A senior-dominated Wadena-Deer Creek football team got off to a winning start Friday as Jacob Wegscheid cashed in on a Nolan Johnson fumble recovery for a 19-13 victory over Park Rapids.
Head coach Tom VanErp opened the 2010 season with 19 upperclassmen on his team. The team put a rough stretch behind itself last October when it snapped a 23-game losing streak by beating West Central Area in the final game of the regular season.
"I thought our defense played real well, as did the offense," VanErp said. "We need to do a better job of taking care of the football. This was a very big win for this team and the community. We needed some good things to happen for our school and this was a good start."
Taylor Bienusa helped the Wolverines off on the right foot against Park Rapids by breaking off a 63-yard scoring run on the first play from scrimmage.
The Panthers came back to grab a 13-7 lead on back-to-back touchdowns.
The Wolverines evened the score at 13-all with 33 seconds left in the first half as Colter Pettit hit Josh Sherman with a 10-yard scoring pass. The first-year starting quarterback started the nine-play, 72-yard drive with a 13-yard pass to Sherman. Logan Meyer broke off runs of nine and 18 yards to keep the drive going.
Johnson blocked on a punt and recovered it at Park Rapids' 11 to set up Wegscheid's winning touchown run.
Bienusa logged 88 yards on 11 carries while Wegscheid carried the ball nine times for 47 yards. Meyer picked up 87 yards on 13 attempts. Sherman caught two passes for 23 yards.
Dan Pike led the Park Rapids rushing attack with 64 yards on 15 carries.
WDC 7 6 0 6 -- 19
PR 0 13 0 0 -- 13
WDC: Taylor Bienusa 63 yd run (PAT Kenny Sakry kick); Josh Sherman 10-yd pass from Colter Pettit (PAT failed); Jacob Wegscheid 11-yd pass (PAT failed)
PR: Ian Johnson 1 yd run (PAT Dan Pike kick), Johnson 1 yd run (PAT kick)
Yards Rushing 241 139
Yards Passing 41 60
Total Yards 282 199
Passes 3-4 4-7
Intercepted by 0 0
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 1-15 2-20