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Warriors hand Wolverines 32-16 Homecoming loss

Wadena-Deer Creek's Cory McManigle (33) hauls down United North Central's Jordan Yliniemi (8) in last Friday's Homecoming game in Wadena. The winless UNC squad went on to post a 32-16 upset. Photo by Brian Hansel

The winless United North Central Warriors put the hammer down in the fourth quarter for a 32-16 victory over the Wolverines Oct. 5 in a chilly Wadena-Deer Creek Homecoming game.

Freshman Jordan Yliniemi logged 139 yards on 31 carries and five different UNC players scored touchdowns.

The Wolverines saw their offensive efforts stymied by three interceptions and injuries to three players.

"This was a huge win for our guys and our program," United North Central Head Coach Jeremy Nordick said. "We've been working hard every day to get better, and we finally turned a corner and got a win against a solid Wolverine team."

The Warriors were able to punch in the only touchdown of the first half with 6:38 to go in the second quarter. Brandon Junesog went in from the one and Jeff Skoog made it 8-0 with a conversion run.

The Wolverines tied the game at the 8:50 of the third quarter when Evan VanErp took advantage of the wind and hit Andrew VanErp with a 22-yard touchdown pass. VanErp went to Dylan Dumpprope for the two-point conversion, which tied the game at 8-all.

The Warriors answered with a third-quarter touchdown of their own. Yliniemi gave UNC a 14-0 lead with an 8-yard run at the 4:13 mark.

The Wolverines fired back with a 1-yard TD pass from VanErp to Dumpprope. VanErp hit Nick Carlson with a go-ahead conversion pass.

The fourth quarter belonged to UNC. Skoog scored the first touchdown of the quarter on a 20-yard run. Stetson Burkman then picked off a VanErp pass and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. The final UNC touchdown came when Dylan Huttunen reeled off an 8-yard run for six.

Three WDC players were injured in the game. Blaine Cooper had to leave with a first-quarter stinger, but returned later and caught three passes for 27 yards. Chris Steward was taken off the field with a back bruise in the third quarter. Wyatt Weber was lost for the season when he suffered a concussion.

"It didn't play out the way we hoped," Kangas said. "Sometimes they roll your way and sometimes they don't."

Evan VanErp and Jacob Krause carried the rushing load. VanErp had 97 yards on 17 carries. Krause, who did not see action against Osakis a week before due to a sprained ankle, rushed 13 times for 58 yards. Dumpprope caught six passes for 49 yards and Andrew VanErp grabbed five for 65 yards.

The victory broke a string of five straight losses for the Warriors.

"I give our guys a lot of credit for hanging in there and battling for 48 minutes," Nordick said. "We were fortunate to have some big plays in the fourth to put us in a great position to win."

The 2-4 Wolverines close their regular season schedule Wednesday, hosting Royalton.

UNC 0 8 6 18 -- 32

WDC 0 0 16 0 -- 16

UNC: Brandon Junes 1 yd run (PAT Jeff Skoog run), Jordan Yliniemi 8 yd run (PAT failed), Skoog 20 yd run (PAT failed), Stetson Burkman 63 yd interception return (PAT failed), Dylan Huttunen 8 yd run (PAT failed)

WDC: Andrew VanErp 21 yd pass from Evan VanErp (PAT Dylan Dumpprope pass from VanErp), Dumpprope 1 yd pass from VanErp (PAT Nick Carlson pass from VanErp)