Football: Unbeaten Tigers rally past Menahga

Pine River-Backus Football

PRB Football 9-16 1-copy.jpg
PR-B's Irvin Tulenchik evades a would-be tackler during a punt return against Menahga on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022.
Lena Richards / Echo Journal Correspondent

The Pine River-Backus Tigers football team improved to 3-0 after rallying in the fourth quarter to defeat the visiting Menahga Braves 30-22 Friday, Sept. 16.

PR-B trailed 22-18 going into the final period before Ethan Lodge scored on a pair of short touchdown runs to help the host team triumph.

“We got off to a slow start by allowing a long pass completion on the first play of the game for a score, and then we gave up another (touchdown) midway through the first period,” said Tigers head coach Tom Demars. “Our defense made a couple adjustments, and we were able to put more pressure on the quarterback and tighten up the coverage.”

Menahga grabbed a 14-0 lead after the first quarter before the Tigers rallied to cut the deficit to 14-12 at halftime after an 8-yard touchdown pass from Irvin Tulenchik to Carson Travis and a 66-yard bomb from Tulenchik to Ethan Rugroden.

PR-B assumed an 18-14 lead with 5:49 remaining in the third period with a 35-yard scoring pass from Tulenchik to Lodge. But Menahga answered late in the quarter when Brock Berttunen completed his third touchdown pass of the game - a 22-yard strike to Ryan Tolkkinen.


The Tigers answered on Lodge’s touchdown runs in the final quarter to stay unbeaten and drop Menahga to 1-2 overall.

“Offensively, we were able to mix it up with a pretty even balance of running and passing, with a bunch of big plays,” Demars said.

The Tigers used a balanced attack as they threw for 199 yards and rushed for 205 yards to amass 404 yards compared to Menhaga’s 254. Tulenchik passed for 199 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 99 yards. Lodge rushed for 86 yards.

Pine River-Backus is scheduled to play at New York Mills at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.

“Our only two losses last year were to NYM - one in the regular season and then again in the playoffs,” Demars said. “They were in the state semifinals last year, so we'll have our work cut out for us. I'm expecting a tough physical competitive game.”

Menahga 14 0 8 0 -- 22

Pine River-Backus 0 12 6 12 -- 30

More PR-B Tigers Football
Zeke Zwart's future has many potential options
PRB’s Corbin Knapp named All-Subdistrict as he was named Offensive Linemen of the Year.
All-Northwest South Subdistrict football team announced
Pine River-Backus Football
Pine River-Backus finishes 7-3

First quarter

M-Lars Peterson 65 pass from Brock Berttunen (run failed) 11:45

M-Isaiah Usher 76 pass from Berttunen (pass good) 4:11

Second quarter

PRB-Carson Travis 8 pass from Irvin Tulenchik (run failed) 11:06

PRB-Ethan Rugroden 66 pass from Tulenchik pass failed) 3:48

Third quarter

PRB-Ethan Lodge 35 pass from Tulenchik (pass failed) 5:49

M-Ryan Tolkkinen 22 pass from Berttunen (pass failed) 1:37

Fourth quarter

PRB-Lodge 4 run (pass failed) 10:16

PRB-Lodge 3 run (pass failed) 2:36

Team statistics:

Rushes-yards: PRB 45-205, M 20-20

Pass comp-att-int-yds: PRB 9-20-0-199, M 11-22-2-234

Total offense: PRB 65-404, M 42-254

Individual leaders:

Rushing: PRB-Irvin Tulenchik 19-99, Ethan Lodge 19-86, Chance Abraham 3-14, Brady Ruhl 3-4, Corbin Knapp 1-2

Passing: PRB-Tulenchik 9-19-199, Rian Struss 0-1-0

Receiving: PRB-Ethan Rugroden 1-66, Ethan Lodge 2-54, Rian Struss 3-43, Chance Abraham 2-28, Carson Travis 1-8

What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads