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Published October 27 2010

Olson powers Hawley to playoff football win against Warroad

HAWLEY, Minn. – Maybe Kevin Olson has webbed feet. Or maybe his hands sweat crazy glue.

Olson’s got to be superhuman considering his performance in the monsoon-like conditions Tuesday night.

Olson had 165 rushing yards and three touchdowns to spark Hawley to a 34-0 victory against Warroad during a windy and rainy Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 first-round playoff matchup.

“As a running back you have to stay low and dig down deep to find out what’s really inside you,” Olson said of the conditions. “You have to just keep running, keep your legs moving.”

A pounding rain and winds that topped 50 mph for much of the game wreaked havoc on mere mortals.

Warroad (3-6) ball carriers fumbled on three consecutive possessions to open the game.

Olson and Hawley capitalized on each miscue to take a 20-0 lead.

An interception by Keifer Hinrichs set up the Nuggets final score of the first half.

Olson went 45 yards on his first carry following the turnover. He followed it up with a 10-yard touchdown run to make the score 26-0 with 26 seconds remaining in the first half.

“It just comes with experience,” Olson said of his success in the rain. “I’ve learned from my mistakes in the past. You just have to use it. I knew all I had to do was just hold (the ball) close to my body, protect it with both hands, and everything was going to be all right.”

Hawley (6-3) turned to its other talented running back to finish things off in the second half.

Brady Pekas finished with 109 yards on eight carries.

Nick Bjorndahl had 35 yards on five attempts.

The entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock due to Hawley’s big lead.

The teams combined for three pass attempts.

Not that the run-heavy Nuggets would have gone to the air in perfect weather. Not with this offensive line and the sure-handed Olson on the roster.

The Nuggets will play Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Section 8 semifinals in Glyndon.

“He’s so strong,” Hawley coach Peder Naatz said of Olson. “I didn’t have any concern of him not holding onto the ball tonight. He’s fundamentally sound. He knows it’s nasty tonight and he knows he had to hang onto the ball. And hanging onto the ball was key tonight.”

Warroad 0 0 0 0–0

Hawley 12 14 0 8–34

H–Olson 12 run (run failed)

H–Ames 19 run (run failed)

H–Olson 8 run (Pekas pass from Boyer)

H–Olson 10 run (run failed)

H–Pekas 5 run (Pekas run)


RUSHING: W, Vickaryous 14-70, Merriman 11-40, Laznicka 2-13, Warnsbecker 8-31, Gunnufson 4-22, Fahlstrom 4-5, Hahn 1-0. H, Boyer 8-(-4), Olson 15-165, Bjorndahl 5-35, Ames 4-39, Pekas 8-109, Schultz 4-17, Moothart 1-2, Lawson 1-(-4), Team 2-5.

PASSING: W, Merriman 0-2-1 0. H, Boyer 0-1-0 0.

RECEIVING: W, None. H, None.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com