By PATRICK SLACK
The game wasn’t over before kickoff.
But it wasn’t much later than that.
Having won its past six games by an average 26.5 points, the third-seeded Pierz football team entered Tuesday’s Section 6AA quarterfinal game against sixth-seeded Breckenridge as considerable favorites.
It didn’t take long for the host Pioneers to demonstrate why, as 11 players combine to amass 400 rushing yards as Pierz rolled to a 46-8 win and a spot in the section semifinals.
Pierz marched down the field with ease on its first possession, scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run by senior Josh Lanners.
Junior Tyler Millner scored from 12 yards out to make it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, then Lanners and sophomore Robbie Skiba found the end zone late in the second to extend Pierz’ lead to 26-0 at halftime.
Senior Ben Boser and junior Mac Gruber ran for scores and senior T.J. Hoheisel returned an interception 44 yards for a touchdown in the second half.
Millner finishes as the leading rusher for the Pioneers, carrying the ball 14 times for 116 yards.
Following Millner were Skiba (77), Gruber (65), junior Nathan Athman (56), Lanners (38), Boser (18), junior Chris Ortman (10), senior Jon Fuhrman (9), freshman Nick Herold (8) and sophomore Beau Winscher (5).
Skiba also intercepted a pass and Boser and Fuhrman recovered fumbles on defense.
“We took care of business tonight against a team that had won their last two games,” Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp said. “Now we can focus on redeeming ourselves against Holdingford.”
Holdingford handed Pierz its only loss of the season in both teams’ Central Minnesota Conference opener, Sept. 7, winning 12-7.
The second-seeded Huskers will host Pierz in the section semifinals, Saturday at 7 p.m.
The winner of that game will advance to play the winner between top-seeded Crosby-Ironton and fourth-seeded Upsala-Swanville Area in the Section 6AA championship game at the Fargodome, Friday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m.