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Perham marches on with 48-17 victory over Two Harbors

Perham's Jenson Beachy runs the ball into the end zone Saturday, Nov. 10, against Two Harbors at Don Adamson Field in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Facing a methodical offense, the Perham Yellowjackets wanted to strike early and often. They accomplished that feat when they went 66 yards on the game’s opening play and never looked back when they defeated the Two Harbors Agates 48-17 in the Class AAA quarterfinal at Don Adamson Field in Brainerd on Nov. 10.

“We can score very fast and methodically down the field,” Perham head coach Kyle Knutson said. “I thought it was really good and impressive of the kids. I’m just so proud of them.”

Jenson Beachy accounted for five touchdowns in the win. He rushed for two and passed for three, while Finn Diggins caught one, passed for one and rushed for one in the victory.

“It was a great game. We knew they were going to come out and run the ball. They put some wrinkles in it and started to pass the ball, but I remember the coaches saying we needed to start out strong,” Beachy said. “Having a touchdown on the first play of the game definitely set the tone for us. We knew that we could finish the game off.”

Perham, making its seventh state tournament appearance and first since 2012, opened the game with a 66-yard strike when Beachy flipped the ball over the line to Diggins, who took it the rest of the way.

Two Harbors answered back with a field goal from Ryan Nowacki. The Agates struggled to keep pace with the fast paced offense of Perham, as they could ill afford to exchange field goals for touchdowns with the style of offense they play.

“It’s a grind and we knew that going in that it would be a grind,” Knutson said. “We prepared for that all week. They moved the ball on us a bit, but our kids ended up playing pretty well.”

Knutson said it was great to get off on that fast start and that it set the tone for the football game. He said it was exactly what they wanted to do.

“It gave us a lot of momentum because we knew if we could keep scoring and keep moving the ball, we could put up a lot of points,” Beachy said. “Our defense made some huge plays down the stretch and the final score showed that.”

Beachy capped off another drive at the end of the first quarter with a 3-yard run. He found Josh Jeziorski for the conversion.

Perham struck early in the second quarter with a 20-yard connection as Beachy found Moser over the middle of the field.

Two Harbors used a methodical drive to close the gap late in the first half when Ricky Brenna plunged in from 1-yard out. The touchdown followed a rare passing play which Cole Komarek found his receiver at the 1-yard line on fourth down, after Perham had used all three of its timeouts, hoping to get the ball back on offense.

Perham wasted little time as they marched down field. Perham finished the drive off when Beachy handed it off to Diggins, who flung it down field to Josh Jeziorski for the 20-yard strike, giving Perham a 28-10 lead at the half.

Beachy added a pair of third quarter touchdowns for Perham with a 17-yard run and a 35-yard pass to Jeziorski, after a pair of handoffs and a toss back to Beachy.

“It’s crazy how many weapons we have and we have been saying it all year,” Beachy said. “We definitely have a lot of athletes who can do anything on the field and having those athletes is huge for us.”

Diggins added to the lead with a late 3-yard run in the fourth quarter. Two Harbors finished the scoring with a 71-yard scamper by Sam Johnson.

The Yellowjackets will take on Fairmont in the Class AAA semifinals on Nov. 17 at 4:30 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Check back for more on Perham's Class AAA quarterfinal victory over Two Harbors. 

PER 16 12 14 8--48

TH 3 7 0 7--17

Scoring

First Quarter

PER: Jenson Beachy 66-yard pass to Finn Diggins (Beachy run)

TH: Ryan Nowacki 27-yard field goal

PER: Beachy 3-yard run (Beachy pass to Josh Jeziorski)

Second quarter

PER: Beachy 20-yard pass to Ty Moser (conversion failed)

TH: Ricky Brenna 1-yard run (Nowacki kick)

PER: Finn Diggins 28-yard pass to Josh Jeziorski (conversion failed)

Third quarter

PER: Beachy 17-yard run (conversion failed)

PER: Beachy 35-yard pass to Josh Jeziorski (Dawson Kellogg run)

Fourth Quarter

PER: Diggins 3-yard run (conversion failed)

TH: Sam Johnson 71-yard run (Nowacki kick)

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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