Eric Peterson, Published November 02 2012
No. 5 Perham powers past Park Rapids for section championship
Those two words summed up the Minnesota Class 3A, Section 8 football championship game Friday at Gate City Bank Field.
The Perham senior quarterback had a hand in six touchdowns, including one defensive score. That performance helped vault the No. 5-ranked Yellowjackets to a 51-26 victory against Park Rapids at the Fargodome.
“We’re getting spoiled,” Perham head coach Mike Jordahl said. “We’re going to have him for a few more games, hopefully, and that’s going to be it. He’s a special, special person, he’s a great kid and he’s really something else on the field, too.”
Perham (9-1) earned its second consecutive section championship. The Yellowjackets are scheduled to play Esko (8-2) at 3 p.m. next Saturday in Duluth, Minn., in the state quarterfinals.
“It really speaks volumes mostly of our kids,” Jordahl said. “It’s just a really unique group of kids.”
Hein finished with an eye-popping stat line. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder rushed for 204 yards and three touchdowns on 27 attempts. Hein completed 8 of 18 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Hein said. “Everything they do helps me, and we all believe in each other. It’s a team effort.”
Park Rapids erupted for 20 points in the third quarter to challenge Perham, which had a 25-6 halftime lead.
Panthers senior Zach Eystad sparked the rally with a 59-yard touchdown catch and a 67-yard touchdown run. Park Rapids quarterback Tyler McCollum tossed a 36-yard touchdown to Ian Johnson, cutting the Perham lead to 31-26 with 1 minute, 47 seconds to play in the third quarter.
“It was a little bit spooky there for us,” Jordahl said.
“Our guys didn’t give up,” Park Rapids head coach Aaron Morris said. “They gave it their all and finished the game strong.”
Hein helped make sure the Panthers’ rally fell short. Hein scored on a 2-yard run and added a 32-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Glines. Glines’ touchdown catch gave Perham a 44-26 lead with 5:15 remaining. Perham scored the game’s final 20 points to pull away late.
“Hein is a very special player and Perham is going to go a ways with that guy at the helm,” Morris said. “He does a very good job of running that team. He is a great leader and a great athlete.”
Park Rapids was playing for a section championship for the first time since 1985, Morris said.
“I’m very proud of what these guys accomplished for Park Rapids this year,” Morris said.
PR 0 6 20 0–26
P 13 12 6 20–51
P-Hein 4 run (Bahls kick)
P-Bahls 34 run (kick failed)
P-Hein 22 interception return (pass failed)
PR-Dirks 1 run (kick blocked)
P-Beachy 13 pass from Hein (run failed)
PR-Eystad 59 pass from McCollum (Gartner run)
PR-Eystad 67 run (run failed)
P-Hein 5 run (kick failed)
PR-Johnson 36 pass from McCollum (pass failed)
P-Hein 2 run (kick failed)
P-Glines 32 pass from Hein (Brauch kick)
P-Still 51 run (Brauch kick)
RUSHING: PR, Eystad 2-67, Dirks 5-23, Johnson 8-19, Gartner 9-17, McCollum 3-10, Burlingame 2-10, Olson 1-4, Massie 2-1. PER, Hein 27-204, Jordahl 16-108, Still 2-59, Bahls 2-39, Beachy 1-9, Erickson 3-7, Olson 1-1, Sailer 1-0.
PASSING: PR, McCollum 10-22-3 237 yards, Johnson 0-1-0 0. PER, Hein 8-18-0 158.
RECEIVING: PR, Johnson 5-122, Eystad 1-59, Dirks 2-27, Goplerud 2-19. PER, Glines 3-65, Brauch 1-34, Nordick 2-31, Bahls 1-15, Beachy 1-13.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.
Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com