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Rick Weegman / Forum Communications Co. , Published November 10 2012

Perham rolls past Esko for berth in Minnesota state football semifinals

DULUTH, Minn. – Perham played four high school football games during the regular season in weather conditions as poor as those faced Saturday, so the Yellowjackets weren’t fazed by the rain and high wind that greeted them for their state tournament game at Public Schools Stadium.

“We played in snow, pouring rain and in a game with 30 mile-an-hour winds, so it was definitely a big help mentally for us coming into this game,” senior quarterback Jordan Hein said.

Hein ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns to spark Perham in a 42-8 win over Esko in a Minnesota Class 3A quarterfinal. The Yellowjackets (10-1) totaled 359 yards on the ground and Hein was 5-for-7 for 59 yards passing to lead his team into next Saturday’s semifinals at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

“They have a pretty good package – they are a championship-caliber team,” Esko coach Bill Hudspith said. “The quarterback was outstanding, and he had a good group around him.”

Hein swung a lateral pass out to Payton Jordahl for a 36-yard touchdown on the first series, starting an avalanche of points for the Yellowjackets.

“We expect to put up a lot of points in our offense. That’s the strength of our team,” said Hein, who is being recruited by nearly 30 Division I and II colleges. “Our offensive line has peaked the past couple weeks and we established the run and that opened up the pass, which has been a key for us.”

The Eskomos (8-3) recovered a fumble and reached the Perham 17, but threw incomplete on fourth-and-10 and never were in the game after that.

Perham responded with an 83-yard drive, which included 51 yards running by Hein, capped by his 9-yard keeper for a 14-0 lead.

“He does everything that a leader does,” Perham coach Mike Jordahl said. “He’s an amazing athlete; we’re definitely going to miss him next year.”

Esko’s Marc Peterson, who was 15-for-15 passing in the Section 7 title game, was picked off on the next play, and the Yellowjackets needed only five plays to reach the end zone again.

By halftime, Hein had run in another 7-yard touchdown for a 28-0 lead that Esko showed no signs of threatening.

“When you play at this level, you have to raise your game,” Hudspith said. “When you get into the final eight, there are no slouches.”

P 7 21 7 7–42

E 0 0 0 8– 8

P–Jordahl 36 run (Bahls kick)

P–Hein 9 run (Bahls kick)

P–Jordahl 2 run (Bahls kick)

P–Hein 5 run (Bahls kick)

P–Sailer 39 run (Bahls kick)

P–Beachy 17 run (Bahls kick)

E–Brinkley 25 run (Hintsala run)

Weegman writes for the Duluth News Tribune