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Indians roar into Class 1A state ready to defend title

Mahnomen’s Austin Reitan (30) breaks through the Red Lake County line with blocks from teammates Anthony Sanchez (52) and Gabe Large Thursday, Oct.31, during the Section 8-1A playoffs at the Fargodome. Dave Samson/FORUM NEWS SERVICE

Mahnomen 42  Red Lake County 0

Mahnomen’s offense took a while to get in sync, but its defense was dialed in for the entire 48 minutes Thursday night.

The Indians’ stingy defensive unit played a big role in their 42-0 victory over Red Lake County during the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 8 football championship game at the Fargodome.

Mahnomen (11-0) held the Rebels (9-2) to 57 yards of total offense, which helped in securing its fourth-consecutive section championship.

The shutout was the Indians’ seventh of the season.

“Our defense has been lights out all year,” Mahnomen head coach John Clark Jr. said. “They really rose to the occasion.

“Red Lake County is a team that likes to play quick off the ball and we got them in a lot of second-and-long, third-and-longs all game. It is not what they wanted, but exactly what we wanted.”

The Indians advance to play the champion of 1A, Section 6 in the state quarterfinals set for 3 p.m., Nov. 9 at Bemidji State University.

“To be honest it is just another game,” said Mahnomen senior running back Austin Reitan, who finished with 123 yards rushing and a touchdown.

“We try to keep things simple on defense. We just go hard every play.”

The game was scoreless after the first quarter. Mahnomen’s first drive was a three-and-out. Its second and third drives ended in turnovers – an interception and a fumble inside the five-yard line of Red Lake County.

“I though the first two drives, Red Lake County really punched us in the face,” Clark Jr. said. “I was concerned when we fumbled inside the 10-yard line early on in the game, but our defense came up with a stop and we really righted the ship after that.”

Mahnomen sophomore quarterback Tom Pavek scored on a pair of one-yard keepers for the Indians’ first two touchdowns. Mahnomen led 20-0 at halftime.

“They just get after you defensively,” Red Lake County head coach Brian Remick said. “I thought the first quarter was OK, but we really lost the battle of field position in the second quarter.

Pavek finished with 115 yards rushing and was 7 of 11 passing for 115 yards. Pavek connected with senior Trevor Haugo for a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Haugo, who also rushed for an eight-yard touchdown, was playing in his first game since Week 3, when he suffered a broken leg.

Mahnomen’s winning streak moves to 25 – the second longest active streak in the state.

Red Lake County 0 0 0 0 – 0

Mahnomen 0 20 16 6 – 42

M–Pavek 1 run (run failed)

M–Pavek 1 run (pass failed)

M–Haugo 30 pass from Pavek (Reitan run)

M–Reitan 38 run (Haugo run)

M–Haugo 8 run (Reitan run)

M–Londo 1 run (run failed)


RUSHING: RLC, W. Casavan 16-(-10), Magnell 7-32, Harris 7-30, Knott 3-5. M, Bjorge 6-29, Reitan 14-123, Pavek 11-115, Haugo 8-70, Foss 5-31, Londo 4-14, Schoenborn 2-(-10)

PASSING: RLC, W. Casavan 1-8-0–0. M, Pavek 7-11-1–115, Team 0-2-0–0

RECEIVING: RLC. Magnell 1-0. M, Haugo 2-41, Hanson 2-35, Worms 1-16, Bjorge 1-9, Lefebvre 1-14

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