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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published October 05 2012

Pelican Rapids scores 14 fourth-quarter points in comeback win

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. – On a blustery night in northwest Minnesota, the two most dangerous high school football plays seem to be the punt and the deep pass.

Both situations haunted East Grand Forks Senior High in the fourth quarter in chilly conditions at Senior High field.

Pelican Rapids took advantage of an interception and a punt that traveled a few yards in the wrong direction to beat the Green Wave 20-10 on Friday night.

The Vikings, who trailed 10-0 at halftime, completed the comeback with a

14-point fourth quarter. Pelican Rapids, which improved to 4-2, scored 20 unanswered points in the second half.

“The difference was just attitude,” Pelican Rapids coach Dave Haugen said. “It seems so simple sometimes. It wasn’t Xs and Os. It was heart and desire.”

The tide began to turn midway through the fourth quarter with the Vikings trailing 10-6. The Green Wave were forced to punt into a stiff wind. The snap came at the 30-yard line. The booted ball came to a stop at the 27-yard line.

“Special teams hurt us all game,” said E-G-F coach Scott Oliver, whose team also had two other punts blocked. “We’ll be addressing that this week.”

Five plays later, Vikings running back Carlos Gutierrez took a sweep to the right side and dove into the end zone to pull ahead 13-10 with 7:25 remaining.

East Grand Forks, which dropped to 3-3, would have one final rebuttal. The Wave drove into Pelican Rapids territory with about two and a half minutes to go.

But on second-and-10 from the 45, Green Wave quarterback Nick Erickson lofted a high pass deep into coverage and Ryan Bruggeman intercepted the ball.

Three plays later, Bruggeman sealed the victory with a 70-yard run.

Bruggeman, a 5-foot-11, 155-pound junior, finished with 150 rushing yards on 12 carries.

“He’s a gritty guy and has a sense for the moment,” Haugen said. “We like to get him involved in a lot of ways. We like to see him around the ball.”

The Vikings finished with 278 rushing yards, with 205 coming in the second half.

PR 0 0 6 14–20

EGF 0 10 0 0–10

EGF–Boushee 59 run (Erickson kick)

EGF–Erickson 33 FG

PR–Grahn 2 run (kick failed)

PR–Gutierrez 4 run (Diaz kick)

PR–Bruggeman 70 run (Diaz kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: EGF, Boushee 16-124, Erickson 16-34. PR, Bruggeman 12-150, Grahn 16-58.

PASSING: EGF, Erickson 3-12-2 26 yards. PR, Schell 3-8-0 13.

RECEIVING: EGF, Kallock 1-13, Brown 1-8, Mortenson 1-5. PR, Bruggeman 2-10, Coleman 1-3.

Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald