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Records fall as Yellowjackets roll in season finale

Perham's Jenson Beachy fires down field during the first half of Perham's 40-6 victory over Park Rapids Area. Beachy finished with a school record six touchdown passes in the win. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The Perham Yellowjackets finished the regular season with a blistering offensive attack, cruising past Park Rapids Area 40-6 in their final regular season football game at Ted Meinhover Field in Perham on Oct. 17.

Multiple Yellowjacket records came off the boards during the offensive explosion. Jenson Beachy threw for 435 yards and six touchdowns, both Perham individual records. Beachy finished with 485 yards of total offense, setting a new mark as well.

One of his favorite targets, Ty Moser, set four new marks in the game as well. Moser finished with nine receptions for 178 yards with four touchdowns, all new marks for the Yellowjackets. Moser joins Josh Jeziorski, who finished with nine receptions against DGF for most passes caught in a game. Moser set the mark for most touchdown receptions in a season with 10, breaking the old record of nine, which was held by Ben Waldon and Mac Stoll.

Ty Moser hauls in one of his four touchdown receptions.

“I was happy with the way the kids played for the most part and we cleaned a lot of things up that we needed to clean up,” Perham head coach Kyle Knutson said. “We accomplished that and we are looking forward to next week.”

The Yellowjackets struck for a pair of touchdowns in the first two minutes and 32 seconds of the game. Beachy hit Moser for a 43-yard touchdown on the fourth play from scrimmage. After a Tanner Knutson interception set the Yellowjackets up with good field position, Beachy hit Moser for an 11-yard score, making it 14-0 after a pair of Colton Ditterich extra points.

Tanner Knutson breaks a tackle after a first quarter interception.

“The earlier they get going, the more they click and the more they click, the more points they score,” Knutson said. “That’s kind of how we have been running all year. It was good to see that happen early.”

A Colton Kostynick fumble recovery helped the Yellowjacket defense stop a Park Rapids Area drive. Martin LaFond added a late first half interception as well, one of three first half turnovers the defense forced. It was a strong night for the Yellowjacket defense, who was playing without University of Minnesota recruit Logan Richter. Richter left the fourth quarter of the game with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton with an injury. It was a big rebound for a defense that struggled up front against DGF in a 35-32 defeat on Oct. 13.

“We played a lot more aggressive than we have played in the past,” Knutson said. “We have some guys in some different positions and they are embracing some roles and some scheme changes. They are buying into it and when they do that, they play solid.”

Beachy found Josh Jeziorski for an 11-yard strike, his third touchdown pass of the game, making it 20-0. Beachy connected with Moser for a 35-yard touchdown and hit Martin LaFond for a 50-yard catch and run, extending the lead to 33-0. Beachy continued to spread the ball out, connecting with Dylan Fudge, Zach Peterson and Zack Zajac as well. LaFond finished with five receptions for 129 yards.

Josh Jeziorski plows through a defender on his way for six.

“It’s great and it’s key. We have a lot of guys that are capable targets,” Knutson said. “Jenson throws a beautiful ball and he has a lot of poise and patience in the pocket. I have been saying that all season. I’m impressed and happy with how he is throwing the ball.”

Park Rapids Area capitalized on a muffed punt, which set them up with good field position in the closing seconds of the first half. Jason Haas rushed into the end zone from 11 yards out, making it 33-6 at the break.

Beachy added a 66-yard strike to Moser in the third quarter, setting a new individual record for the Yellowjackets in the process. His six touchdowns breaks the mark that was held by former University of Minnesota-Crookston quarterback Ben Bucholz and current Bemidji State University quarterback Jordan Hein.

The victory improves the Yellowjackets to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the Midwest District Red Division. The Yellowjackets finished in a three-way tie for second place in the division with Pequot Lakes and DGF. Fergus Falls defeated DGF 30-13 securing the division championship. The section seedings will be announced on Oct. 19, the Yellowjackets appeared to have secured a first round bye with the victory.

“It’s win or go home now. The stakes just got a little bit higher,” Knutson said. “It looks like we will have a Saturday game, so we will have some time to heal up. We have some guys that are dinged a little bit. They just need a break for a few days. I’m just proud of how they played and grateful they did what they did.”

Martin LaFond looks up field after breaking a tackle.

PR 0 6 0 0--6

PER 14 19 7 0--40

First Quarter

PER: Jenson Beachy 43-yard pass to Ty Moser (Colton Ditterich kick)

PER: Beachy 11-yard pass to Moser (Ditterich kick)

Second Quarter

PER: Beachy 11-yard pass to Josh Jeziorski (kick failed)

PER: Beachy 35-yard pass to Moser (Ditterich kick)

PER: Beachy 50-yard pass to Martin LaFond (kick failed)

PR: Jason Haas 11-yard run (pass failed)

Third Quarter

PER: Beachy 66-yard pass to Moser (Ditterich kick)

Fourth Quarter

No Scoring

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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