PEQUOT LAKES -- One touchdown drive epitomized an entire game for the Pequot Lakes Patriots.
One drive in Friday's North Star Conference game against the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolves highlighted everything good and bad about Pequot's 34-10 victory.
It happened in the third quarter with Pequot leading 12-10. The Patriots began this transcending drive on their own 13 yard line.
Senior James Baumann rushed for two yards on the first play. The all-star tailback finished with 33 carries for 272 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
James Baumann (1) watched while Mike Soukup (23) returned an interception past Walker-Hackensack-Akeley's Joe Ostertag (80) during a North Star Conference game Friday in Pequot Lakes.
"Pequot was just doing a good job of securing their blocks," said Wolves coach Pete Naugle. "That gave (Baumann) the ability to bounce out where he likes to run. You give him the open area, he's going to take it."
Two plays later, facing third and 12, quarterback Chris Clasen hit Tim Koch for a 21-yard reception and a first down.
Both Clasen and Koch struggled in the homecoming victory. Clasen finished 6-of-15 passing for 53 yards and two interceptions. Koch was carried off the field with a leg injury after catching three passes for 34 yards.
"The offensive line did a real good job run blocking both first and second half," said Pequot coach Tony Maurer. "First half we were having some troubles picking up the blitzes and had some troubles passing, but we made some adjustments at halftime and the guys came out and did a heck of job.
"We were able to use all aspects of our game."
On the next play, Pequot was flagged for holding. Pequot finished with 12 penalties for 90 yards.
An 11-yard pass from Clasen to Teddy Lundgren and an 11-yard Baumann run captured another first. Pequot concluded the game with 19 first downs compared to W-H-A's eight.
A 15-yard penalty pushed Pequot back again. But once again, Baumann found a huge hole and darted to one sideline. Finding nothing he turned around and ran 30 yards for another first down.
"Oh, it's excellent" said Pequot guard Dallas Moorhouse about sneaking a peek at Baumann running. "It's so cool. He gives us a lot of credit for blocking, but if he's close enough I try to get up field and help him out."
Pequot continued to run the ball and eat up time. Five plays later, Clasen dove from one yard out to score.
The drive covered 117 yards thanks to 30 penalty yards in 15 plays and lasted more than seven minutes.
Pequot's defense then took control. Baumann recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards for the final score.
"Moorhouse tipped Charlie Schoeck and (the pass) was a duck. I just got in front of it," said Baumann, who increased his season rushing total to 793 yards. "It was all Dallas that created that."
Junior Chris Liedl, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound defensive end, intercepted a screen pass. Mike Soukup had one in the first half.
Until W-H-A's final drive, the Wolves ran just 13 plays in the second half -- two plays less than Pequot's personifying drive.
"I told the kids, I think that drive was a turning point in our season," said Maurer. "It showed we were able to handle the ups and downs and keep going and get in the end zone. You could just see a change in the whole attitude of the team."
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 0 10 0 0 -- 10
Pequot Lakes 0 6 14 14 -- 34
PL-James Baumann 16 run (kick failed) 10:40
WHA-Jon Ostertag 28 field goal 8:09
WHA-Keane Johnson 24 run (Ostertag kick) 3:03
PL-Baumann 6 run (kick failed) 9:25
PL-Chris Clasen 1 run (Tim Koch pass from Clasen) 23.4
PL-Ryan Koslofsky 7 run (Baumann run) 4:36
PL-Baumann 42 interception return (pass failed) 3:40
Rushes-yards -- PL 48-297; WHA 30-153
Pass comp-att-int-yards -- PL 6-15-2-53; WHA 3-17-3-25
Total offense -- PL 63-350; WHA 46-178
Rushing -- PL-James Baumann 33-272, Chris Clasen 8-(-5), Tim Koch 1-3, Mike Soukup 1-3, Ryan Koslofsky 5-21; WHA-Chad Zubke 9-113, Charlie Schoeck 9-(-6), Keane Johnson 8-40, Ryan Huston 4-6
Passing -- PL-Clasen 6-15-53; WHA-Schoeck 3-17-25
Receiving -- PL-Koch 3-34, Mike Wiebolt 1-8, Teddy Lundgren 1-11, Baumann 1-0; WHA-Zubke 1-4, Joe Morrison 1-14, Mike Lien 1-7
Conference -- PL 3-1, WHA 3-1. Overall -- PL 4-1, WHA 3-2. Next game -- Pequot Lakes at Pine River-Backus 7 p.m. Friday.
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