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Patriots shut out D-G-F to reach final - Traut's 4 touchdowns help PL advance

The second-seeded Pequot Lakes Patriots football team built an early lead and then used an outstanding defensive effort to cruise past the third-seeded Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels 34-0 in the Section 8-3A semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Nathan Traut ran for three touchdowns and caught an 8-yard pass for another score to lead the the Patriots, who improved to 7-2 overall and advance to face top-seeded Perham in the championship game at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Fargodome. The victory was a bit of revenge for Pequot Lakes, which had lost to D-G-F in the previous four section finals.

"We had a lot of time to prepare for this game, and I felt like we got the job done," Traut said. "Our goal was to stop their offense, and we did that ... They have been beating us in the section playoffs every year, so beating them feels amazing."

The field was in admirable shape to start despite snowfall the previous day. Traut quickly took advantage of field conditions by scoring on a 36-yard carry just 1:07 into the contest. The Patriots got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff as John Marchwick recovered. Pequot Lakes drove toward the end zone and eventually scored when Blake Lane passed eight yards to Traut to make it 14-0 with 7:48 remaining in the opening quarter.

There was no other scoring in the first half, despite a fumble recovery by Zach Sjoblad. Penalties did hinder the hosts in the opening half.

In the second half, the Rebels were forced to punt and Pequot Lakes quickly moved down field after a 13-yard run by Traut and a 22-yard pass from Lane to Austin Young to the D-G-F 7. Traut eventually scored on a 1-yard run with 5:03 left in the third period to make it 21-0 following Chase Larson's third successful conversion kick.

The Rebels fumbled on the kickoff and Harley Large recovered for the Patriots at midfield. Pequot Lakes drove, including converting a fourth-and-seven play late in the quarter when Lane passed to Sjoblad and he ran to the D-G-F 19. The teams quickly traded interceptions and the Patriots had possession on the Rebels' 17. Traut then ran around the outside and scored with 11:21 left to make it 27-0 following a missed extra-point kick.

Maxx Schindel returned a fumble recovery 70 yards for the final score for Pequot Lakes. The Patriot reserves then played most of the remaining minutes as the hosts enjoyed a comfortable 34-0 lead. Pequot Lakes, which beat DGF 35-7 in the regular season, and has won six games in a row.

"They played with a lot of excitement," coach Chip Lohmiller said. "We've been working hard while we had a bye, so they were excited to play a game. They came out flying. They created turnovers and the maximized on them. Our offense was vanilla - we didn't do much that was too exciting - the our defense has been really, really good."

The 7-2 Patriots travel to the Fargodome on Thursday, Nov. 2, for a section championship game against the winner between Perham and East Grand Forks.

"D-G-F is so good, but we were able to stop them today," Lohmiller said. "I'm proud of my guys ... We knew we could win if we just did our jobs and knew our responsibilities."

Traut carried 19 times for 101 yards while Lane completed 10 of 14 passes for 112 yards. Young caught five passes for 75 yards.

Dilworth-G-F 0 0 0 0—0

Pequot Lakes 14 0 7 14—34

First quarter

PL: Nathan Traut 36-yard run (Larson kick) 10:53

PL: Traut 8-yard pass from Blake Lane (Larson kick) 7:48

Third quarter

PL: Traut 1-yard run (Larson kick) 5:03

Fourth quarter

PL: Traut 17-yard run (Kick no good) 11:21

PL: Maxx Schindel 70-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown (Larson kick) 7:50

Individual statistics:

Rushing: PL, Traut 19-101, Psych 4-52, Lane 9-39, Jorgens 3-15

Passing: PL, Lane 10-14-112

Receiving: PL, Young 5-75, Traut 2-17, Sjoblad 1-14, Schindel 1-6