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Jason Miller, Published October 20 2012

Late touchdown lifts Park River-Fordville-Lankin over Maple Valley-Enderlin

BUFFALO, N.D. – Saturday’s North Dakota, Class 1A football playoff game between Maple Valley-Enderlin and Park River-Fordville-Lankin was literally a game of inches.

Facing a fourth-and-6 from MV-E’s 13 late in the fourth quarter, PR-F-L’s Cole Rehovsky caught a screen pass to the left and lunged at the first-down marker. Upon measurement, Rehovsky got the first down by just inches.

Four plays later, on another fourth down, Rehovsky scored from the 2-yard line for the go-ahead touchdown with 2 minutes, 25 seconds to go. It was Rehovsky’s fourth touchdown of the game and it sealed the senior’s first playoff victory, a 24-20 victory over the Falcons, the No. 1 seed from Region 1.

“I knew I had to make 6 yards,” said Rehovsky, whose team was the No. 4 seed from Region 2. “I went 6 yards, 2 inches.”

The touchdown came on a play where Rehovsky, listed as a running back and linebacker, took the snap at quarterback and looked for a few yards behind a bunched-up offensive line.

“Just run behind the big wall and hopefully make a few yards,” is how Rehovsky described it. The look gave Maple Valley-Enderlin (7-2) fits for much of the game.

“We weren’t ready for it,” said MV-E coach Brett Kapaun of the formation.

The Aggies used a power running game throughout the contest and racked up 271 yards on the ground. The big fourth-down screen play was one of only two passes Park River-Fordville-Lankin (5-4) threw.

“We didn’t stop their running game, plain and simple,” Kapaun said.

Aggies coach Robert Goll might need to see a heart specialist after Saturday’s back-and-forth game.

“Fourth downs are going to kill me,” Goll said.

The power running attack his team displayed Saturday is something Goll knows teams will expect. The hard part is stopping it.

“We let our seniors go in the backfield,” Goll said, referring to Rehovsky and Chad Jelinek, who rushed for 144 yards on 28 carries. “… People know it’s coming.”

The Falcons, meanwhile, received a strong effort from senior quarterback Jordan Haseleu, who rushed for 147 yards and passed for another 73.

“He made a lot of plays for us,” Kapaun said.

Entering the game 4-4 overall and facing a team that was 7-1, Goll knew his team was up for the challenge.

“I think those kids gained a lot of confidence by watching tape,” Goll said. “I think our kids got confidence that they could win the game.”

PRFL 6 6 6 6–24

MVE 0 13 0 7–20

PRFL–Rehovsky 13 run (pass failed)

MVE–Haseleu 17 run (17 run (Polmon kick)

PRFL–Rehovsky 3 run (run failed)

MVE–Haseleu 1 run (kick blocked)

PRFL–Rehovsky 1 run (run failed)

MVE–D. Lindgren 7 pass from Haseleu (Polmon kick)

PRFL–Rehovsky 2 run (run failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: PRFL, Jelinek 28-144, Rehovsky 17-98, Hankey 6-29. MVE, Haseleu 15-147, T. Lindgren 16-72, McGough 5-3, Richman 2-3.

PASSING: PRFL, Hankey 2-2-0-29 yards. MVE, Haseleu 12-18-1-73.

RECEIVING: PRFL, Rehovsky 2-29. MVE, D. Lindgren 7-51, T. Lindgren 3-0, Dixson 1-9, Kittleson 1-13.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Jason Miller at (701) 241-5549