The previously undefeated Pine River-Backus football team ran up against their biggest challenge of the season, which resulted in a 32-20 loss to the visiting Frazee Hornets Friday.
The young Hornets “rose to the challenge” as they put up a 16-8 halftime lead, then proceeded with a touchdown in each of the third and fourth quarters to stave off the Tigers.
The rushing of Hesston Bachmann overwhelmed PR-B, as the Hornet running back went for 291 yards on a workman-like 30 carries. He added two touchdown runs of four yards apiece, as well.
“The evening was less than ideal in terms of the weather, but Hornets played with a tremendous amount of heart,” said Frazee head coach Jim Rader. “Depth, experience and luck were not on our side, but the will to win was apparent.”
Frazee was coming off a heart-breaking loss to Red Lake County last week and the Hornets’ lack of depth was becoming more of an issue, with Garrett Malstrom being the latest player out, due to an injury suffered in the RLC game.
“It marked the third varsity player to suffer a serious injury this season, the most we have had at this point in all my years as head coach,” Rader said.
On the opening possession of the game, the Hornets (4-2) suffered another serious setback.
Frazee was marching the opening drive down the field and had just entered PRB territory, when Matt Tangen became the next victim of injury for the Hornets, sustaining a season ending injury to his left arm.
“It was at that point that the Hornets showed what cannot be measured on the stat charts – heart,” Rader said. “They say the true measure of a man is how they respond when the chips are really down.
“If that is the case, the young men on this team have shown great character, desire, and loyalty. They did their job, they poured it out on the field, and they stuck together supporting each other.
“They played like winners; the scoreboard was just a bonus.”
Austin Torma had a key 50-yard fumble return for six points in the second quarter, while Hesston and Tanner Bachmann each had TD runs to secure the win.
Frazee will host Red Lake (0-6) Friday for a 7 p.m. start.
Frazee at Pine River-Backus, Friday, Oct. 5
Hornets 0 16 8 8 – 32
Tigers 0 8 6 6 – 20
Fra—Hesston Bachmann 4 run (Bachmann run)
Fra—Austin Torma 50 fumble recovery (Bachmann run)
PRB—Brandon Mager 11 pass from Zach Struss (Jared Adkins run)
PRB—Struss 2 run (PAT fail)
Fra—Bachmann 4 run (Bachmann run)
Fra—Tanner Bachmann 16 run (pass good)
PRB—Mager 56 pass from Struss (PAT fail)
Rushing— Hesston Bachamnn 30-291-2; Jesse Trusty 7-17; Tanner Bachmann 6-35-1; Cory Wokasch 4 (-2); Matt Tangen 1 (-2)
Passing— Wokasch 2-7-1, 6 yds
Receiving— Grant Overland 2-6
Defense— Austin Toma FR.
Rushing— Travon Pederson 15-75
Passing— Struss 8-21-1, 158 yds
Receiving— Brandon Mager 4-106