Area Football: Perfect offense pushes Patriots to state
FARGO—Maxx Schindel is the punter for the Pequot Lakes Patriots, but few would know that after Thursday's Section 8-3A final at the Fargodome.
The senior never punted. He never had to as he helped Pequot's offense score on all but one of its possessions. The No. 2-seeded Patriots upset No. 1 Perham 56-22 to advance to its first state tournament since 2009 and second trip in program history.
"Nobody knows I can punt," Schindel said. "I'm kind of sad because it would have been cool to punt inside here.
"This is a pretty special group of seniors and we've been waiting for this. We've been here a couple of years in a row and we haven't been able to finish it off. This is the year. We came out swinging. We started clicking. We got a couple of stops and turnovers and we kept driving. We drove every time. It felt good to score every single time."
No drive was as devastating as Pequot's opening drive of the second half. The Patriots orchestrated a 16-play, 61-yard drive that devoured nearly seven minutes of the third quarter and capped it off with a Nathan Traut 1-yard TD run to bolt out to a 42-14 advantage.
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Pequot Lakes 56, Perham 22
- Key: Pequot scored on its first eight possessions
- Overall: Pl 8-2, Per 7-3
- Next: Pequot Lakes vs. Mora/Pine City winner in Class 3A state quarterfinal at Alexandria 7 p.m. Nov. 11
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Traut finished with 160 yards on 25 carries.
"After we scored that, I came up to my coach and said that's about the perfect drive," Schindel said. "We took about half the quarter and we couldn't have done it better. He agreed."
Pequot's second drive of the second half lasted just four plays, but covered 91 yards. A 56-yard reception by Austin Young from Blake Lane highlighted the drive. It was capped off by a Deven Psyck 28-yard TD run. Pysck finished with 102 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Perham answered Pequot's scoring barrage with a Jenson Beachy 6-yard run, but on the Patriots' next drive, Pysck scored from 5 yards to drive the dagger home.
"We got into the locker room for halftime and we knew what we had to do," Schindel said. "We knew we had a solid lead, but we had to play smart. We knew they were going to come out and try to change that, but one of our coaches was saying last time he was here he was up 14 points with five minutes left and he lost.
"We had to play smart and safe and we did."
After both teams scored on their opening possessions of the game, momentum shifted toward Pequot thanks to a fumble recovery by Tim Ryan on Pequot's own 9. The fumble came on a pass completion that would have given Perham first and goal.
Instead, Pequot used the gift and drove 91 yards on 14 plays with a Lane 18-yard pass to Schindel capping it.
"It's a miraculous difference when you feel confident," Schindel said. "We went for it on fourth down twice in our opening drive and got them both. We didn't do anything special. It was pretty simple. A couple of blasts and sweeps, but it felt good. Our offense was clicking, which it has been for most of the year. We finally did it."
Perham's next possession also ended on a fumble recovery by Pequot senior defensive tackle Garrett Wolf. Two plays and two Traut runs later, the Patriots were owners of a 20-7 advantage.
Perham answered with a 20-yard Zack Peterson TD run with 5:26 remaining in the half, but that was just enough time for Pequot to put 14 more points on the board. The first points came on a 34-yard TD pass from Lane to Traut.
Perham decided to go for it on fourth and 16 with 1:30 remaining on their own 35. The decision backfired as Pequot's Lane scored from a yard out almost a minute later for the 35-14 halftime edge.
Perham 7 7 0 8—22
Pequot Lakes 7 28 14 7—56
Per-Zack Zajac 29 pass from Jenson Beachy (Zack Peterson kick) 10:15
PL-Nathan Traut 1 run (Chae Larson kick) 4:26
PL-Maxx schindel 18 pass from Blake Lane (Larson kick) 8:46
PL-Traut 7 run (kick failed) 7:27
Per-Zack Peterson 20 run (Peterson kick) 5:26
PL-Traut 34 pass from Lane (Traut run) 3:19
PL-Lane 1 run (Larson kick) :20
PL-Traut 1 run (Larson kick) 5:10
PL-Deven Psyck 28 run (Larson kick) :04
Per-Beachy 6 run (Zajac pass from Beachy) 7:16
PL-Psyck 5 run (Larson kick) 4:49
Rushes-yards: PL 53-359, Per 24-129
Pass comp-att-int-yds: PL 5-7-0-138, Per 19-27-0-200
Total offense: PL 60-497, Per 51-329
Rushing: PL-Nathan Traut 25-160, Blake Lane 8-47, Austin Young 1-5, Calvin Maske 4-19, Deven Psyck 11-102, James Brennan 4-26; Per-Jenson Beachy 10-38, Ty Moser 1-14, Martin LaFond 3-22, Zack Peterson 9-53, Dawson Kellog 1-2
Passing: PL-Lane 5-7-138; Per-Beachy 19-26-200, LaFond 0-1
Receiving: PL-Maxx Schindel 2-29, Traut;1-34, Young 2-80, Per-Zack Zajac 9-102, Peterson 3-13, Josh Jeziorski 4-57, LaFond 1-12, Dylan Fudge 1-3