Chris Murphy, Published October 31 2013
D-G-F Rebels roll to section football title
The Rebels rolled Pequot Lakes 28-0 Thursday at the Fargodome to bring the Minnesota Class 3A, Section 8 title back to D-G-F.
“The kids came out and played,” D-G-F coach Tony Soderberg said. “There comes a point in the week where you just throw the kids out there and let them play. Their defense came out a little hot, but we wore them down a little bit, and we got some big plays. It was a good team effort on both sides of the ball. They earned it.”
Few had D-G-F (8-2) even as a blip on their radar screens before the season started after it went 2-7 last season. The Rebels were fine with that.
“We knew we could do it,” said D-G-F running back Brandon Wayne, who finished with two touchdowns and 47 yards on 12 carries. “I’ve never been with a team that had this much heart. I’ve never felt more part of a team than on this team.”
Ugly would be a compliment to the first quarter, as both teams combined for 40 yards. It didn’t appear pretty, but D-G-F was just sizing up its opponent. The Rebels put together a thing of beauty in the second quarter, scoring all 28 points in the frame.
“You got to feel your opponent out a little bit and see what they are trying to accomplish,” Soderberg said. “They got some big, strong boys that were just itching to get off the ball, but you make some minor adjustments and get after it and good things happen.”
Alex Matthews’ interception gave D-G-F the ball at the Pequot Lakes 39-yard line. Five plays later, Wayne was running into the end zone from 10 yards out. The Patriots’ next play from scrimmage was another interception, but this time to Joe Flatt. The Rebels got the ball on the Patriots’ 39 again, and running back Chad Johnson took it 39 yards for a touchdown on the very next play.
“Last year, we were really young, but this year we had a lot of returning starters and it’s paying off,” Johnson said. “That first quarter was rough, but we were just trying to figure out their defense.”
It’s a good night for a running back when he’s frustrated about not getting a second touchdown. After a Pequot Lakes punt on the ensuing drive, Johnson had a wide-open lane to the end zone after going 73 yards, but ran into a teammate on his cutback. Later in the game, Johnson had a 7-yard touchdown run called back for holding. He’ll get over it.
“It happens. It’s football,” said Johnson, who finished with 149 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. “I’m just happy we’re going to state.”
One play after Johnson’s 73-yard run, Wayne went in for a 5-yard score. With six seconds left in the half, D-G-F quarterback Zack Nelson found Alex Fuchs for a 17-yard touchdown pass to give the Rebels more than enough cushion. They had everything they needed.
“Heart and defense,” said Wayne, when asked what makes the Rebels so good. “Last year put a damper on all of us, but we thought this was the year. We just came out and did what we do. Rebel football.”
Pequot Lakes had 49 total yards in the first half and could never recover from the second quarter.
“We just made our own mistakes,” Pequot Lakes coach Chip Lohmiller said. “They have all the fundamentals. Our guys, we made mistakes. We really couldn’t get in a groove. They played better ball today.”
D-G-F will play the winner of today’s Class 3A, Section 6 title game between New London-Spicer and Annandale at 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at St. Cloud State University.
P 0 0 0 0–0
D 0 28 0 0–28
D-Wayne 10 run (kick failed)
D-Johnson 39 run (Flatt run)
D-Wayne 5 run (kick blocked)
D-Fuchs 17 pass from Nelson (Johnson run)
RUSHING: D, Johnson 16-149, Nelson 3-(-1), Wayne 12-47, Jacobson 4-14, Flatt 12-65, Dufault 2-6. P, Tappe 14-49, Mackenthun 3-(-10), Borleis 7-(-14), Zeidler 2-39.
PASSING: D, Nelson 2-6-0 57 yards. P, Borleis 6-15-2 63 yards.
RECEIVING: P, Sellner 1-12, Mackenthun 2-6. Jacobson 1-17, Davich 2-20. D, Fuchs 2-57.
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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548