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Patriots edged by Park Rapids 14-12

The Park Rapids Panthers edged the Pequot Lakes Patriots 14-12 in Heart ‘O Lakes Conference football action on Friday, Sept. 20.

When the final gun sounded, the difference in the game was a successful two-point conversion by Park Rapids after their second touchdown of the game. Missed scoring chances and costly penalties also played a big part in the outcome of the game.

The teams exchanged possessions early in the game. Midway through the opening period, Park Rapids recovered a fumble, and two plays later, quarterback Tyler McCollum hit receiver Drew Bade with a 72-yard scoring pass for a 6-0 lead with 3:26 left in the first quarter.

Early in the second period, Chad Christianson intercepted a screen pass, and the Patriots had the ball at their 37-yard line. That’s when Justin Mackenthun ran 63 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick failed and it was tied 6-6.

Later in the second quarter, Park Rapids drove to the Patriots’ 8 where McCollum passed to Noah MacPherson for the score. McCollum ran the two-point conversion to make it 14-6 and the homecoming crowd was happy.

Pequot Lakes did have a scoring chance late in the first half, but the drive stalled at the Panthers’ 25 after a fourth-down run fell short.

Early in the third quarter, Alex Tangen blocked a Park Rapids’ punt and the Patriots had the ball at the Panthers’ 5. A couple plays later, Shae Zeidler scored on a one-yard run to cut the deficit to 14-12. The two-point conversion run was stopped and the Panthers maintained a lead.

Late in the third period, the Patriots had another good scoring chance when Park Rapids turned the ball over on its 32, but that drive ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down.

Late in the game, Pequot Lakes had a final chance to take the lead when they took over on downs at their 31 with 3:43 left.

The Patriots moved to the Park Rapids’ 39, but the visitors were stopped on a fourth-down-and-two play.

Patriot notes:

• Last year, Park Rapids defeated Pequot Lakes 54-12 in a home game played at Pillager High School because of construction at the Pequot Lakes field.

• Pequot Lakes played without injured running back Tyler Tappe and lineman Henry Leidl.

• After four games, Pequot Lakes’ defense is led by Mackenthun with 25 unassisted tackles and 21 assists. The senior also has four quarterback sacks.

• Park Rapids improved to 3-1 overall while the Patriots dropped to 1-2 in the conference and 2-2 overall. Perham travels to Pequot Lakes for a homecoming game at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. The Yellowjackets edged Crookston 13-6 on Sept. 20.

Pequot Lakes 0 6 6 0 - 12

Park Rapids 6 8 0 0 - 14

First quarter

PR – Drew Bade 72 pass from Tyler McCollum (kick failed), 8:34

Second quarter

PL – Justin Mackenthun 63 run (kick failed), 2:00

PR – Noah Mac Pherson 8 pass from McCollum (McCollum run), 5:30

Third quarter

PL – Shea Zeidler 1 run (run failed), 6:51

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: PL 34-162, PR 61

Pass comp-att -yards: PL 3-10-48, PR 166

Total offense: PL 210, PR 227

Individual leaders

Rushing: PL, Zeidler 24-91, Mackenthun 5-71

Passing: PL, CJ Borleis 3-10-48

Receiving: PL, Mackenthun 2-33, Travis Jacobson 1-15