The Thief River Falls Prowlers capitalized on several Pequot Lakes turnovers in the second half for a 26-12 comeback win in Heart 'O Lakes Conference football action on Friday, Sept. 6.
The Patriots, 1-1 overall, enjoyed a 12-6 lead early in the third quarter before TRF rallied with 20 straight points.
“We had a lot of turnovers,” said Pequot Lakes coach Chip Lohmiller. “Other than that, we played well against a larger school. Mental errors just killed us. Our defense did play a great game.”
Pequot Lakes took the opening kickoff and moved the ball to the TRF 30-yard-line when the first turnover took place. The Patriots’ pitch on a reverse was fumbled and picked up by the Prowlers’ Steven Holecek, who ran untouched 64 yards to make it 6-0 midway through the opening period.
The Patriots moved the ball to midfield, and on the first play of the second quarter they tied it 6-6 when quarterback CJ Borleis passed 48 yards to Tyler Tappe for a scoring strike. Borleis’ conversion kick was blocked.
TRF missed a chance to score just before halftime as they drove the ball to the Patriots’ 4. But they failed to score as Pequot Lakes’ Chris Westman and Cole Funk made big defensive plays. The Prowlers attempted a short field goal with 2.5 seconds left, but the kick missed.
In the third quarter, TRF was forced to punt and the Patriots started a long drive, which featured a 50-yard connection between Borleis and Connor Davich. Pequot Lakes eventually moved to the TRF 5, and then scored on a run by Tappe. The kick was blocked, but the Patriots led 12-6.
The flood gates were about to open for the Prowlers. Nate Holesek broke loose and ran 75 yards to score. TRF went ahead 14-12 when Zeb Nelson ran for the two-point conversion.
Lightning struck again less than a minute later when the Prowlers’ Tyjoan Brown hit Borleis in the backfield, and jarred the ball loose. TRF recovered at the Patriots’ 14. Three plays later, Nelson passed to Jacob Joppru to make it 20-12.
Pequot Lakes picked up a first down on their next possession following a 16-yard run by Shae Zeidler. But with 1:30 left in the third quarter, Borleis’ pass was intercepted by Alex Crandall and returned 40 yards for a score to make it 26-12. The conversion kicked was missed for the fifth time in the game between both teams.
The fourth quarter featured a comedy of errors with mistakes and penalties for both teams.
The Patriots make their home debut this season when East Grand Forks travels to Pequot Lakes at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13. It will be the first game in two seasons on the resurfaced field. There will be no admission for the game as part of the dedication to the field changes.
“It will be nice to play at home,” said Lohmiller. “We’ve been on the road for 10 or 11 straight games (because of the construction work last year).”
Pequot Lakes 0 6 6 0 - 12
Thief River Falls 6 0 20 0 - 26
TRF - Steven Holecek 64 fumble recovery (kick miss) 5:52
PL - Tyler Tappe 48 pass from CJ Borleis (kick blocked) 11:50
PL - Tappe 5 run (kick blocked) 6:43
TRF - Nate Holesek 75 run (Zeb Nelson run) 7:04
TRF - Jacob Joppru 13 pass from Nelson (kick missed) 9:18
TRF - Alex Crandall 40 interception (kick missed) 10:30
Total yards - PL 300; TRF 214
Passing - Borleis 9-15-169; Joel Ebnet 1-2-12
Rushing - Tappe 15-53, Shae Zeidler 8-28, Justin Mackenthun 6-26
Receiving - Connor Davich 2-62, Travis Jacobson 2-36, Tappe 1-48.