By PATRICK SLACK
Slow starts didn’t stand in the way of the Upsala-Swanville Area (USA) football team in its first two games of the season.
A fast start didn’t hurt either, Friday, as the Patriots pummeled host United North Central 41-6 to improve to 3-0.
USA hadn’t scored a first-quarter touchdown all year until freshman Kyle Lange broke free on an 80-yard kickoff return early in the game.
Junior Mitch Lange followed with a 21-yard touchdown scamper later in the quarter, giving USA a 13-6 lead after the first.
The Patriots defense held the Warriors off the board the rest of the way while continuing to roll on offense, scoring in each of the final three quarters.
Senior Eric Frieler completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to senior Colten Kruzel and Mitch Lange scored on a 36-yard run to give USA a 28-6 lead at the break.
In the second half, Frieler and Kruzel connected on another scoring strike, this time from 11 yards out, before senior Austin Mollner put the exclamation point on the night with a 58-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
Mitch Lange finished with 135 yards rushing on 15 carries and hauled in a 32-yard pass, while Mollner added 85 yards on the ground.
Frieler was 6-of-10 passing for 82 yards, with Kruzel catching four passes for 54 yards.
Mitch Lange had six tackles, two assists and a sack and Kyle Lange intercepted two passes for the Patriots’ defense.
USA 41, United North Central 6
Upsala-Swanville Area 13 15 6 7 – 41
United North Central 6 0 0 0 – 6
USA—Rushing: Mitch Lange, 15-135; Austin Mollner, 6-85. Passing: Eric Frieler, 6-10, 82.
Receiving: Colten Kruzel, 4-54; Lange, 1-32. Defense: Mitch Lange, 6 tackles, 2 assists, 1 sack; Kyle Lange, 4 tackles, 2 interceptions; Austin Mollner, 4 tackles, 1 sack.