Football: Big plays, big win for Little Falls over Milaca

By PATRICK SLACK
Sports Editor
patrick.slack@mcrecord.com

Little Falls junior Jackson Hott, left, strips the ball away from Milaca senior back Ian Carpenter before proceeding to recover the fumble, Sept. 13. The turnover led to the Flyers’ second touchdown in a 41-17 road win. (Photo courtesy of Gary Larson, Mille Lacs County Times)

Little Falls junior Jackson Hott, left, strips the ball away from Milaca senior back Ian Carpenter before proceeding to recover the fumble, Sept. 13. The turnover led to the Flyers’ second touchdown in a 41-17 road win. (Photo courtesy of Gary Larson, Mille Lacs County Times)

The Little Falls football coaching staff isn’t quite sure how it keeps happening.

But it isn’t going to lose too much sleep trying to figure it out.

Once again, senior running back Jalen Wuchko stole the show at Milaca, Sept. 13, running for 235 yards on 31 carries, including a pair of 25-yard touchdown scampers.

“The coaches keep asking ourselves how Jalen does some of the things he can do,” Little Falls head coach Jay DeCann said. “He is a rare combination of size, strength and speed. The offensive line is starting to gel and Jalen just has a great feel for our run game.”

Wuchko was far from the only one to provide explosive plays for the Flyers on the night, although his presence did help set them up.

After senior Trysten Ross opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter, the Flyers reached into their bag of tricks with time winding down before halftime.

With Milaca’s defense crashing hard to try to stop the Flyers’ running attack, junior running back Brighton Goodrich took a toss, spotted the cornerback commit to the line and leave junior wide receiver Kyle Kabanuk open, then delivered what turned out to be an 83-yard touchdown pass, breaking the game open.

“We saw Milaca on film would commit 11 guys to try and stop the run, so we put in the halfback toss pass last week in practice,” DeCann said. “We knew Milaca would come down hill fast on our run game, so once Brighton caught the toss from (junior Austin) Fenske, the cornerback committed to trying to stop the run and Kabanuk was wide open running down the sidelines.”

Following Wuchko’s first touchdown rush 3:48 into the second half, Little Falls took to the air, with Fenske finding junior Bryce Zawatzke and Kabanuk on 51- and 40-yard touchdown strikes, respectively.

“The touchdown pass to Zawatzke was the same situation,” DeCann said. “Bryce took off on a seem pass and Austin did a great job on the play fake to Jalen and Bryce was running down the field wide open.

“We feel we have athletes that can make the big plays on both sides of the ball, but at the same time the no huddle has forced the defenses to play more base defense and the defense seems to be getting more fatigued during the games,” he said.

Kabanuk finished the game with 161 receiving yards on four catches, while sophomore Thomas Miller gained 56 yards rushing on five carries.

Little Falls was scheduled to host St. Cloud Cathedral, Friday.

This week, the Flyers will be hosting a “Tackle Cancer” game against Zimmerman, Friday, with all proceeds going to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research Fund. Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support.

 

Little Falls 41, Milaca 17

Little Falls 0 14 13 14 – 41

Milaca 0 3 6 8 – 17

FIRST QUARTER

NONE

SECOND QUARTER

LF: Trysten Ross 3 run (Thomas Bell kick), 7:06.

LF: Kyle Kabanuk 83 pass from Brighton Goodrich (Bell kick), 1:48.

MIL: Wolbert 33 FG, 0:01.

THIRD QUARTER

LF: Jalen Wuchko 25 run (conv. failed), 8:12.

MIL: Erickson 67 pass from Hass (conv. failed), 7:59.

LF: Bryce Zawatzke 51 pass from Austin Fenske (Bell kick), 5:21.

FOURTH QUARTER

LF: Kabanuk 40 pass from Fenske (Bell kick), 11:53.

LF: Wuchko 25 run (Bell kick), 7:54.

MIL: Hunt 1 pass from Hass (pass good), 1:18.

Little Falls—Rushing: Jalen Wuchko: 31-235; Thomas Miller: 5-56; Jesse Mrosola: 4-8; Trysten Ross: 3-7; Brighton Goodrich: 1-4. Passing: Austin Fenske: 4-8, 129; Goodrich: 1-1, 83. Receiving: Kyle Kabanuk: 4-161; Bryce Zawatzke: 1-51.

up arrow