Area Football: Upsala-Swanville, Holdingford remain unbeaten; Pierz routs Eden Valley-Watkins

By PATRICK SLACK
Sports Editor

Royalton football vs. Ottertail Central photo gallery

Area football recaps from Friday, Sept. 28:

Pierz 36, Eden Valley-Watkins 6

Royalton junior Kyle Billmeyer (10) takes a toss from junior Brady Moulzolf (7) to the outside with seniors Tony Gadacz (36) and Cade Stang (4) blocking in front of him, Friday.

Royalton junior Kyle Billmeyer (10) takes a toss from junior Brady Moulzolf (7) to the outside with seniors Tony Gadacz (36) and Cade Stang (4) and sophomore Clinton Gadacz (59) blocking in front of him, Friday.

One bowls over defenders, the other sprints past them.

Together, the senior backfield duo of Tyler Millner and Nathan Athman has led Pierz back over the .500 mark and to consecutive blowout victories, the latest being a 36-6 trouncing at rival Eden Valley-Watkins, Friday.

The Pioneers rode the strength of Athman to its two first-half touchdowns, with the fullback rushing for scores of two and four yards to give Pierz a 14-6 halftime lead.

Shortly after play resumed, Pierz then hit the Eagles with a deep breakaway dash, as Millner sprinted to the end zone from 70 yards out to open a second half that belonged to the Pioneers.

Athman added a third touchdown rush, this one from 27 yards away, near the end of the third quarter, with sophomore Nick Herold closing the scoring on a 1-yard plunge midway through the fourth.

Millner ended the night with 150 yards on 14 carries, with Athman gaining 125 yards on 15 attempts.

A trio of Royalton tacklers, junior Kyle Billmeyer (10), senior Cade Stang and sophomore Alex Patton (53) converge on an Ottertail Central ball carrier, Friday.

A trio of Royalton tacklers, junior Kyle Billmeyer (10), senior Cade Stang and sophomore Alex Patton (53) converge on an Ottertail Central ball carrier, Friday.

“That’s what you want, is the inside power of Nathan to keep the defense from keying on the outside speed of Tyler,” Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp said. “A good one-two punch.”

Sophomore Noah Boser added 64 yards on the ground and ran in a two-point conversion and junior Ethan Lochner threw for 48 yards, 43 of which went to junior Beau Winscher.

Senior linebacker Mac Gruber led Pierz defensively, making six solo tackles and assisting on five others.

 

Upsala-Swanville Area 41, Wadena-Deer Creek 14

Senior running back Mitch Lange crossed the 3,000-yard mark for his career with a 228-yard, three-touchdown night, sparking a 41-14 win for Upsala-Swanville Area at Wadena-Deer Creek, Friday.

Juniors Tyler Evans and Mitch Lange connected on a pair of touchdown passes as well as the eighth-ranked Patriots improved to 5-0.

USA will travel to Barnesville, also 5-0, with the Prairie Conference North Division title almost assuredly going to the game’s winner.

“We’re fairly optimistic,” USA head coach Jay Loven said. “We think we have a good game plan. A team like this you can’t make mistakes against. No one in the conference has beat them, so we have quite an opportunity.”

 

 

Holdingford 41, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 12

Royalton senior Austin Schmitt (54) yanks Ottertail Central sophomore Tony Ukkelberg (9) backward and to the ground in Friday's game.

Royalton senior Austin Schmitt (54) yanks Ottertail Central sophomore Tony Ukkelberg (9) backward and to the ground in Friday’s game.

Holdingford broke open what was a one-point game at halftime with 28 unanswered second-half points to rip apart Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted for a 41-12 homecoming win, Friday.

Senior Mitch Messman ran for two touchdowns and threw another to junior Taylor Nitz, senior Jordan Gombos ran for two scores and senior Jeremy Springer returned an early punt 67 yards for a touchdown for the fourth-ranked Huskers, who improved to 5-0 with the win.

 

Zimmerman 26, Little Falls 21

Little Falls recovered from an early 14-0 deficit to go ahead 21-14 at the half, but visiting Zimmerman utilized a last-minute touchdown to escape with a 26-21 win, Friday.

Senior running back Jalen Wuchko rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, but was unable to return after being forced from the game in the second quarter.

Senior Trysten Ross scored the Flyers’ other touchdown on a 5-yard run shortly before halftime.

 

Ottertail Central 21, Royalton 7

Royalton senior Cade Stang (4) stiff arms Ottertail Central junior Makto Rono (20) to the ground as he slips to the outside, Friday.

Royalton senior Cade Stang (4) stiff arms Ottertail Central senior Tyler Ukkelberg (80) to the ground as he slips to the outside, Friday.

After a series of key defensive stops from both teams left the game scoreless at halftime, Ottertail Central (OTC) was able to manage a pair of late scores to knock off host Royalton 21-7 in a matchup of the final two unbeaten teams in the Prairie Conference South Division, Friday.

The Royals gave themselves an opportunity to get on the board as time wound down in the second quarter after kicker Cade Stang took off on a fake field goal, but OTC blocked Royalton’s ensuing field goal attempt to close the half.

OTC was the first team to break through with 3:09 left in the third quarter, connecting on a 19-yard pass, but Royalton answered immediately with a 70-yard touchdown strike from junior Brady Moulzolf to senior Cade Stang.

Both defenses then traded stops, before OTC regained the lead on a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown.

With time winding down and Royalton needing a defensive stop on fourth-and-1, OTC managed to seal the win with not only a first down but a touchdown from 23 yards out.

Moulzolf finished the night with 103 yards passing and senior Tony Gadacz gained 78 yards rushing.

 

Upcoming games Friday, Oct. 4:

Little Falls at Foley
Pierz vs. Rockford Area
Royalton at New York Mills
Upsala-Swanville Area at Barnesville
Holdingford at Kimball Area

 

Pierz 36, Eden Valley-Watkins 6

Pierz 6 8 15 7 – 36

Eden Valley-Watkins 0 6 0 0 – 6

FIRST QUARTER

PZ: Nathan Athman 2 run (kick failed), 2:18.

SECOND QUARTER

EVW: Renner 11 pass from Pauly (kick failed), 7:10.

PZ: Athman 4 run (Noah Boser run), 4:08.

THIRD QUARTER

PZ: Tyler Millner 70 run (Beau Winscher pass from Ethan Lochner), 10:21.

PZ: Athman 27 run (Lane Girtz kick), 1:10.

FOURTH QUARTER

PZ: Nick Herold 1 run (Girtz kick), 5:43.

Pierz—Rushing: Tyler Millner: 14-150; Nathan Athman: 15-125; Noah Boser: 6-64; Nick Herold: 6-26; Logan Stangl: 3-15. Passing: Ethan Lochner: 4-8, 48. Receiving: Beau Winscher: 2-43; Millner: 1-4; Evan Woitalla: 1-1. Defense: Mac Gruber: 6 solo tackles, 5 assists.

 

USA 41, Wadena-Deer Creek 14

USA 7 14 20 0 – 41

Wadena-Deer Creek 0 6 0 8 – 14

FIRST QUARTER

USA: Jordan Sales 28 pass from Tyler Evans (Justin Cichon kick).

SECOND QUARTER

USA: Mitch Lange 19 run (Cichon kick).

WDC: Carlson 16 run (conv. failed).

USA: Sales 53 pass from Evans (Cichon kick).

THIRD QUARTER

USA: Lange 5 run (Cichon kick).

USA: Lange 10 run (conv. failed).

USA: Evans 8 run (Cichon kick).

FOURTH QUARTER

WDC: Carlson 5 run (Carlson run).

Upsala-Swanville Area—Rushing: Mitch Lange: 28-222; Tyler Evans: 5-33; Kyle Lange: 3-21. Passing: Evans: 3-5, 85. Receiving: Jordan Sales: 2-81; Kyle Lange: 1-4. Defense: Mitch Lange: 6 solo tackles, 5 assists; Kyle Lange: 6 solo tackles; Sales: 5 solo tackles, 3 sacks; Austin Johnson: 4 solo tackles, 3 assists, interception; Cichon: 4 solo tackles; Dunkin Westrich: 4 solo tackles; Carter Loven, interception.

 

Zimmerman 26, Little Falls 21

Zimmerman 14 0 6 6 – 26

Little Falls 14 7 0 0 – 21

FIRST QUARTER

ZIMM: Tretbar 32 fumble return (run failed), 11:48.

ZIMM: May 16 run (Lunning run), 9:44.

LF: Jalen Wuchko 76 run (Thomas Bell kick), 7:55.

LF: Wuchko 40 run (Bell kick), 1:58.

SECOND QUARTER

LF: Trysten Ross 5 run (Bell kick), 1:50.

THIRD QUARTER

ZIMM: May 1 run (run failed), 7:29.

FOURTH QUARTER

ZIMM: May 2 run (run failed), 0:38.

Little Falls—Rushing: Jalen Wuchko: 10-153; Brighton Goodrich: 16-36; Trysten Ross: 9-34; Austin Fenske: 6-24; Thomas Miller: 1-10. Passing: Fenske: 5-14, 46. Receiving: Kyle Kabanuk: 3-28; Ross: 1-11; Jeremy Klein: 1-7.

 

Ottertail Central 21, Royalton 7

Ottertail Central 0 0 7 14 – 21

Royalton 0 0 7 0 – 7

FIRST QUARTER

NONE

SECOND QUARTER

NONE

THIRD QUARTER

OTC: Trosdahl 19 pass from Ukkelberg (Smith kick), 3:28.

ROY: Cade Stang 70 pass from Brady Moulzolf (Stang kick), 2:09.

FOURTH QUARTER

OTC: Van Erp 55 punt return (kick failed), 8:49.

OTC: Ukkelberg 23 run (Ukkelberg pass), 2:19.

Royalton—Rushing: Tony Gadacz: 10-78; Brady Moulzolf: 11-21; Cade Stang: 6-21; Austin Popp: 4-17. Passing: Moulzolf: 4-13, 103. Receiving: Stang: 3-87; Popp, 1-16. Defense: Kyle Billmeyer: interception.

 

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