Football: Mahnomen scores seven times in rout of Pine-River-Backus
PINE RIVER – Mahnomen, the two-time defending Class 1A football champions, scored early and often in a 44-13 victory over Pine River-Backus to notch the Indians’ 29th straight victory in North Star Conference game action Friday night.
“It was a typical first game for us,” Head Coach John Clark, Jr. said. “We executed very well at times, but we also made several mistakes. I thought our offense was efficient for the most part. We were able to rattle off some long runs with a number of different backs. Defensively, we have some improving to do.”
Quarterback Tom Pavek and running backs Mitch Foss and Dylan Reitan all scored twice for Mahnomen.
Pavek opened the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run with 4:41 remaining in the first quarter.
Foss ran into the end zone from three-yards out at the 1:25 mark to push the lead to 13-0.
Jake Worms busted a scoring run from 58-yards with two minutes remaining in the half and the Indians went to the break leading 21-6.
Pavek and Foss added third quarter scores, Pavek from 67 yards at 9:46 and Foss from 40 yards in the final minute.
Zach Struss completed 12 of 25 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers.
Struss hit Henry Krecklau for a 75-yard touchdown pass with 9:03 remaining in the game for Pine River-Backus' second score of the game.
Dylan Reitan added Mahnomen’s seventh touchdown on a run from 42 yards after returning a punt 82 yards early in the fourth quarter.
“We did ok in the run game, but I thought we were way too tentative in pass defense,” Clark, Jr. said.
Mahnomen tallied 478 yards of offense to 266 for Pine River-Backus. The Indians did not attempt a punt.
Pavek rushed for 140 yards on 17 carries. Foss tallied 139 on seven carries averaging nearly 20 yards per rush.
Levi Leibl led the Mahnomen defense with seven tackles, three solo and two sacks.
The Brainerd Dispatch Sports staff contributed to this report.
Mahnomen 13 7 12 12 - 44
Pine River-Backus 0 7 0 6 - 13
M-Tom Pavek 6 run (Pavek kick),
M-Mitch Foss 3 run (kick failed)
M-Jake Worms 58 run (Pavek kick),
PRB-Zach Semmler 16 pass from Zach Struss (Nick Gravdahl kick)
M-Pavek 67 run (kick failed)
M-Foss 40 run (kick failed)
M-Dylan Reitan 82 punt return (kick failed)
PRB-Henry Kracklau 75 pass from Struss (kick failed)
M-Reitan 42 run (kick failed)