PINE RIVER - In a game where any sort of offensive production was at a premium, one adjustment in Pine River-Backus' backfield made all the difference in its 12-0 victory over the Blackduck Drakes Friday.
After accumulating just 69 total yards of offense against Class 2A's third-ranked Hawley last week, the Tigers' coaching staff decided to give senior Pat Bresnahan the bulk of the carries behind the blocking of senior tight end Marcus Hernandez, who was moved into the backfield.
The adjustment paid off against the Drakes, now 0-5, as Bresnahan broke the 100-yard rushing barrier and was involved in both of the Tigers' touchdown scores.
Head coach Randy Schwegel said the results he had seen from Bresnahan in previous weeks prompted the change in the offensive scheme.
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"Pat is typically our lead blocker," he said. "We had previously run him a little bit in the backfield, but we decided to give him a shot at the whole game tonight from that deep spot in the "I" and it worked."
Bresnahan said he welcomed the adjustment to the offense that gave his team a homecoming win.
"We put a couple of new plays in and put Marcus in the back field with me to switch it up a little bit and that helped," he said. "It was good to get back in the win column tonight.
The second half began with Blackduck attempting a fourth-down quarterback sneak on its own 31-yard line during its first drive.
The attempt failed and set up the Tigers with prime field position.
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After the offense sputtered inside the 10-yard line, PR-B was faced with a fourth-and-goal from the Drakes' nine.
The Tigers' Ben Kline handed the ball off to Bresnahan as he bolted right only to hand to Glen Abbott who flew around the left side and found his way into the end zone breaking the shutout midway through the third quarter.
Schwegel said the play had been set up throughout the game.
"We were running some sweeps to the right side with Pat and Marcus leading him that were getting some yards," he said. "They started crowding us a bit and that set up the reverse. They came hard looking for the sweep. Glen came around and he covered a lot of ground to get the score for us."
Bresnahan said he also sensed the play would work after the Drakes continually charged to the right side of the line.
"I felt they would bite on a reverse," he said. "And they did. You could see it develop perfectly and Glen did a great job putting it in the end zone for us."
The score remained 6-0 until the near mid-point of the fourth quarter when Bresnahan, who also tallied two sacks, took the handoff inside Blackduck's 20-yard line and did the rest, powering his way to a 18-yard score and giving the Tigers' a 12-0 advantage.
Schwegel said the win was an important one no matter how it was accomplished.
"We haven't played pretty all year," he said. "But we played well the second half. It's big for our seniors to get a win on their last homecoming."
Blackduck 0 0 0 0 - 0
PR-B 0 0 6 6 - 12
PR-B-Glen Abbott 9 run-(Ben Kline pass to David Sullivan failed) 5:34
PR-B-Pat Bresnahan 18 run (Kline run failed) 7:18
First downs: PR-B 9; B 5
Rushes-yards: PR-B 51-140; B 25-23
Pass comp-att-int-yards: PR-B 1-3-1-3; B 3-13-1-49
Total offense: PR-B 54-143; B 38-72
Fumbles-lost: PR-B 0-0; B 1-0
Penalties-yards lost: PR-B 4-49; B 1-5
Rushing: PR-B; Bresnahan 25-120, Marcus Hernandez 9-31, Abbott 2-9, Levi Allen 1-1, Trenton Fisher 3-1, Ben Kline 11-(-22); B; Jon Bennett 10-10, Roy Gross 3-13, Tony Hoffman 1-3, Tim Brogan 11-(-3)
Passing: PR-B; Kline 1-3-1-3; B; Brogan 2-12-1-27, Jon Bennett 1-1-0-22, Trapper Goltz 0-1-0-0
Receiving: PR-B; Hernandez 1-3; B; Bennett 2-27, Goltz 1-22
TY RUSHMEYER can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5865.
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