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'Jackets hope to continue offensive success on the road

The prolific Yellowjacket offense will take its show on the road for the first time this season when they head to Thief River Falls, Minn., taking on the Prowlers on Friday, Sept. 16 at Northland Community College.

The prolific Yellowjacket offense will take its show on the road for the first time this season when they head to Thief River Falls, Minn., taking on the Prowlers on Friday, Sept. 16 at Northland Community College.

The Yellowjackets have scored 82 points in two games with Jack DeConcini leading the way with eight touchdowns, seven rushing and one receiving. They face a defense that has allowed 51 points in two losses. The Prowlers opened the season with a 24-7 defeat to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and were shut down by Park Rapids, 27-7, in their second game of the season.

Yellowjacket head coach Kyle Knutson said the Yellowjackets raised the bar in their 50-0 win over East Grand Forks and they will need to work hard to reach and exceed that mark.

The Yellowjackets rushed for 331 yards, while passing for 31 in the win. Knutson said one of the keys will be playing their style of football. He added they need to stop the run and control TRF's passing game.

That was something Park Rapids Area did in its 27-7 victory over Thief River Falls. The Panthers held the Prowlers to just 90 yards of total offense. The Prowlers gained 32 yards through the air, while rushing for just 58 yards on 27 carries.

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Josh Bernier ran for 52 yards on 12 carries, while Landon Kruckeberg carried it six times for 21 yards. The only score for the Prowlers came on a halfback pass when Christian Larson hit William Anderson for a 20 yard touchdown. The Prowlers had two first downs, both coming on their scoring drive.

Knutson said they expect to see a lot of the inside trap, lead and dive plays from a three back set when the Prowlers have the ball.

"They are typically a power team," Knutson said. "They will attack the outside as well. The passing game for them varies from year to year."

Defensively, Knutson said, they need to be more physical than Thief River Falls and arrive in better shape than them to outlast the Prowlers.

Last year, the Yellowjackets defeated the Prowlers, 22-18, at Ted Meinhover Field. Tyler Berby rushed for two scores, while DeConcini added the game-winning touchdown from 22 yards out. The Yellowjackets rushed for 134 yards, while passing for 176 yards. DeConcini finished with 69 yards rushing on five carries. Bernier was the leading rusher for the Prowlers with 87 yards. Bernier is back in the backfield for the Prowlers, along with Christian Larson, who rushed for 37 yards in last year's meeting.

The Yellowjackets hope to continue the ground attack when they take on Thief River Falls. DeConcini has rushed for 231 yards on 22 carries, while Zack Peterson has added 119 yards on eight carries. Jenson Beachy has rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries.

"We plan to keep our running game rolling," Knutson said. "When they come inside to try to shut that down, we will hit them with the pass. Our offense is playing pretty hot so far, so we want to keep that going."

The Yellowjackets have shown the ability to pass when needed during the season. Beachy has passed for 69 yards on five completions with one touchdown. The Yellowjackets haven't needed to go through the air with the success of their ground attack. The Yellowjackets have averaged 349 yards on the ground in their first two games.

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Defensively, the Yellowjackets answered the call after a tough 33-32 defeat to Hawley. They pitched a shutout against East Grand Forks, allowing the Green Wave only 112 yards of total offense and eight first downs. Zack Peterson leads the way with 17 tackles, while Beachy and Roo Schmitz have 13 each. Reid Moser has 12 tackles, while Jonathan Staebler has 11. Moser and Noah Christenson have an interception each for the Yellowjackets.

For the most part the Yellowjackets are healthy heading into Friday's contest. The Yellowjackets are nursing a pair of knee injuries suffered in the first two weeks. Anthony Dahl went down to an injury in the first game, but appeared in game two. Tanner Knutson suffered a leg injury in the second game of the season. The team is currently monitoring those injuries.

The Yellowjackets return to the field on Friday, Sept. 16 for a 6 p.m., kick off with the Prowlers in Thief River Falls.

Related Topics: THIEF RIVER FALLS
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