Was he in?
The zebras thought so Friday night and that decided the outcome in Park Rapids' 13-7 overtime victory over Wadena-Deer Creek.
The season-opening game ended on Kevin McMorrow's one-yard run on Park Rapids' second play from scrimmage. John Drury set up the winning touchdown plunge with a nine-yard romp on first down.
For the second year in a row the Panthers squeaked out an overtime victory against Tom VanErp's Wolverines and it left the Wadena-Deer Creek head coach understandably frustrated.
"I would liked to line up and run at least one more play." VanErp said. "It didn't have to end on second down if [there's] any question if they got in or not. We can't give up nine yards on first down in OT."
The Wolverines got their own chance at scoring in the overtime but a third down flip by Kevin Tumberg was picked off in the end zone by Park Rapids' Kyle Kanten.
The burden of opening the season with another overtime setback did not prevent VanErp from seeing the big picture. VanErp saw his defense ahead of his offense before the season got underway.
"Defensively we played very well," VanErp said. "We created some opportunities on defense that gave the offense good field position. We have to do a better job of blocking plays correctly and just being physical blockers."
Isaiah Toedter had a huge defensive game for the Wolverines at middle linebacker. The 193-pound junior made 16 solo tackles and was credited with seven assists.
Aaron Kern was WDC's rushing leader with 111 yards on 26 carries. Josh Sherman picked up 49 yards on just seven rushing attempts.
Logan Meyer and Jordan Rentz combined for five grabs and 53 yards. Meyer caught a three-yard scoring pass from Kevin Tumberg in the fourth quarter with the Wolverines trailing 7-0. Kenny Sakry's extra point kick was true and tied the game with 7:56 to play.
"I thought we played hard, and played well as a team. The things we didn't do well we can work on and hopefully fix," VanErp said.
The Wolverines will be on the road for their next two games -- a Sept. 11 trip to Warroad and a Sept. 18 trip to Breckenridge.
Park Rapids 13, WDC 7 (OT)
PR 0 7 0 0 6 - 13
WDC 0 0 0 7 0 - 7
PR: Tucker Coburn 14 yd pass from Dan Pike (PAT kick), Kevin McMorrow 1 yd run
WDC: Logan Meyer 3 yd pass from Kevin Tumberg (PAT Kenny Sakry kick)
First Downs 13 11
Yds Rushing 124 176
Yds Passing 70 92
Total Yards 194 268
Passes 5-17 7-16
Intercepted by 1 2
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 3-15 5-32