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Chris Murphy, Published October 17 2013

Park Christian locks up home playoff game with win over NCE-U-H

FARGO – Moorhead Park Christian left guard Austin Daugherty’s eyes lit up like a deer in headlights when the “Daugherty Special” was called in the huddle.

Quarterback Jared Olsgaard told him not to drop the pass. As the ball sailed in the Fargodome lights to a wide-open Daugherty, he thought to himself: “Don’t drop it.”

He didn’t and it was a big reason Park Christian rallied for a 41-27 Minnesota 9-man football win Thursday over Norman County East-Ulen-Hitteral. The two teams will meet again at Park Christian next Tuesday in a Section 6 quarterfinal game.

Even with a cast surrounding his broken left hand and the pressure of Park Christian holding onto a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, Daugherty hauled in his first-ever reception and went 65 yards for a touchdown.

“I had to rely on my right hand a little more, but I’ve been working on it,” Daugherty said. “The end zone was a long ways away. I’m just happy I didn’t drop the ball.”

It was a first for Olsgaard as well. He’s never thrown to an offensive lineman in a game.

“Only in practice,” Olsgaard said. “I told him before the play that no matter what he better not drop the pass. He said he was going to go deep, so, once I threw it, I knew it was going to be right on the money.”

It was backbreaker for NCE-U-H (3-5), as the Titans had missed a 24-yard field goal, which would have given them the lead three plays before the Daugherty touchdown catch.

The Titans couldn’t convert on fourth down on the ensuing drive and Olsgaard ran for eight of his 126 yards rushing and one of his four rushing touchdowns on the game to put the Falcons (4-4) up 14 with 4 minutes, 34 seconds in the game on the very next drive.

“We’ve been practicing that play all week,” Park Christian coach Dan Kowalski said. “We uncovered Daugherty as our left guard and sent him out. It was awesome to see it all work out.”

Zach Stene found Mat Lee for an 11-yard touchdown pass to put NCE-U-H up 7-0 and Park Christian answered with 21 points on two Olsgaard running touchdowns and a blocked punt by Seth Heinen that Josh Heinen picked up in the end zone.

Lee answered with a two-yard touchdown run and Hunter Thompson took back the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards to tie things up. After swapping touchdown runs, then came the Daugherty special.

“It was huge,” Olsgaard said. “With that touchdown, it sparked everything.”

NCE/UH 7 6 14 0–27

PC 7 14 7 13–41

NCE/UH-Lee 11 pass from Z. Stene (Resnick kick)

PC-Olsgaard 10 run (Heinen kick)

PC-Olsgaard 5 run (kick blocked)

PC-Heinen fumble recovery (pass good)

NCE/UH-Lee 2 run (kick no good)

NCE/UH-Thompson 90 return (pass good)

PC-Olsgaard 1 run (Heinen kick)

NCE/UH-Z. Stene 2 run (pass no good)

PC-Daugherty 65 pass from Olsgaard (kick no good)

PC-Olsgaard 8 run (Heinen kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: NCE/UH, Z. Stene 7-55, Lee 6-21, J. Stene 1-5, Busby 9-24, Kraft 1-(-5), Thompson 20-66, J. Stene 2-15. PC, Heinen 5-17, Olsgaard 20-126, Moberg 2-8, Stenerson 12-88.

PASSING: NCE/UH, Z. Stene 10-20-1 118. PC, Olsgaard 9-16-0 179 yards, Moberg 0-1-1.

RECEVING: NCE/UH, Busby 2-12, Lee 3-21, Thompson 3-22, Lisburg 2-53. PC, Moberg 5-57, Hannestad 2-40, Stromme 1-27, Daughtery 1-65.


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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548