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Thief River Falls rushes past Lakers

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sports Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

It was a perfect formula for a blowout as the Thief River Falls football team tagged a bloated 399 yards of rushing on the Detroit Lakes defense Thursday evening.

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But that wasn't the case, as the Lakers survived a Prowler rushing onslaught in the first half and made their comeback in the second, before falling short 35-30.

Besides the glaring stat of the Prowlers' 399 rushing yards on the night, another one was the fact DL went 0-5 on their PAT attempts -- which obviously loomed large, because those five points would have put the Lakers in position to tie the game after matching TRF's five touchdowns in the contest.

"It's an important thing to make your extra-point on the first one, because if you don't, you are chasing those points the rest of the game," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "You need those plays."

The Prowlers also debuted their new weapon in senior Aaron Yaggie, who was making his inaugural start at running back after playing wide receiver in the first six games.

Yaggie's first rush set the tone for his night -- a 20-yard touchdown run on a counter over left tackle -- as the Prowler rusher kept gouging the DL defense in the form of 234 yards on 22 carries (10.6 per carry).

"They had a lot of misdirection and a lot of the times we missed the tackle," Motschenbacher said. "It was kind of a surprise (seeing Yaggie rush), but most of it was due to responsibility breakdowns."

The Prowlers (5-2) were able to command the first half by rushing the ball 34 times for 245 yards to build a 28-6 lead, before the Lakers scored right before halftime on an eight-play, 53-yard drive capped on a Logan Baker four-yard TD run up the middle to pull to within 28-12.

"We just came out and were not ready to play," Motschenbacher said of the first half. "We couldn't get anything going offensively and our defense was out on the field for too long of a time."

But the Lakers started pulling themselves back in the game by forcing three punts by TRF in the third quarter, while limiting them to 23 yards on the ground.

DL used the big play to pull within 28-18 on a 69-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Mollberg to running back Nate Baker down the Laker sideline.

The Prowlers did have enough rushing power left in them, though, with Yaggie adding a 21-yard pickup to extend a drive in the fourth quarter, followed by a 12-yard counter up the middle for a 35-18 advantage.

The Lakers made it a ballgame by striking twice within a five-minute span, the first set up on a TRF fumble at their own 27 and resulting in a four-play drive, with the sophomore running back Alex Mason scoring his second touchdown of the game from 14 yards out.

After the DL defense held the Prowlers on fourth and 11 from the Laker 26 on the next series, Mollberg hit the wide receiver on a quick screen from the DL 33.

Stalberger made a quick juke, leaving the Prowler corner back in his wake and did the rest with his feet, sprinting the final 67 yards untouched to put DL within one scoring possession of taking the lead at 35-30.

The Prowlers recovered the onside kick, but were forced into a third and 12 from their own 45, before Riley Simenson busted out from the gut of the defense for a 20-yard pickup and a first down.

On the ensuing play, fullback Kaleb Torgeson looked like he had fumbled on a hard hit by a Laker linebacker, with DL recovering it with just over a minute remaining.

But the referees ruled a dead ball after Torgeson's helmet also flew off before the fumble, thus killing the play and the fumble -- thus essentially ending the game.

The Prowlers had good, spread rushing behind Yaggie's 234 yards, with Torgeson finishing with 84 yards on 23 carries and Simenson 78 on 15 attempts.

In all, TRF averaged 6.4 yards per rush.

Meanwhile, the Lakers struggled in their rushing attack with 140 yards.

Mason had a quiet 131 yards -- including a 47-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter for DL's first score.

Mollberg was forced to throw the ball in the second half with the 28-12 deficit and he finished with 203 yards and went 8-22, with two interceptions and two touchdowns.

"We just got down early because we didn't come out ready to play," Motschenbacher said. "The defense made their stops and in the second half, the team played with some extra energy. Hopefully they will learn that they need to play like that at the start of the game."

The Lakers (2-5) will wrap up the regular season at Duluth East Wednesday for a 5:15 p.m. start.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Thief River Falls, Thursday, Oct. 15.

Prowlers 35, Lakers 30

Detroit Lakes - 0 12 6 12 -- 30

Thief River Falls - 14 14 0 7 -- 35

TRF - Aaron Yaggie 20-yard run; Gerry Guerrero kick. 6:41, 1st quarter.

TRF - Yaggie 2-yard run; Guerrero kick. 2:09, 1st.

DL - Alex Mason 47-yard run; kick blocked. 9:53, 2nd.

TRF - Riley Simenson 1-yard run; Guerrero kick. 5:15, 2nd.

TRF - Simenson 4-yard run; Guerrero kick. 2:29, 2nd.

DL - Logan Baker 4-yard run; run failed. 56.6, 2nd.

DL - Nate Baker 69-yard pass from Joe Mollberg; pass failed. 8:11, 3rd.

TRF - Yaggie 12-yard run; Guerrero kick. 10:17, 4th.

DL - Mason 14-yard run; run failed. 6:57, 4th.

DL - Josh Stalberger 67-yard pass from Joe Mollberg; pass failed. 2:55, 4th.

DL TRF

First Downs 9 18

By Rushing 6 17

By passing 3 1

By penalty 0 0

Net Yards Rushing 140 399

No. rushes 30 62

Yards gained 161 429

Yards lost 21 30

Net Yards Passing 203 17

No. passes 22 4

Completed 8 3

Incomplete 12 1

Had intercepted 2 0

Interception yards 0 0

Total Offensive Plays 56 72

TOTAL NET YARDS 343 416

Kickoffs 6 6

Yards 231 284

Ave. kickoff 38.5 47.3

Kickoffs Returned 3 5

Yards 92 61

Ave. return 30.7 12.2

Fumbles 2 1

Fumbles lost 0 0

Penalties 6 2

Yards 30 10

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Alex Mason 17 131 0 131

Joe Mollberg 8 22 15 7

Logan Baker 1 4 0 4

Brian Labat 2 1 0 1

Nate Baker 2 3 6 (-3)

Thief River Falls -

Aaron Yaggie 22 249 15 234

Kaleb Torgeson 23 87 3 84

Riley Simenson 15 85 7 78

Ben Olson 1 8 0 8

Jacob Langevin 1 0 5 (-5)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Mollberg 22 8 12 2 203 1

Thief River Falls -

Langevin 4 3 1 0 17 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Tanner Duncan 3 35 0

Josh Stalberger 2 79 1

Brock Johnson 2 20 0

N. Baker 1 69 1

Thief River Falls -

Yaggie 1 11 0

Josh Watne 1 8 0

Simenson 1 (-2) 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Nate Bausman 5 218 43.6

Steven Labine 1 13 13

Thief River Falls -

Gerry Guerrero 6 284 47.3

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

N. Baker 1 45 45

L. Baker 1 27 27

Andy Pedersen 1 20 20

Thief River Falls -

Matt Audette 4 50 12.5

David Stenson 1 11 11

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

None

Thief River Falls -

Langevin 2 0

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Davis Johnson 1 5

Thief River Falls -

Nathan Hruby 1 7.

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