Pine River-Backus at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley
After not playing for 24 days, the Pine River-Backus football was finally back on the field in 2020, opening up the 6A section tournament at rival Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
After a scoreless first quarter where both teams advanced into opponent’s territory, the Wolves opened the scoring in the second with a 97-yard drive highlighted by an 81-yard connection between Eli Pfeiffer and Steven Hausken. The conversion failed, and WHA led 6-0. It would be a short-lived lead and the only offensive spark for nearly the rest of the game for the home squad. PRB answered the big play as the Tulenchik cousins (freshman Irvin at QB and junior Connor at RB) connected for a 49-yard pass play to set up a 5 yard touchdown run by Irvin to tie the score. The Tigers’ conversion was good to make it 8-6 and that score stood until halftime.
The Tigers controlled the clock in the first half as the Wolves ran only 17 total plays. That foreshadowed what was to come as the second half was dominated by the Tigers’ offensive line and front seven on defense. PRB added a score in the third with a 6-yard pass from Irvin Tulenchik to Rian Struss, and Connor Tulenchik rushed in two more scores in the fourth quarter while the Tigers’ defense held WHA to 42 total yards in the second half and forced four Wolves turnovers in the contest.
The Tigers victory was the first over WHA since 2016, and put their record to 2-1 as we await word on whether the tournaments can continue. If so, the Tigers will play at Ottertail Central Saturday, set for a 2pm kickoff in the 6A semifinals.
Team Stats: Total yards – PRB 310, WHA 185; First Downs – PRB 19, WHA 6; Turnovers – WHA 4, PRB 1; Penalties-Yards – PRB 3-15, WHA 3-20
WHA Leaders: Steven Hausken 12 rush-70 yds, 2 rec-96 yds, td; Eli Pfeiffer 3/6 passing, 103 yds, td, 2 Int; Gavin Johanssen 5 rush-20 yds, 1 rec-7 yds
PRB Leaders: Connor Tulenchik 27 rush-140 yds, 2 td; 3 rec-67 yds; Irvin Tulenchik 10/21 passing, 135 yds, td, 6 rush-12 yds, td; Rian Struss 3 rec-22 yds, fum rec.; Ethan Lodge & Ethan Rugroden Int each