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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published November 09 2013

Mahnomen moves on to state football semifinals

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Trevor Haugo is making up for lost time.

The senior opened the football season as a starter in the Mahnomen backfield. But he suffered a broken fibula that sidelined him for seven games. In his second game back in the lineup Saturday, he was a workhorse as the Indians beat Upsala-Swanville 28-12 in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota Class 1A state football playoffs.

“It’s awesome to be back,” Haugo said. “I love football. I hated standing on the sideline on those crutches when I was hurt.”

After carrying eight times for 70 yards in his first game back in the Section 8 final, Haugo carried 28 times for 166 yards and a touchdown in the quarterfinals. Sophomore quarterback Tom Pavek added 23 carries for 156 yards and three touchdowns. The 51 carries the two combined for accounted for all but 12 of the Mahnomen offensive plays.

It was Haugo pounding up the middle and Pavek with some deceptive ball handling, faking handoffs and bursting to the perimeter.

“It’s a good thing Trevor was back and ready to go,” Mahnomen coach John Clark Jr. said. “We needed the depth when some guys went down today (with injuries). He’s a big body who is hard to bring down.

“With those injuries, we turned into a two-headed monster on offense. That hasn’t been our style.”

Pavek – making only his fifth start after recovering from a concussion – had 3- and 1-yard scoring runs, giving the Indians a 14-6 halftime lead.

After Upsala-Swanville pulled to within 14-12 in the third quarter, Haugo burst up the middle for a 31-yard score and a 20-12 lead with 7:27 remaining. On the next Mahnomen possession, Pavek got open on the sideline and ran 37 yards for the final TD.

“I didn’t expect to play so much,” the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Haugo said. “But when Austin (Reitan) went down with an injury, I got to play fullback. I love running the ball, running into people. My leg is still sore. I wasn’t expecting that many carries.”

Mahnomen held a 359-174 advantage in total yards. Most of the Upsala-Swanville yards came on three big plays. Quarterback Tyler Evans had scoring passes of 62 and 76 yards to Jordan Sales. Mitch Lange rushed for 128 yards, 55 of those on one play.

“Except for three plays, we played well on defense,” said Clark, whose team had five sacks, including two apiece by Bob Bjorge and Levi Liebl.

Mahnomen (12-0) plays Faribault Bethlehem Academy at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in a state semifinal game in Minneapolis. Upsala-Swanville closed with a 10-2 record.

US 6 0 6 0–12

M 8 6 0 12–28

M–Pavek 3 run (Haugo run)

US–Sales 62 pass from Evans (pass failed)

M–Pavek 1 run (pass failed)

US–Sales 76 pass from Evans (run failed)

M–Haugo 31 run (run failed)

M–Pavek 37 run (Haugo run)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: US, Lange 26-128. M, Haugo 28-166, Pavek 23-156.

PASSING: US, Evans 6-13-1 186 yards. M, Pavek 2-5-0 29.

RECEIVING: US, Sales 5-183, Loven 1-3. M, Hanson 1-23, Lefebvre 1-6.

DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald