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Chris Murphy, Published September 14 2013

Warren-Alvarado-Oslo outbattles Park Christian 19-12

MOORHEAD – The Moorhead Park Christian football team likes to pass the ball and the Falcons like to do it to players like 6-foot-5 tight end Hunter Nickel. Saturday was not the Falcons’ kind of day.

It rained and then it rained some more and then it kept raining. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo rained on Park Christian’s homecoming with a 19-12 dirty, muddy win in Moorhead.

“We’re the Falcons and we throw the ball,” Park Christian coach Dan Kowalski said. “It really screwed up our plan. The rain and the wind and weather just weren’t on our side.”

And if raining on their homecoming wasn’t enough, it rained on their season as well, as Nickel has a partial ACL tear on his left knee, which he sustained in Week 2 against Win-E-Mac, and is out for the season. A passing team losing its biggest target didn’t help matters Saturday.

“Hunter Nickel tore his ACL last Friday against Win-E-Mac and he’s pretty well done for the year,” Kowalski said. “It would have been huge to have him. Our backup tight end dropped four passes and I’m not going to pick on him, but that hurt us.”

Things didn’t start off well for Park Christian

(1-2), as Warren-Alvarado-Oslo’s Noelio Garcia took back the opening kickoff 95 yards to give the Ponies a 7-0 lead.

Park Christian answered on the very next drive, marching 63 yards on nine plays and capping off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jared Olsgaard to Matt Moberg to make it a 7-6 game. After a three-and-out for Warren-Alvarado-Oslo, the Falcons went 58 yards on nine plays to take a 12-7 lead on a 2-yard run from Josh Heinen.

“We were supposed to (kick) it down into the grass, but we kicked it deep and they returned it and we started in the hole,” Kowalski said. “They had two other big run plays, otherwise we probably controlled the game better. Overall, I think we outplayed them.”

One of the big running plays was Jesse Pineda’s 20-yard run with 2 minutes, 18 seconds before the end of the first half. A drive that started at W-A-O’s own 13-yard line, ended in the end zone and with the Ponies taking a 13-12 lead into the half. Pineda struck again with the other big run on the Ponies’ first play from scrimmage of the second half when he sprinted 81 of his 267 yards on the game to put the Ponies up 19-12.

Although Warren-Alvarado-Oslo held Park Christian to 70 yards from scrimmage in the second half, the Falcons had their chances. With 1:42 left in the game, the Falcons had their final chance. On the Ponies’ 22-yard line, Olsgaard lofted a pass in the end zone to Moberg, but it was intercepted by Jase Pederson and the Ponies milked the clock the rest of the way. The Ponies’ defense and Pineda were too much for the Falcons.

“They made some adjustments and the field just kept getting sloppier, so it really just shut down our read option a little bit with the running game,” Kowalski said. “They just jammed us inside with our read option and they kept blowing up our guards for some reason. We couldn’t stop that. They were in our backfield too much and we couldn’t make our cuts cause of the mud.”

W 7 6 6 0–19

P 12 0 0 0–12

W-Garcia 95 kickoff return (Miller kick)

M-Moberg 5 pass from Olsgaard (kick no good)

M-Heinen 2 run (run no good)

W-Pineda 24 run (kick no good)

W-Pineda 81 run (run no good)

RUSHING: P, Olsgaard 26-55, J. Heinen 8-53, Moberg 1-5, Stenerson 12-44. W, Pineda 21-267, Novak 3-18, Dubore 7-(-11), Pederson 2-3, Garcia 4-50

PASSING: P, Olsgaard 16-30-2 125 yards, Moberg 0-1-1. W, Dubore 1-4-1 3 yards.

RECEIVING: P, Hannestad 3-20, S. Heinen 8-81, J. Heinen 2-8, Moberg 4-20. W, Bergh 1-3.


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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548