Warriors shut out Pelican Rapids 40-0
By Mike Isola/Beyond the Bleachers – reprinted with permission
Sebeka, Minn. (August 29)—After struggling offensively in the season-opening win over Park Rapids Area, the United North Central Warriors turned the tables en route to a 40-0 shellacking of the visiting Pelican Rapids Vikings on Friday in Sebeka.
The Warriors piled up nearly 400 yards of total offense and capitalized on four Viking turnovers.
United North Central opened the game with a seven-play, 56-yard scoring drive that was capped by a four-yard run by quarterback Tom Tellers. The senior signal-caller added the conversion run for the 8-0 lead.
Three Pelican Rapids miscues in the second quarter allowed United North Central to pile up the points starting with an interception that led to a three-yard touchdown run from Kirby Hrdlicka. Andrew Rockensock hauled in the conversion pass from Tellers.
The Vikings fumbled the ball on their ensuing possession and United North Central answered immediately when Hrdlicka rumbled for a 29-yard touchdown on the Warriors’ first play from scrimmage. Another Pelican Rapids interception led to a 25-yard scamper from Tellers, which gave the host Warriors the 28-0 lead at the break.
Pelican Rapids threaten on their first possession to open the second half. The Vikings marched down to the Warrior three-yard line but the drive ended in another turnover—their fourth of the game—with an interception by Tellers at the doorstep.
“They had a nice drive in the third quarter, but we dug in and made the plays to preserve it with an interception.” United North Central head coach Jeremy Nordick said. “What made that stop even better was our offense taking the ball on a drive for a touchdown.”
Fullback George Lausten bulldozed his way into the end zone from four-yards out to cap the Warriors’ 98-yard scoring drive early into the fourth quarter. After forcing Pelican Rapids into a quick three-and-out, the Warriors hammered the final nail in the coffin with a 23-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore James Clark that made the final score 40-0 with eight minutes left to play.
“It was another big win for our program,” Nordick said. “I felt we made many improvements from our first game at Park Rapids.”
United North Central’s biggest improvement was starting and finishing off drives, which they did against the Vikings. The Warriors rushed for 294 yards on 40 attempts and completed four of six passes for another 103 yards en route to 397 yards of total offense.
“One of our goals was to move the football and finish off drives. I thought we did that for the most part all night.” Nordick stated. “That is a huge credit to our offensive line, who controlled the line of scrimmage from the get go. Our backfield really has been running hard, and it’s a lot of fun to pop them in to the open field. Another positive that we love to see is our receivers blocking downfield, extending plays. We didn’t really throw it all that much, so it was good to see our perimeter guys really taking pride in their stalk blocks.”
Kirby Hrdlicka led the Warriors rushing attack with 119 yards on 15 carries. He also hauled down two catches for 60 yards from Tellers, who completed four passes for 103 yards and was intercepted once. Tellers also rushed for 79 yards on nine carries. Lausten added 37 yards rushing on six carries and Clark complied 33 yards on seven touches.
Also making an impact offensively was Aaron Hrdlicka with one reception for 27 yards and Thane Dailey had one catch good for 17 yards. Freshman running back Mason Dailey had three carries for 17 yards.
Defensively, the Warriors posted their second straight shutout and limited Pelican Rapids to 101 yards of total offense.
“Our goal was to contain [running back] Donovan Young and not give up any big plays.” Nordick added. “We did an outstanding job of it all night. We challenged our defense before the game to get another shut out and they came through!”
Colt Hansen led the team in tackles with 10 and had one of the Warriors three quarterback sacks in the game. Lynard Wright and Clark collected six tackles apiece with Clark adding an interception. Both Lausten and Aaron Hrdlicka had quarterback sacks in addition to their five and four tackles, respectively. Thane Dailey and Tellers also snagged interceptions in the victory.
The last time United North Central open the season with two straight victories was during the 2006 season.
“Our kids and staff have approached this season, every practice and every game with a chip on our shoulder. We’ve used any negativity as fuel to get better. I’m so very proud of the guys for how hard they work; after all they’ve endured in the last year.” Nordick stated. “I’d also like to credit my coaching staff with their energy, and dedication to making UNC football better: Randy Thompson (Defensive Coordinator), Lee Shepersky (Line Coach), Steve Bruer (Special Teams) and Charlie Hrdlicka (Secondary/Intensity). These guys really do a great job of focusing on the fundamentals of the game, and game planning week to week.”
United North Central (2-0) travels to Wadena-Deer Creek at 7 p.m. Friday.
Pelican Rapids at United North Central on August 28 (in Sebeka)
Warriors 40, Vikings 0
PR 0 0 0 0—0
UNC 8 20 0 12—40
UNC—Tom Tellers 4 run (Tellers run)
UNC—Kirby Hrdlicka 3 run (Andrew Rockensock pass from Tellers)
UNC—Hrdlicka 29 run (pass failed)
UNC—Tellers 25 run (run failed)
UNC—George Lausten 4 run (run failed)
UNC—James Clark 23 run (run failed)
Rushes-Yards: UNC 40-294; PR
Pass Comp-Att-Int-Yards: UNC 4-6-1-103; PR
Total Offense: UNC 397; PR 101
Rushing: UNC-Kirby Hrdlicka 15-119, Tom Tellers 9-79, George Lausten 6-37, James Clark 4-33, Mason Dailey 3-17
Passing: UNC-Tellers 4-6-1-103
Receiving: UNC-Kirby Hrdlicka 2-60, Aaron Hrdlicka 2-26, Thane Dailey 1-17
Defensive Standouts: UNC-Colt Hansen 10 tackles, quarterback sack; Lynard Wright 6 tackles; James Clark 6 tackles, interception; George Lausten 5 tackles, quarterback sack; Kirby Hrdlicka 5 tackles; Thane Dailey 4 tackles, interception; Aaron Hrdlicka 4 tackles, quarterback sack
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