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Tyler Patron runs over UNC's Tyler Eckman on his way to the goal line. Patron scored three touchdowns in the Eagles' victory. ROBERT WILLIAMS/PERHAM FOCUS

NYM football starts season strong

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Tyler Patron scored three touchdowns to lead the New York Mills Eagles to their first season-opening victory in five years in a dominating 28-6 win over the United North Central Warriors Thursday evening in Prairie Conference play.

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“It’s huge,” Patron said about the opening night win. “About time; feels good.”

“I’m just happy,” Head Coach Matt Radniecki said. “We’ve been trying to take steps every year.”

This year’s team is the first class to go through Radniecki’s system since his return to the helm in NY Mills four years ago.

“It’s kind of special to me to see the first class go through,” said Radniecki.

Patron opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter. The PAT was wide right. NY MIlls led 6-0.

The score came after UNC returned the opening kickoff for a score only to have the play called back on a holding call.

The Eagles’ took advantage of a fumble and had the ball at the 10-yard line looking to score at the end of the first quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Warriors forced a fumble from Patron and Tristan Kjellberg tied the game with a 90-yard return to the end zone.

Patron erased the turnover minutes later scoring untouched from 52 yards out with 10:16 to go until halftime putting NY Mills up 12-6.

“We made some big plays and we talked about that,” said Radniecki. “We have to learn to make some big plays. That’s kind of what we lacked.”

The Eagles defense kept the Warriors offense stymied the entire game and UNC made plenty of gaffes to hurt their cause.

“It’s nice when you know what’s going to happen,” Patron said. “We practiced their plays. We knew what they were going to run.”

On the ensuing drive a bad shotgun snap gave Mills the ball at the UNC 38. The Eagles failed to score but tilted the field position burying the Warriors inside the 10.

Sam Erckenback sacked UNC quarterback Taylor Carlson for a safety at 5:51 to make the score 14-6.

A last drive before the break by UNC went backwards 30 yards before Keaton Norton picked off Carlson in the waning seconds.

The third quarter remained scoreless until the final minute when Dan Kraft hit Norton from 21 yards out on a fourth-and-nine pass to the end zone and a 21-6 lead for the Eagles.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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