Patriots crush Cardinals in opener

The Pequot Lakes Patriots football team opened its season in a resounding fashion by crushing the visiting Staples-Motley Cardinals 59-0 on Thursday, Aug. 28.

1068796+090414.S.PEJ_.Joel Ebnet catch.jpg
The Patriots’ Joel Ebnet, 5, makes a touchdown catch against Staples-Motley’s Matt Miller in the high school season opener on Thursday, Aug. 28, in Pequot Lakes. Photo by Pete Mohs

The Pequot Lakes Patriots football team opened its season in a resounding fashion by crushing the visiting Staples-Motley Cardinals 59-0 on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The Patriots used strong defensive play, an admirable rushing game, led by Sabastian Elsenpeter, and pin-point passing by junior quarterback CJ Borleis to down the Cardinals.

"Except for all of our first-half penalties I thought we played well on both sides of the ball with consistent play," said Pequot Lakes coach Chip Lohmiller. "This is a veteran group with a lot of experience. So we expect to do well."

After stopping S-M's opening series, the Patriots took over at midfield and it took just four plays to score as Borleis passed 13 yards to Joel Ebnet and he rushed 37 yards to the Cardinals' 7. Elsenpeter rushed around the outside to score. Borleis' extra-point kick gave the hosts a 7-0 lead. The Patriots again stopped S-M, and had possession at midfield after the punt.

On third down, Borleis threw a perfect strike to Ebnet for a 49-yard touchdown catch.The kick was blocked, but Pequot Lakes led 13-0 with 3:30 left in the first quarter.


Again S-M was forced to punt and the Patriots took over at midfield. Pequot Lakes scored quickly as Borleis found Elsenpeter over the middle, and he cut to the outside and outran the coverage for a 55-yard score. Borleis ran in the two-point play to make it 21-0.

The Patriots continued to dominate in the second quarter with 17 more points for a 38-0 halftime lead. The first score came after Chad Christianson had some nice runs for first downs as Pequot Lakes drove to the S-M 18. From there Borleis passed over the middle to a wide open tight end Alex Tangen, who reached the end zone to make it 28-0.

The Patriots forced the Cardinals to punt at their 14, and Tangen blocked the kick and the ball was recovered at the S-M 4. From there, Shea Zeidler ran into the end zone after recovering his own fumble to make it 35-0 with 6:22 left in the half.

Pequot Lakes' final points of the half came after Borleis recovered a Cardinal punt deep in S-M territory, and eventually booted a 29-yard field goal despite a light rain.

Most of the second half was played in running time because of the mercy rule, but the Patriots still added three more scores. Borleis passed 24 yards to Ebnet for a third-quarter touchdown, Then Elsenpeter tallied on a one-yard run also in the third period, and then Christianson scored on a five-yard run after Angelo Tweed recovered a Cardinal fumble at the S-M 37.

"Our defense played really well, and it was nice to get a shutout on opening night," said Pequot Lakes defensive coordinator Nick Grunzke.

The offense also played well, according to Lohmiller.

"We do have a lot of depth at most positions," he said. "CJ (Borleis) is a junior, but it's his third year as a starter, and it shows. He is very poised and did a great job. But a lot of guys, like Sabastian (Elsenpeter) and Joel (Ebnet) had big games, too."


Borleis completed seven of eight passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns while Elsenpeter rushed for 124 yards and two scores. Henry Leidl led the Pequot Lakes' defense with six tackle points while Shae Ziedler had 5.5.

The Patriots are scheduled to play at Park Rapids on Friday, Sept. 5.

Staples-Motley 0 0 0 0 - 0

Pequot Lakes 21 17 14 7- 59

First quarter

PL: Sabastian Elsenpeter 7 run, (CJ Borleis kick)

PL: Joel Ebnet 52 pass from Borleis (kick failed)

PL: Elsenpeter 55 pass from Borleis (Borleis run)


Second quarter

PL: Alex Tangen 18 pass from Borleis (Borleis kick)

PL: Shae Zeidler 4 run (Borleis kick)

PL: Borleis 29 field goal

Third quarter

PL: Joel Ebnet 24 pass from Borleis (Borleis kick)

PL: Elsenpeter 1 run (Borleis kick)

Fourth quarter

PL: Chad Christianson 5 run (Borleis kick)

Individual leaders

Rushing: PL-Elsenpeter 11-124, Christianson 10-72, Borleis 4-35, Shae Zeidler 2-14

Passing: PL-Borleis 7-8-201

Receiving: PL-Joel Ebnet 3-94, Alex Tangen 3-52, Elsenpeter 1-55

1068800+090414.S.PEJ_.CJ Borleis run.jpg
Pequot Lakes quarterback CJ Borleis, 10, looks for a receiver against Staples-Motley on Thursday, Aug. 28. Borleis passed for 4 touchdowns in a 59-0 season-opening victory. Photo by Pete Mohs

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