GRAND FORKS — Two years ago, the Pequot Lakes Patriots ended the season for Perham with a dominating performance to advance to the state tournament with a win in the Section 8-3A championship.
The No. 1 seeded Yellowjackets returned the favor Thursday night at the Alerus Center with a 10-3 victory in a dominating defensive performance as the Patriots struggled to sustain their ground attack.
Pequot Lakes received the game’s opening kick and marched down the field with a steady, sustained ground game.
Running back Nolan Michaelson left game half way through the opening drive with an ankle injury and even though Conner Leagjeld hit a 20-yard field goal to close out the drive, the Patriots offense never recovered.
“The injury really hurt because Michaelson and Logan Lange combo off each other,” said Pequot Lakes head coach Chip Lohmiller. “That was big, but the biggest thing was the turnovers, which really killed us.”
Two years ago, the Patriots won the turnover battle and turned those miscues into points. On Thursday, the Yellowjackets ended several Patriots’ drives with turnovers.
After getting a field goal of their own, the Yellowjackets Jesse Hein scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on a 1-yard burst with a little more than four minutes left in the second quarter.
Pequot Lakes did get a final opportunity in the fourth quarter. After getting Perham to turn the ball over on downs on the Patriots 35 yard line, starting quarterback Jordan Redmond led Pequot Lakes on a drive down to the Yellowjackets’ 8. The drive was highlighted by a Travis Noska catch from Redmond.
However, the Patriots failed to punch the ball in the end zone.
“It really was a great season and was nice to make it to the section championship,” said Lohmiller.
Pequot Lakes 3 0 0 0 — 3
Perham 3 7 0 0 — 10
PL: Conner Leagjeld 28 field goal 7:27
Per: Jesse Hein 29 field goal :53
Per: Jordan Hein 1 run (Hein kick) 4:04