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Late FG lifts Indians to a victory over W-A-O

A final drive -- which ate up nine minutes -- resulted in a game-winning 27-yard field goal by Mahnomen's Preston Zornes, as the Indian football team rallied for a 23-21 victory in Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Friday.

The field goal came with 1:15 remaining in regulation as Zornes nailed it -- despite the kick being his first attempt of his young career.

The potent WAO Pony offense was stifled by a strong Mahnomen defense, which allowed just 93 yards on the ground and 128 yards of total offense.

"Our defense played very well, holding an explosive offense to only 128 total yards," said Mahnomen head coach John Clark Jr. "The defense was aided by the return of Alex LaVoy (who is back after a hand injury). Kyle Robinson also played well at linebacker."

The Ponies still used some big-play ability in a back-and-forth game, in which Mahnomen had an answer to every WAO score.

An 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Zach Riopelle late in the third quarter was answered by a 62-yard pass by wideout Brandon White to Mike Johnson just 18 seconds later to give the Indians a 20-14 advantage.

WAO quarterback Dillon Nelson hit Lucas Goodwin with an 11-yard TD strike, thus giving the home team a one-point edge 21-20 -- thus setting up Mahnomen's lasting and game-winning drive.

"The coaching staff is very proud of how the team responded after Warren would seize momentum," Clark said. "We played well offensively when we had to. We still need to be more consistent and not stop ourselves with silly mistakes."

LaVoy led the Indians with 93 yards on the ground for a 4.2 average per rush, while quarterback Dylan Stevens added 49 yards through the air for one score (a four-yarder to White).

Mahnomen outgained the Ponies 298-128 of total offense.

The Indians (2-1) will host Fosston (3-0) Friday. Fosston has outscored their three opponents by a hefty 133-28 margin this season.

Indian results

Mahnomen 23, Warren/A/O 21

Indians - 0 6 14 3 -- 23

Ponies. - 0 6 8 7 -- 21


WAO: Lucas Goodwin 3-yard run; PAT failed. 11:54, 2nd.

Mah: Dylan Stevens 4-yard pass to Brandon White. PAT failed.:43, 2nd.

Mah: Mitch Kochman 7-yard run; Stevens pass to Joe Starkey. 1:57, 3rd.

WAO: Zach Riopelle 88-yard kick return; Dillion Nelson pass to Dalton Rolla. 1:44, 3rd.

Mah: White 62-yard pass to Mike Johnson; PAT failed. 1:26, 3rd.

WAO: Nelson 11-yard pass to Lucas Goodwin; Jimmy Vondal kick. 9:50, 4th.

Mah: Preston Zornes 27-yard field goal. 1:15, 4th.


First Downs 14 9

Net Yards Rushing 187 93

Yards Passing 111 35

No. Passes 8 13

Completed 4 8

Had intercepted 0 1

Plays from line of scrimmage 53 44

Total Yards 298 128

Penalties/yards 5/35 3/20

Fumbles/lost 3/0 4/1

Rushing (att-yds) -- Mah: Alex LaVoy 22-93; Dylan Stevens 16/55; Mitch Kochmann 3/22; Brandon White 4/17 WAO: Zach Riopelle 20-68; Dillion Nelson 5-28; Lucas Goodwin 4-16; Christian Erickson 2-(-19).

Passing (comp-att-yds-td-int) -- Mah: Stevens 3-7-49-1-0; White 1-1-62-1-0...WAO: Nelson 8-12-35-1-1; Erickson 0-1-0-0-0.

Receiving (rec-yds-td) -- Mah: Mike Johnson 2-83-1; LaVoy 1-24-0; White 1-4-1 WAO: Goodwin 4-13-1; Erickson 2-17-0; Dalton Rolland 1-4-0; Zach Riopelle 1-1-0.