PEQUOT LAKES - First Pequot Lakes hit back.
Then the Patriots rallied back from a 21-0 halftime deficit to defeat the Park Rapids Panthers 28-21 Friday for a North Heart O'Lakes Conference victory.
It started with a Luke Landecker fumble recovery that stopped a promising Park Rapids drive to start the third quarter. Pequot then scored 28 unanswered points and held the Panthers to 136 offensive yards in the second half.
Setting the second half tone was junior linebacker Cody Chambers, who broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run to start the Patriot comeback. Chambers finished with 73 rushing yards and caught a key fourth down pass for 15 yards that set up the go-ahead touchdown by Matt Michaelson.
"It made them scared," said Chambers of Pequot's physical play in the second half. "They were getting tired because we were beating them to the ground. They couldn't handle us once we started hitting."
Pequot Lakes 28, Park Rapids 21
Key: The Patriots scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to rally for the win.
Conf: PL 3-1, PR 3-3
Overall: PL 3-3, PR 3-3
Next: Pequot Lakes hosts Roseau, 7 p.m. Friday.
Michaelson scored two fourth quarter touchdowns and rushed for 95 yards on 22 carries. He also had a first half interception. Nick Greer and Nic Harrison picked off passes in the second half, with Harrison's sealing the game.
The Patriots were held to five first downs and 80 yards of offense in the first half. They were penalized five times for 30 yards. In the second half, Pequot gained 237 yards with 12 first downs and was penalized once for five yards.
"In the second quarter, we started pounding them and they were getting sore," said Pequot head coach Chip Lohmiller. "They started getting up slower, slower and slower. They weren't able to move the ball in the second quarter and from then on they were getting tired and banged up.
"(In) the first quarter they came out firing. They're a good team. They are a power running team and they're going to beat you up, and I'm very proud of our kids because they played great."
Park Rapids took its opening drive 71 yards on 11 plays. The drive was capped off by Dylan Walsh's 19-yard pass to Dan Ricke. A 54-yard pass from Walsh to Kevin Vaadeland pushed the score to 14-0.
After a mishandled snap on a punt gave the Panthers the ball on Pequot's 19, Justin Peterson busted into the end zone for a 21-0 score that would last until halftime.
"They were running outside and the linebackers were staying in too tight," said Chambers. "They were just running outside of the tackles. We weren't getting off our blocks well enough.
"We had the linebackers scoot out a little bit and the defensive line scoot in. That way we could cover more ground."
Pequot's second touchdown was scored by Jeff Redmond from a yard out. The four-play, 56-yard drive was highlighted by a Harrison reverse that covered 48 yards.
Redmond finished 5-of-16 for 113 yards. The second-year starting quarterback was 3-of-6 in the second half, including 2-of-3 on third down and 1-for-1 on fourth down.
"We were waiting for this one, especially after losing that heartbreaker last week," said Chambers. "Except for Pelican Rapids, whose quarterback is amazing, all of our games have been close. There is no reason we shouldn't be 5-1."
Park Rapids 14 7 0 0 - 21
Pequot Lakes 0 0 14 14 - 28
PR-Dan Ricke 19 pass from Dylan Walsh (Dan Pike kick) 5:54
PR-Kevin Vaadeland 54 pass from Walsh (Pike kick) 2:02
PR-Cameron Free 6 run (Pike kick) 11:34
PL-Cody Chambers 30 run (kick failed) 6:23
PL-Jeff Redmond (Cole Engen pass from Redmond) 3:06
PL-Matt Michaelson 15 run (run failed) 11:28
PL-Michaelson 5 run (Michaelson run) 4:32
First downs: PL 17, PR 17
Rushes-yards: PL 40-204, PR 44-154
Pass comp-att-int-yards: PL 5-16-0-113, PR 7-18-3-135
Total offense: PL 56-317, PR 62-289
Fumbles-lost: PL 2-0, PR 1-1
Penalties-yards lost: PL 6-35, PR 6-40
Rushing: PL-Matt Michaelson 22-95, Cody Chambers 10-73, Nic Harrison 1-48, Jeff Redmond 6-(-8); PR-Kevin Vaadeland 14-55
Passing: PL-Redmond 5-16-113; PR-Dylan Walsh 7-18-135
Receiving: PL-Nic Johnsen 2-71, Cole Engen 1-28, Chambers 1-15, Michaelson 1-(-1); PR-Vaadeland 5-108
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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