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Old foes renew gridiron rivalry

Two former gridiron rivals will square off for the first time in 12 years when the Perham Yellowjackets host the Frazee Hornets, kicking off the 2018 football season at the Ted Meinhover Field in Perham on Aug. 31.

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Perham's Jenson Beachy gets a block and looks for more during the Black and Gold Scrimmage. The Yellowjackets open the new season on Friday, Aug. 31 when they take on Frazee at 7 p.m. at Ted Meinhover Field in Perham. Jason Groth/FOCUS

Two former gridiron rivals will square off for the first time in 12 years when the Perham Yellowjackets host the Frazee Hornets, kicking off the 2018 football season at the Ted Meinhover Field in Perham on Aug. 31.

This is the second scheduled meeting of a two-year scheduling agreement among the teams in the Midwest District. The Yellowjackets are in the Red Division, while the Hornets are in the Blue Division. Next year, there will be several changes to the Midwest District as teams are realigned every two years. Last year’s contest went down as a forfeit as Frazee folded it’s varsity team for one season, hoping to let some younger players develop, playing a junior varsity schedule. It will be an old taste of the Heart O’Lakes Conference when the two teams kick the season off.

“We haven’t played Frazee in many, many years and it was a good rivalry in the past between the two communities,” Perham head coach Kyle Knutson said. “We didn’t get a chance to rekindle that rivalry last year, so we are excited. It’s our only time that we will play Frazee in a long time, we are going to prepare for it and going to make it count.”

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The rivalry on the football field has been dormant since it came to an end in 2006 when Perham defeated Frazee 33-18 in their final battle as the HOL split.

The last meeting between the two teams lacked drama as the Yellowjackets racked up 419 yards of total offense on their way to the 33-18 win.

Nick Kiphuth rushed for 120 yards on 16 carries, while Mike Guehna finished with 91 yards on 12 carries. He rushed for a score as well. Marcus Hendrickson rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

Frazee’s lone touchdowns came through the air when Jake Sailer connected with Andrew Lockrem from 13 yards out and a 73-yard score as well.

Frazee passed for 183 yards in the loss, while Perham rushed for 388 yards and just threw for 31 yards.

However, none of those guys will be hitting the gridiron when the Yellowjackets and the Hornets renew their rivalry.

“It has been awhile since the two teams played and I know the history of the rivalry back in the day, so I’m excited to get it going again,” Knutson said. “Our community is excited to see it again, too.”

The Yellowjackets are coming off a 7-3 season, where they were defeated soundly by Pequot Lakes in the Section 8AAA Championship game. The Hornets, 1-8 in their last season as a varsity team in 2016, hope to continue the rebuilding process when the season kicks off. The Hornets will have a new coach at the helm as they make their return to varsity football. Russ Hackel was named the new head coach after Jim Jacobson stepped down in the spring.

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