Football: Hackel drills 37-yard field goal as time expires to lift Perham over Fergus Falls
Hudson Hackel made the third-longest kick in Perham football history on Friday as time expired to lift Yellowjackets over the Otters 22-20 on the road. Perham moved to 3-2 ahead of homecoming week.
FERGUS FALLS – The Yellowjackets snapped their two-game losing streak with a 22-20 win over Fergus Falls, and they did it in dramatic fashion.
The Perham football team saw its third-longest field goal sail off the foot of junior Hudson Hackel and through the uprights as time expired to knock off the Otters on the road. Hackel’s 37-yard kick is tied for the third longest in program history.
Trailing 20-19, the Yellowjackets forced a turnover on downs at their 29-yard line with 1:49 left. The first three plays of Perham’s offensive drive went for six yards before a timeout with 58 seconds left to set up fourth down.
Needing four to keep the game alive, Blaiz Schmidt connected with Noah Thomson for 10 yards to get to the 45-yard line. A sack and a nine-yard pass to Gage Aanenson set up another fourth down play, needing 11 yards with less than 40 seconds left.
Schmidt hit Thompson on a do-or-die play again. This time, the two connected for 22-yards, setting up the Yellowjackets at the Otters’ 34-yard line. After another 10-yard pass to Thompson, Perham called its final timeout with four seconds left, setting up Hackel’s game-winning kick. The 12-play, 51-yard drive moved Perham to 3-2 on the season.
Longer plays were easier to come by in the first three quarters for the Yellowjackets. Schmidt found Alex Ohm on a 74-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
After Griffin Babolian got the touchdown back in the second quarter, Hackel punched in a four-yard score to take a 14-6 lead at the half. Braylon Rach broke off a 66-yard touchdown run just over a minute into the third quarter to put Perham in the driver’s seat up 19-6.
The Otters fought back to take a one-point lead. Levi King cut the deficit in half with a two-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter before Elijah Draeger gave Fergus Falls a 20-19 lead 1:20 into the fourth.
While each offense moved to the beat of their own drum, the total yardage was almost even. Perham gained 329 yards, with 216 of them coming through the air, while Fergus’ 310 rushing yards made up for only 15 through the air.
Rach led the Yellowjackets in rushing with 111 yards on 10 carries. Schmidt was 14-for-23 passing for 216 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception. Ohm was the team’s leading receiver with 87 yards on three catches with a touchdown.
Babolian carried the ball 30 times for 175 yards. King also had a good day on the ground for the Otters with 77 yards on 10 carries. Brayden Nelson was 3-for-9 passing with an interception.
Sawyer Dilbeck nearly doubled the next leading Perham tackler with 17, including eight solo tackles. Hackel had 10 with two tackles for losses, while Annenson had nine and an interception.
Hackel’s kick was five yards off the school record. Charlie Nelson drilled a 42-yard field goal in 1982 on Sept. 8 at Pelican Rapids. Mike Neels hit a pair of 38-yard kicks. The first came at home against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton before repeating the feat three weeks later on Oct. 17, 2001. Hackel’s kick is tied with Chris Ceynowa’s from 1986 in a game against Wadena.
Perham will host Osakis (4-1) in its homecoming game this Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.