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Published October 27 2010

Duginski sparks Moorhead's football playoff victory in wild weather conditions

The piercing ice blowing sideways and the tornado sirens are going to give the Moorhead football team something to talk about for years to come.

Coach Kevin Feeney even joked that his players could exaggerate someday just how bad the weather really was.

Nobody, however, will have to bend the truth about Matt Duginski. The Moorhead fullback ran for 203 yards and five touchdowns on just 16 carries in the first half to help Moorhead beat Duluth East 52-0 on Tuesday night in the first round of the Class 5A, Section 8 playoffs.

“Really, I had that many yards?” a puzzled Duginski said. “Coach just kept talking about how we needed to have a good first quarter and we did what we could.”

Moorhead’s win sends it to the section semifinals where it will travel to face Cambridge-Isanti on Saturday.

Duginski did his part in the first quarter by rushing for three touchdowns en route to Moorhead taking a 30-0 lead at the end of the quarter.

Moorhead also scored on a touchdown run by Chase Morlock and a safety just a few minutes into the game.

With a No. 3 seed, it was apparent Moorhead (5-4) could easily flex its muscle against No. 6 Duluth East (0-9).

Fumbles and punts for negative yardage coupled with a four-hour bus ride didn’t make East’s night any better.

Neither did Duginski’s fourth touchdown run. He ran up the middle and when it looked like Duginski was about to be tackled, he broke out for a 78-yard touchdown run.

That gave Moorhead a 38-0 lead with 6:46 in the second quarter.

“We said before the game what our plan was going to be and that was to give it to Matt,” Feeney said. “Our guys knew it was going to be Dugy right, Dugy left, Dugy up the middle, it didn’t matter.”

Duginski’s final touchdown came in the second quarter giving a 46-0 lead at half.

Like much of the area, Moorhead got its fair share of bad weather.

If it wasn’t for the concession stand or the press box lights, it looked like the game was not going to be played.

Nearly 200 fans showed up and roughed it through the blistering weather.

At halftime, some of the fans hung out in the restrooms to stay warm.

Both teams looked into moving the game to another location were they forced to play the game at Moorhead.

“This is something our kids can look back on and talk about,” Feeney said. “In a few years they can stretch this thing out by telling their friends they won a football game where the puddles were so big that ducks were swimming in them on the sidelines.”

Duluth East 0 0 0 0–0

Moorhead 30 16 0 6–52


M–Duginski 3 run (Duginski run)

M–Duginski 17 run (Duginski run)

M–Duginski 26 run (run failed)

M–Morlock 4 run (run failed)

M–Duginski 78 run (Morlock run)

M–Boettner 12 run (kick failed)


RUSHING: M, Duginski 16-203, Morlock 3-5, Doschadis 2-15, Bye 2-9, Benedict 5-16, T. Uglem 4-9, Boettner 4-19. DE, Tapper 9-17, Farmer 9-(-3), Carlson 1-3, Fair 1-0, Toscano 6-2

PASSING: M, Doschadis 0-0-0 0 yards; DE, Farmer 0-2-0 0 yards

RECEIVING: M, none. DE, none.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548