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Brian Wierima / Forum Communications Co. , Published October 12 2012

Detroit Lakes tops Perham in battle of unbeatens

PERHAM, Minn. – The first zip code for the “Pigskin Paddle” will reside in Detroit Lakes.

The Lakers won the battle of the classes, as the Minnesota Class 4A, No. 4-ranked Lakers won a hard-fought 36-28 game on the road against the Class 3A, No. 2-ranked Perham Yellowjackets on Friday in high school football.

The game had all sorts of implications, all now favoring the Lakers with the win.

First, DL remains undefeated at 7-0, while not only staking claim to the rights of the rivalry “Pigskin Paddle” trophy (which started its history Friday), but also clinching the North division title in the Heart O’ Lakes Conference.

And much of the victory is credited to the physicality the Lakers put on in the trenches in the second half, where the offensive line was able to wear down the Perham defense, coming in the form of two explosive fourth-quarter touchdown runs by junior running back Jarret Nosal to close out the game.

Nosal and junior quarterback Michael Herzog each rushed for more than 100 yards at 135 and 132, respectively.

“We just wanted to start pounding the ball in the second half, and that helped with our big and physical line,” said Herzog, who also threw three touchdowns.

Incidentally, it was that early pounding of the ball that set up the game’s longest play, which came in the third quarter.

Holding onto a 15-14 lead, the Lakers had the ball to start the second half on their own 31.

Three strong off-tackle runs by Herzog, using the famous Lakers’ veer, the Yellowjackets (6-1) defense started creeping in the box.

That’s when Herzog struck.

“I made a pre-snap read and saw Stephen (Erb) singled up,” Herzog said.

A play-action fake produced a perfect strike by Herzog, who led Erb streaking down the seam in stride for a 40-yard touchdown and a little more breathing room at 22-14.

But the Lakers knew they had to contend with Perham quarterback Jordan Hein, who didn’t disappoint.

He followed by leading a 55-yard, 12-play drive, ending on a 3-yard dive by the Yellowjackets signal-caller to pull back to within two at 22-20.

But for the most part, the Lakers defense was able to keep Hein in check by not allowing any big plays to hurt them on a consistent basis.

Hein finished with 83 yards on the ground and 168 through the air, by going 14-for-23 passing and two touchdowns.

“We just wanted to keep (Hein) contained,” said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. “Last year in our game, we played him a little soft and gave him too much space, but this time we came after him and that seemed to help.”

DL 2 13 7 14–36

P 8 6 6 8–28

DL–Safety

P–Jordahl 3 run (Glines pass from Hein)

DL–Paskey 16 pass from Herzog (kick failed)

P–Brauch 7 yard pass from Hein (kick failed)

DL–McLeod 3 pass from Herzog (Tigges kick)

DL–Erb 40 pass from Herzog (Tigges kick)

P–Hein 3 run (run failed)

DL–Nosal 16 run (Tigges kick)

DL–Nosal 38 run (Tigges kick)

P–Brauch 10 pass from Hein (Bahls pass from Hein)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: DL, Nosal 16-135, Herzog 29-132, Weber 1-5, Erb 1-2. P, Hein 23-83, Jordahl 8-31, Still 2-(minus-11).

PASSING: DL, Herzog 5-7-0 85 yards. P, Hein 14-23-0 168.

RECEIVING: DL, McLeod 2-20, Erb 1-40, Paskey 1-16, Long 1-9. P, Nordick 7-101, Brauch 4-38, Mulcahy 1-11, Erickson 1-10, Glines 1-8.


Wierima writes for the Detroit Lakes Tribune