The Perham Yellowjackets scored early and often on their way to a 61-7 victory over Thief River Falls at the Ted Meinhover Field in Perham on Sept. 6.
Perham scored four first half touchdowns, building up a 30-0 lead at the half and settled in with a 31-point second half to continue the onslaught of the Prowlers.
"I thought our guys made a heck of an improvement from last week. The hard work and the focus they put in this week was a lot better," Perham head coach Kyle Knutson said. "We still have things to improve on. Some of our guys are not assignment perfect yet. We are going to pick the film apart this week and see how we can improve from this."
The Yellowjackets rushed for seven touchdowns and threw for another in the dominating performance. However, the Yellowjackets put the ball on the ground six times and lost five of them. For the most part, the defense got the ball back as they forced three turnovers of their own.
"Defensively, it's our goal to get the offense the ball and we did that I thought," Knutson said. "We have to take care of the ball better, offensively."
Perham rushed for 381 yards on the ground and passed for 163 in the win. Knutson said he was happy with the play of the offensive line in the win.
"I thought our blocking on the offensive line was a lot better than it has been," Knutson said. "We were a lot more powerful up front than we were last week. Our kids are realizing that's the kind of play we need to be successful offensively."
Both teams turned the ball over on their opening possession of the game, but it was Perham striking first with a two play drive. Dawson Kellogg plowed through the line for a 5-yard score. Colton Hackel hit Noah Rooney for the 2-point conversion.
FB: Perham’s Dawson Kellogg caps off a 2-play drive with a 5-yard TD run. Hackel hits Rooney for the 2-point conversion. Perham leads TRF 8-0 with 6:40 to go in the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/WFXizrwlmw— Jason Groth (@PerhamWDCSports) September 7, 2019
The ground game led to the second touchdown of the game when Hackel followed Kellogg into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion was no good and Perham led 14-0 late in the first quarter.
FB: Colton Hackel follows the block from Dawson Kellogg for a 5-yard touchdown run. The 2-point try is no good. Perham leads TRF 14-0 with 1:24 to go in the first half. pic.twitter.com/aKfqlNfOR3— Jason Groth (@PerhamWDCSports) September 7, 2019
Perham added to its lead late in the second quarter with a four play drive. Hackel was going to the ground and pitched the ball to Finn Diggins, who scampered to the corner for a 16-yard touchdown, his first of two in the game. Diggins converted the try, extending the lead to 22-0.
FB: Hackel with the pitch to Finn Diggins just before he goes down for a 16-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion by Diggins is good. Perham leads 22-0 with 1:57 to go in the second quarter. pic.twitter.com/SGGcSszCNo— Jason Groth (@PerhamWDCSports) September 7, 2019
Perham's lone passing touchdown of the game came on the final play of the first half. Hackel fired a pass into traffic in the end zone, but Maddux Kovash made a leaping catch over a defender for the 33-yard touchdown. Hackel hit Rooney for the 2-point conversion.
FB: Colton Hackel throws it up in traffic and Maddux Kovash comes down with the ball for the 33-yard TD pass to make it 30-0 after Hackel hits Rooney for 2. pic.twitter.com/uSUTEe3lz2— Jason Groth (@PerhamWDCSports) September 7, 2019
Perham continued to dominate on the ground in the second half. Diggins and Hackel each rushed for a third quarter touchdown, while Josh Peterson and Jordan Muench added fourth quarter touchdowns.
Thief River Falls got on the board when Brevyn Lingen hit Aaron Bruggeman for a 23-yard score.
It was a strong defensive effort for the Yellowjackets, who held the Prowlers to 232 yards of total offense. The Prowlers rushed for 67 yards. The Yellowjackets recorded two sacks, two interceptions and eight tackles for a loss in the win. Gabe Bellefeuille and Dylan Lysne recorded the interceptions, while Isaac VanWatermulen and Caleb Lung got to the quarterback.
Hackel rushed for 154 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. He completed 12 of his 17 pass attempts for 163 yards and a score. Rooney finished with five receptions fro 57 yards, while Diggins hauled in four passes for 60 yards.
Peterson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown, while Kellogg added 57 yards and a touchdown. Diggins finished with 48 yards rushing and two scores.
The Yellowjackets improve to 2-0 and 1-0 in the Midwest Red District. Thief River Falls dropped to 0-2 and 0-1 in the Midwest Red District.
The Yellowjackets return to the Ted Meinhover Athletic Complex for Homecoming when they take on Park Rapids Area at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13. Park Rapids Area suffered a 48-6 defeat to Detroit Lakes and sits at 0-2 with losses to Detroit Lakes and Ottertail Central.