Fergus Falls’ big second quarter eliminates Perham in 8AAA semifinal

Recap of Perham football in the 8AAA semifinal at Fergus Falls

1 Chas Melvin AD7C6199.JPG
Chas Melvin gives a stiff arm to a Park Rapids defender on Oct. 26, 2021 in the Yelowjackets' 8AAA quarterfinal 28-0 win over Park Rapids. (Jared Rubado / Perham Focus)

Perham walked away from Ted Meinhover Field on Oct. 1, licking its wounds after a hard-fought 13-7 loss on homecoming against Fergus Falls. Five weeks later, the Otters left no doubt in the rematch.

Perham (6-4) fell 35-14 on the road at Fergus Falls (8-2) in the semifinal round of the 8AAA playoffs. The second-seeded Otters scored three second-quarter touchdowns before punching in two late scores to clinch a playoff win.

Cole Zierden caught his first of two touchdowns from Carter Thielke just over a minute into the second quarter. Perham fumbled on early in its next offensive drive. Griffin Babolian ran in a 19-yard touchdown one play later to put the Otters up 14-0.

Perham’s Colton Hackel got the Yellowjackets on the board with a one-yard touchdown run before Fergus Falls’ Landon Thacker scored from four yards out.

Leading 21-6 in the fourth quarter, Zierden caught another touchdown pass from Thielke from 13-yards out. Colton Hackel scored his second touchdown four minutes later, followed by a successful two-point conversion from Hudson Hackel.


Thielke put the finishing touches on a semifinal victory with a nine-yard touchdown run. Fergus Fall is set to play Dilworth-Glyndon Felton (8-1) in the 8AAA championship game on Thursday at the Fargodome.

Fergus Falls outgained Perham 352-235. The Otters had a big day through the air with 181 passing yards. Thielke was 9-for-14 passing with two touchdowns.

Colton Hackel had 105 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Hudson Hackel had 36 yards on 11 carries, while Chas Melvin gained 30 yards on nine carries. Colton Hackel was 9-for-26 passing. Josh Peterson was the leading receiver with two catches for 29 yards.

Levi Richter and Ben Schumansky led the Yellowjackets in tackles with six. Both players forced fumbles as well.

PERHAM 0 6 0 8 - 14

FERGUS FALLS 0 21 0 14 - 35

SCORING- SECOND QUARTER- FERGUS FALLS- Carter Thielke 25-yard TD pass to Cole Zierden, Jayden Manteufel PAT good, 7-0, 10:48; FERGUS FALLS- Griffin Babolian 19-yard TD run, Manteufel PAT good, 14-0, 9:16; PERHAM- Colton Hackel 1-yard TD run, PAT no good, 14-6, 5:36; FERGUS FALLS- Landon Thacker 4-yard TD run, Manteufel PAT good, 21-6, 4:00; FOURTH QUARTER- FERGUS FALLS- Thielke 13-yard TD pass to Zierden, Manteufel PAT good, 28-6, 10:43; PERHAM- C. Hackel 1-yard TD run, Hudson Hackel two-point conversion run good, 28:14, 6:21; FERGUS FALLS- Thielke 9-yard TD run, Manteufel PAT good, 35-14, 4:14


Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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