rush--yds 48-163 41-188
Pass yds 130 133
Comp--Att-In 7-16-0 6-8-1
Sacks-yds 0-0 9-51
Punts-ave 6-32.0 3-23.3
Fbles-lost 3-0 4-2
Pen-yds 4-36 2-18
Possession 25:49 22:11
Rushing--Brian Schroeer 14-88; Guehna 7-33-1; Mac Stoll 6-31; Nathan Schmitz 4-19; Marcus Hendrickson 17 (-8).
Passing--Hendrickson 7-16, 130 yds.
Receiving--Jonnie Schmitz 6-110; Guehna 1-20
Defense--N. Schmitz 7 tkl; Alex Getty 6 tkl, FF; Jason Zacharias 4 tkl, FR; Nick Kiphuth 5 tkl, FF; Elliot Hoekstra 2 tkl, Int.