A young Pine River-Backus Tigers football team won its season opener for the fourth straight year after defeating the host Fosston Greyhounds 14-6 on Friday, Aug. 30.
The game was tied 6-6 before the Tigers clinched the win with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
“We defeated (Fosston) fairly convincingly the last couple years, but we expected this game to be a battle,” said PR-B coach Tom Demars. “We had new people at key positions, like quarterback, and Fosston is a much improved team.
“So I feel pretty good about the win. A lot of guys played a lot of minutes for us because of injuries. We played a lot of sophomores, and a couple freshmen also started.”
The first quarter was scoreless, although the Tigers advanced to the Fosston 5-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
PR-B moved ahead 6-0 in the second quarter on a long scoring drive that was highlighted by a 35-yard reverse run by receiver Shane Flemming, which moved the ball to the Greyhounds’ 20.
The Tigers eventually scored on a 1-yard run on a straight dive on second down by Jared Adkins. The conversion run failed, but PR-B led 6-0 at halftime.
Fosston tied it on the first drive of the second half, which took almost eight minutes off the clock.
“(Fosston) was mostly a running team, and that was a long 60-yard drive that took up most of the third quarter,” Demars said. “They did make a couple fourth-down plays to keep the drive alive.”
The Greyhounds capped the drive on a 4-yard run by quarterback Ari Borud. The conversion pass failed and the game was tied 6-6.
PR-B then notched the winning points on their next possession, which started with about four minutes left in the third quarter.
“We got the ball back and made a couple key fourth-down conversions,” Demars said. “One was a big screen pass to Jared Adkins for a first down.”
The Tigers eventually scored on an 8-yard pass from quarterback Zach Struss to Brandon Mager. Struss also completed the conversion pass to Mager to make it 14-6.
PR-B is scheduled to host Prairie Valley (Parkers Prairie/Eagle Valley) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6.
Fosston 0 0 6 0 — 6
PR-Backus 0 6 8 0 — 14
PR-B-Jared Adkins 1 run (run fail)
F-Ari Borud 4 run (pass fail)
PR-B-Brandon Mager 8 pass from Zach Struss (Mager pass from Struss)
Rushes-yards: F 130, PRB 118
PR-B rushing leaders: Shawe Flemming 2-45 yards: Jared Adkins 10-35, Krecklau 9-35
Passing: Fosston, Ari Borud 2-7, 14 yards, 1 int.; PR-B, Zach Struss 9-19, 113 yards, 1 int.
PR-B receiving: Mager 3-47, Jace Loge 2-31, Jared Adkins 2-18, Henry Krecklau, 2-17
Total offense: Fosston 144, PR-B 231