STAPLES - Whether by land or by air, the Staples-Motley Cardinals found offensive success during Friday's Heart O'Lakes Conference clash.
But it was the defense of Class 3A's 10th-ranked squad that kept the Cardinals unbeaten at 3-0 with a 46-7 drubbing of the Pelican Rapids Vikings.
Staples-Motley 46, Pelican Rapids 7
Key: A dominating defense and balanced offense led the Cardinals
Conf: SM 3-0, PR 0-3
Overall: SM 3-0, PR 0-3
Next: Staples-Motley hosts Thief River Falls 7 p.m. Friday
S-M's defense held Pelican to 127 yards of offense, 49 of which came during the Viking's fourth quarter scoring drive against the Cardinal's junior varsity.
The only other time the Vikings came close to scoring was on their first possession - a seven play, 31-yard drive, which stalled on S-M's 34.
"We started out slow and then (S-M head coach Ryan Beachy) came into the huddle and started chewing our butt," said Cardinals quarterback and defensive back Alex Jansson. "That was enough of that and we pretty much stopped them from there."
Three straight three and outs, a Lance Flickenger fumble recovery and two more three and outs closed out the first half for Pelican's offense.
The Vikings gained just 47 yards in the first half.
"The hardest thing for our ends and outside linebackers was that quick little sweep," said Beachy. "Inside, I thought we were very strong. We did a nice job in the middle. The sweep was probably the only play that we were concerned about."
Offensively, the Cardinals could not be stopped, unless it was by themselves. S-M rushed for 328 yards and threw for 158 yards.
Jansson hit Dylan Hales on the game's first play from scrimmage for 41 yards to set the tone early. The six-play, 87-yard drive ended with Jason Johnson's 23-yard reception from Jansson in the end zone.
Brandon Wing scored on a 24-yard run and Jansson scored from 15 yards out for a 22-0 halftime lead.
"We just kept with the running game and they couldn't stop it," said Jansson. "We were trying to open things up with the passing and that really opened up the running game. The passing game really helped."
On the Cardinals first possession of the second half, Jansson busted through the line of scrimmage and darted 34 yards for a 30-0 S-M edge.
Jansson found Seth Haaland for a 9-yard TD pass and later scored from 2 yards out for a 46-0 lead.
Jansson finished with 158 passing yards and 85 rushing yards. Cody Hoemberg carried most of the load as he rushed 17 times for 113 yards. Hales finished with four catches for 85 yards.
"Cody is a horse," said Beachy. "We met on Monday and I said to Cody, 'You're a 250-pound junior and there is a sophomore over in Perham, which is in our section, that is 220 pounds and he runs harder than you do.' I think he took offense to that, which was what I was going for. That got under his skin a little bit and tonight he ran the ball well."
The only thing keeping the score low was the Cardinals' 10 penalties for 90 yards.
Pelican Rapids 0 0 0 0 6 - 6
Staples-Motley 6 16 16 8 - 46
SM-Jason Johnson 23 pass from Alex Jansson (run failed) 9:58
SM-Brandon Wing 24 run (Jansson run) 10:15
SM-Jansson 15 run (Cody Hoemberg run) 5:50
SM-Jansson 34 run (Hoemberg run) 7:47
SM-Seth Haaland 9 pass from Jansson (Jansson run) 3:19
SM-Jansson 2 run (Brandon Wing run) 11:07
PR-Casey Bruggeman 1 run (Cris Molina kick) 3:34
First downs: SM 23, PR 9
Rushes-yards: SM 43-328, PR 39-97
Pass comp-att-int-yards: SM 8-14-0-158, PR 3-17-0-30
Total offense: SM 57-486, PR 56-127
Penalties-yards: SM 10-90, PR 7-35
Fumbles-lost: SM 4-1, PR 1-1
Rushing: SM-Cody Hoemberg 17-113, Alex Jansson 8-85, Brandon Flickenger 5-50, Brandon Wing 5-29, Dylan Hales 3-21, Taylor Bendson 2-13, Blake Petrich 1-14, Gavin Kadlee 1-2, PR-Alex Klovstad 12-32, Brady Morgan 13-30
Passing: SM-Jansson 8-14-158 , PR-Casey Bruggeman 3-17-30
Receiving: SM-Hales 4-85, Jason Johnson 2-41, Wing 1-23, Seth Haaland 1-9, PR-Klovstad 1-13, Tucker Forsgren 1-17
Conference: SM 3-0, PR 0-3. Overall: SM 3-0, PR 0-3. Next: Staples-Motley hosts Thief River Falls 7 p.m. Friday.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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