PIERZ - There may be a run on football shoes this weekend.
That's because Class 2A's fourth-ranked Pierz Pioneers emptied a revolver into their collective feet in a 41-13 Central Minnesota Conference loss to the fifth-ranked Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles.
The Pioneers turned the ball over five times, four turnovers came in the first quarter, and committed five penalties for 25 yards in the first half.
Despite the mishaps, the Pioneers only trailed 21-13 at halftime.
"We kind of dodged a bullet early and I was hoping we would come out in the second half and get things going," said Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp. "We just didn't get anything going on offense.
"They have a lot of quick players in their secondary and, at this point in the season, they are a better team than we are. There's a lot of season left, though."
Eden Valley-Watkins 41, Pierz 13
Key: Five turnovers, four in the first quarter, put Pierz down early.
Conf: Prz 1-1, EV-W 2-0
Overall: Prz 2-1, EV-W 3-0
Next: Pierz at Rockford 7 p.m. Friday
In the second half the Eagles' offense started to click. They racked up 223 second-half yards and finished with 409. Ryan McCann rushed 29 times for 175 yards. Ryan Tri caught four passes for 102 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 56 yards and two scores.
"We do turnover drills during practice," said Tri. "We got a couple turnovers in the first quarter and we made
See PIONEERS, Page 4B
some plays with them."
Tri ignited things for EV-W in the first half. After Pierz's first fumble, the junior turned a 5-yard out pattern into a 57-yard touchdown reception.
Tyler Geislinger found David Stommes for an 18-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining in the first quarter. On the Pioneers' next possession Tri intercepted Zach Doroff and returned it 58 yards for the score and a 21-0 lead.
Pierz's first drive of the second quarter lasted 13 plays and covered 61 yards before Cody Stangl plunged in from a yard out.
The Pioneers' next possession finished when Jake Zahurones hauled in a deflected Michael Weber pass in the back corner of the end zone for a 21-13 halftime score.
Tri again opened the scoring in the second half as he exploded for a 59-yard TD run. He dove in from a yard out later in the half and McCann broke open a 43-yard touchdown run for the final score.
"We just wanted to keep going at them up front," said Tri. "This game was won up front. Our offensive line played really well. I give all the credit to them. They opened up holes and created time for passing."
The defeat snaps Pierz's 25-game home winning streak. The last time Pierz lost at home was Sept. 19, 2003, when the Pioneers fell in the closing moments to Holdingford 31-27.
"They ran the ball at us pretty darn good," said Pohlkamp. "Normally, Eden Valley is a passing team, but they've become a much better team now because they are running the ball very well. They have some guys, who when they get into the open field, nobody can catch them."
Eden Valley-Watkins 21 0 13 7 - 41
Pierz 0 13 0 0 - 13
EVW-Ryan Tri 57 pass from Tyler Geislinger (run failed) 9:23
EVW-David Stommes 18 pass from Geislinger (Tri run) 0:09
EVW-Tri 58 interception return (Tri kick) 0:00
P-Cody Stangl 1 run (Travis Kahl) 7:06
P-Jake Zahurones 7 pass from Michael Weber (kick failed) 2:44
EVW-Tri 59 run (Tri kick) 11:11
EVW-Tri 1 run (kick failed) 3:08
EVW-Ryan McCann 43 run (Tri kick) 8:08
First downs: Prz 15, EVW 16
Rushes-yards: Prz 25-102, EVW 43-280
Pass comp-att-int-yards: Prz 12-28-3-153, EVW 5-14-0-129
Total offense: Prz 53-255, EVW 56-409
Fumbles-lost: Prz 2-2, EVW 2-0
Penalties-yards lost: Prz 4-25, EVW 5-41
Rushing: Prz-Cody Stangl 8-38, Mitch Woitalla 7-35, Zach Doroff 6-14, John Omann 2-8, Tanner Tetrick 1-11, Michael Weber 1-(-4); EVW-Ryan McCann 29-165, Ryan Tri 4-56, Travis Molitor 8-50, Tyler Geislinger 2-9
Passing: Prz-Weber 12-27-153, Doroff 1-0-0; EVW-Geislinger 6-14-129
Receiving: Prz-Tyler Monson 3-46, Kyle Bednar 2-44, Omann 3-32, Doroff 2-13, Chad Lanners 1-11, Jake Zahurones 1-7; EVW-Tri 4-102, David Stommes 1-18, Nick Schoenecker 1-9
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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