Jason "Gilly" Gilles
The Pine River-Backus Tigers traveled to Bagley Flyers on Friday, Oct.
The Pine River-Backus Tigers football team dropped a 28-20 decision against the Blackduck Drakes in a thrilling homecoming game between the North Star Conference schools on Friday, Sept. 26. The loss snapped PR-B's three-game winning streak. The Tigers, 2-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall, are scheduled to host Red Lake at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. "We knew going in that it was going to be a very physical running game, which it was," said PR-B coach Tom Demars. "They had a couple big passes that we needed to defend better.
The traveling Pine River-Backus Tigers football team easily defeated the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolves 33-6 in North Star Conference play on Friday, Sept. 19. Zach Semmler had three touchdown receptions to lead the Tigers to their third straight win. PR-B head coach Tom Demars called the matchup a "trap game" for the Tigers because the Wolves have some players who are "game breakers," but PR-B didn't give up a big play until the outcome was determined in the fourth quarter. The Tigers received the opening kickoff and went on a long drive starting from their own 36-yard line.
On a cold Friday night, Sept. 12, the Pine River-Backus Tigers hosted the Pillager Huskies in a North Star Conference battle of 1-1 overall teams. When it was over, the Tigers had edged the Huskies 21-18. Henry Krecklau had two touchdowns and rushed for 128 yards for PR-B, which had not defeated Pillager in its last five meetings between the teams. "We hadn't beat (Pillager) since they joined the conference so it was nice for this group to get the win," said PR-B coach Tom Demars.
Pine River-Backus senior Weston Smith was chosen most valuable offensive lineman for the North Star Conference, it was announced at the Tigers’ football team banquet on Monday, Nov. 4. Smith, along with teammates Jared Adkins, Brandon Mager, Jace Loge and Sam Pelkey were all-conference selections for the Tigers, who tied for the North Star Conference title. PR-B’s Triston Rubner, Henry Krecklau and Zach Struss were all-conference honorable mention players.
Fourth-seeded Pine River-Backus Tigers defeated the visiting No. 5 Prairie Valley Nighthawks 36-24 on a cool and snowy night in the Section 6A quarterfinals on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The Pine River-Backus Tigers traveled to Pillager and came out on the short end of a 36-16 loss to the Huskies in a battle of North Star Conference leaders on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Pillager received the opening kickoff and ate up almost six minutes of the first quarter and ended the drive with a 15-yard sweep by Chris Gjovik for the touchdown at the 6:46 mark of the first quarter. Cherokee DeLeon added the extra point to give the Huskies the 7-0 lead.
The Pine River-Backus Tigers football team remained unbeaten with a 43-7 win over the host Bagley Flyers in North Star Conference action on Friday, Sept. 27. The Tigers, 5-0 overall, put their undefeated record on the line against the visiting Frazee Hornets at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. Last fall, PR-B won its first four games before losing at Frazee. The Hornets did fall to 3-2 overall after losing to Red Lake County 20-14 on Sept. 27.
The Pine River-Backus football team traveled to Cass Lake-Bena and soundly defeated the Panthers 51-8 in North Star Conference action on Friday, Sept. 20. CL-B was unable to do anything with its first possession, and the Tigers started on the Panthers’ 49 and took advantage of the short field possession as Zach Struss connected with Brandon Mager for a 10-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead.