Indians take step closer for a return to state playoffs
The Class 1A top-ranked team in the state faced something in the Section 8-1A semifinals they haven't had yet this season -- a competitive game.
The No. 1 ranked Mahnomen Indians didn't have a four-possession lead by halftime, but it didn't matter, as the Indians (10-0) stifled No. 4 seeded Warren-Alvarado-Oslo's offense in a 27-7 win Saturday.
"I thought we were pretty sloppy in our game," said Mahnomen head coach John Clark Jr. "Warren did a great job of keeping drives alive and keeping the ball out of our hands."
The Indians only had the ball for two possessions, not counting the last 19 seconds of the first half.
Mahnomen, who has outscored their opponents by a hefty 418-12 margin, had only a 15-7 edge by halftime versus the Ponies.
"A lot of credit goes to them, but we made some mistakes, which is uncharacteristic for us," Clark said.
Senior quarterback Jacob Pavek found wide receiver Garret Hoffner twice for touchdown passes in the first half from 35 and 20 yards out, while Pavek rushed for a pair of TDs in the second half of 20 and three yards.
WAO quarterback Jayvon O'Quinn passed for a 20-yard touchdown strike to Jon Hess with just 19 seconds left in the second quarter, for the Ponies' lone score of the game.
Mahnomen out-rushed the Ponies by a 221-71 margin, while O'Quinn threw for 137 yards, and Pavek had 85.
"Even though we didn't play our best, it was a good game for us, as we had to play for the entire game," Clark said. "We still have things to clean up on both sides of the ball, though."
The Indians will play Red Lake County (6-4) for the Section 8-1A championship inside the Fargodome Thursday, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Mahnomen previously beat RLC 39-0 Oct. 17. The Rebels beat Fosston 36-14 in the first round of the playoffs and upset Fertile-Beltrami 24-20 in the semifinals.
Section 8-1A semifinals: (4) Warren-Alvarado-Oslo at (1) Mahnomen, Saturday, Oct. 27.
Ponies 0 7 0 0 - 7
Indians 7 8 6 6 - 27
Mah: Garret Hoffner 35-yard pass from Jacob Pavek; Pavek kick. 8:08, 1st quarter.
Mah: Hoffner 20-yard pass from Pavek; Bryce Penner run. 8:26, 2nd.
WAO: Chris Miller 20-yard pass from Jayvon O'Quinn; Jon Hess kick. :19, 2nd.
Mah: Pavek 20-yard run; PAT failed. 9:20, 3rd.
Mah: Pavek 3-yard run; PAT failed. 9:00, 4th.
Mahnomen rushing (att-yds): Bob Bjorge 15-83; Jacob Pavek 11-65; Trevor Haugo 4-34; Garret Hoffner 3-20; Bryce Penner 4-19. TOTAL: 37-221.
Mahnomen passing (comp-att-yds-td-int): Pavek 5-9-85-2-1.
Mahnomen receiving (rec-yds): Hoffner 2-55; Haugo 2-27; Penner 1-3.