Football: Mustangs run past Tigers 44-20
Pine River-Backus Football
OKLEE – Red Lake County Central Mustangs raced out of the gates for a 16-0 first-quarter lead on way to a 44-20 victory over the Pine River-Backus Tigers Friday, Oct. 7, in Oklee.
The Mustangs used a skilled rushing attack to defeat the Tigers in a matchup of teams who entered the game with 4-1 records. The Red Lake CC backfield combined for 332 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
“They have a good rushing attack with a couple outstanding running backs, so we knew we'd have our hands full trying to stop them,” said PR-B coach Tom Demars. “We did a much better job in the second half, but didn't start the game like we hoped. I don't know if they're the best offensive team we've faced, but I'd say they definitely had the best running back (Damon Ferguson) we've seen so far this year.”
Ferguson scored both touchdowns as Red Lake CC assumed a 16-0 lead after the first quarter. The Tigers’ Rian Struss hauled in a 21-yard pass from Irvin Tulenchik in the second quarter to cut the deficit, and later in the quarter Tulenchik tallied on a 3-yard run. But the Mustangs answered with a pair of touchdowns just before halftime to give the hosts an insurmountable 36-14 lead.
“It was a close game right before half, but a couple turnovers allowed them to score twice in the last minute or so,” Demars said.
Red Lake CC added another touchdown run in the third quarter before PR-B’s Eli Abraham caught a 39-yard pass from Joe Zaczkowski for a touchdown in the fourth period.
Tulenchik led the Tigers in passing with six completions for 68 yards while teammate Chance Abraham led in receiving with 15 carries for 102 yards.
Red Lake CC improves to 5-1 overall and is third in the Northwest District North standings while PR-B is 4-2 and third in the Northwest District South standings.
The Tigers will next face Red Lake, with the date switched to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13.
“(Red Lake) is struggling to keep a team together right now,” Demars said. “So I expect our junior varsity will get most of the playing time. That is probably a good thing for us right now since next week is a short week with a game on Wednesday (Oct. 19).”