PEQUOT LAKES - In the time it takes a defense to say "There's Matt Michaelson," he's already celebrating in the end zone.
That's what it seemed like Friday when the senior rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass, paving the way for the Pequot Lakes Patriots' 45-0 Heart O'Lakes Conference victory.
Pequot Lakes 45, Crookston 0
Key: The Patriots gained 438 yards with 215 coming courtesy of Matt Michaelson.
Conf: PL 3-1, C 1-3
Overall: PL 3-1, C 1-3
Next: Pequot Lakes hosts Perham 7 p.m. Friday
The versatile running back, who started the season at quarterback, had four runs of 15 yards or more, including a 59-yard scoring run in the first quarter and an 87-yard scoring sprint in the third quarter.
"I had really good blocking by my fullback, Cody Chambers, and my linemen," said Michaelson. "I had great holes to run through. I just hit the holes hard and ran hard after."
So far this season, Michaelson has accounted for four rushing touchdowns, four touchdown passes and one touchdown reception. He's not the only weapon in head coach Chip Lohmiller's arsenal.
Nic Greer caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Cole Engen to open the scoring.
Engen threw for two touchdown passes and 37 yards on 2-of-11 passing. He also rushed for 20 yards.
Chambers handled the heavy work as he rumbled eight times for 43 yards.
"I have three guys, almost four, that can do so many different things for us," said Lohmiller. "Matt can play quarterback, halfback and receiver. Cole can do all three. Greer can do receiver, halfback, fullback and Cody - you just give him the ball and he'll run 10 yards. I have a lot of big guys, powerhouses, back there."
Pequot fans got a glimpse at the future as sophomore Logan Lange busted through the line of scrimmage and sprinted 62 yards for the game's final score. He finished with 105 yards on just five carries.
"We ran the same play five times and they were all for touchdowns," said Lohmiller. "They put everyone in the box and if you can hit it real quick they can't react fast enough."
While the Patriots' offense was explosive, its defense was unrelenting. Pequot picked off three passes. Brandon Tulenchik had two of those, returning one for a touchdown. It would have been two, but a holding call negated his second touchdown.
Pequot also recovered a fumble and held the Pirates to 93 yards of total offense in the first half. Crookston managed 233 yards for the game, but never threatened to score. The closest it came was in the fourth quarter. But time expired with Crookston sitting with first and 13 at the Patriot 18.
"The most fun part about this year, compared to last year, is the team camaraderie," said Michaelson. "Everybody is jelling a lot better than last year. Everything is working out a lot better than last year.
"We're 3-1 and it feels awesome. I haven't been 3-1 my whole career I don't think. It's pretty sweet. We haven't won three in a row in a long time so it's a really good feeling."
Crookston 0 0 0 0 - 0
Pequot Lakes 12 6 14 13 - 45
PL-Nic Greer 31 pass from Cole Engen (kick failed) 6:02
PL-Matt Michaelson 59 run (kick failed) 0.0
PL-Brandon Tulenchik 64 interception return (pass failed) 39.3
PL-Michaelson 6 pass from Engen (run failed) 6:37
PL-Michaelson 87 run (Michaelson run) 4:06
PL-Sawyer Goerges 3 pass from Nevin Greer (kick failed) 2:35
PL-Logan Lange (kick failed) 1:22
First downs: PL 16, C 7
Rushes-yards: PL 39-398, C 35-153
Pass comp-att-int-yards: PL 3-12-2-40, C 4-22-3-80
Total offense: PL 51-438, C 57-233
Penalties-yards: PL 9-110, C 6-35
Fumbles-lost: PL 2-1, C 3-1
Rushing: PL-Matt Michaelson 9-209, Logan Lange 5-105, Cody Chambers 8-43, Cole Engen 8-20, Nick Greer 7-13, Nathan Stonacek 2-8; C-Matt Bittner 18-66, Josh Edlund 4-57
Passing: PL-Engen 2-11-37, Nevin Greer 1-1-3; C-Bittner 4-21-80
Receiving: PL-Greer 1-31, Michaelson 1-6, Stonacek 1-3; Ben Curran 2-68
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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