Pelican Rapids' Jayden Rutherford rushed for a pair of touchdowns and had a touchdown reception when the Pelican Rapids Vikings earned a 32-0 victory over the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines at the Wadena Football Field on Sept. 14. McHale Korf passed for three scores as the Vikings improved to 3-0 on the season.
While the score wasn't what the Wolverines were hoping for, first year head coach Kyle Petermeier thought his team competed really hard throughout the game.
"We are really proud of the guys for that and I felt that the whole time we were in the game," Petermeier said. "I don't think there was one point we thought we were outmatched. Obviously, anyone can look at the scoreboard and notice that things didn't go well for you, but I think we got a lot better from week two to week three and we got a lot better from week one to week two. Each week, we are getting a little better and we are trying to preach to those guys to stay on it and if we are the best team that we can be by week nine, that's a positive."
The Vikings were able to wear down the Wolverines as the game progressed. The Vikings rushed for 228 yards on 39 carries, while passing for 116 yards. Korf finished with six completions, three of them for touchdowns. He threw a pair of interceptions as well on a pair of nice plays by Aiden Larson. Korf rushed for 111 yards on the ground. Johnny Ziebell ended with 50 yards rushing, while Rutherford finished with 30 yards on the ground for Pelican Rapids.
"They did a good job and their backs run hard," Petermeier said. "They block really well and they had a good game like usual. When we stopped some of their stuff on the perimeter, their quarterback (Korf) stepped up and did some things up the gut that killed us before half. He (Korf) stepped up when he had to. We were taking a few things away, and he made plays. That's what good athletes do."
Rutherford started the scoring in the first quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run. The Wadena-DC defense came up with some key stops, but the veteran backfield for Pelican Rapids took control in the second quarter. Korf connected with Logan Fahje for a 38-yard touchdown to make it 12-0. The Vikings recorded a late score before the end of the half when Korf connected with Rutherford on a 4-yard score. The touchdown pass followed a long run by Korf.
The Wadena-DC defense recorded a pair of turnovers in the third quarter and slowed down the Pelican Rapids' offense. However, the Wolverines could not sustain their drives on offense. The Wolverines moved the ball well at times, but could not finish drives in the loss.
“From the 40-yard line to the 40-yard line, we are a decent team were we move the ball. We got across the 50-yard line and got into their territory, but we couldn’t finish,” Petermeier said. “It’s something we have to continue to work on and it’s something we have to get a little better. We have to make sure we are doing our assignments, but I have to make sure we are calling the right plays and make sure we have our team in the right spots to be successful.”
Payton Rondestvedt complete eight passes for 58 yards. Kade Woods had three receptions for 13 yards, while Zach Shaw hauled in a pair of passes for 14 yards. Hunter Hawkins, Aiden Larson and Josh Dykhoff each had a reception in the game. Dylan Kern finished with 26 yards rushing in the game on 11 carries.
Pelican Rapids closed the game out in the fourth quarter when Korf and Fahje connected for a 27-yard score. Rutherford finished the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run as well.
The Wolverines drop their season mark to 0-3 overall, while Pelican Rapids is 3-0. The Wolverines head to Walker in search of their first win when they take on the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolves. The Wolves are 2-1, coming off of wins against Pine River-Backus and Bagley. The Wolves lone loss was to Pelican Rapids in the season-opener.