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Area Football: Pillager peppers Drakes with explosive offense

PILLAGER — The Pillager Huskies were held scoreless in the fourth quarter Friday.

But what they did in the first three quarters was enough to win most football games.

Pillager’s varsity offense scored on six of its seven possessions leading to a 70-28 North Star Conference victory over the Blackduck Drakes Friday.

The one time Pillager didn’t score was when the first half clock expired with Pillager owning a 40-0 halftime edge.

Pillager’s first possession was a three-play 52-yard drive that ended on Travis Richards 3-yard touchdown run. Richards finished with 118 yards on 12 carries.

“It was an awesome game,” said Richards. “We have such an amazing team. I’m glad I’m with these guys. I wouldn’t trade them for anybody else.

“After last week (Pillager lost to Mahnomen 46-6) we knew we had a lot to work on. We knew we needed to take it one game at a time now and we were looking too far ahead. Now we have Bagley coming up and we’re going to take them on with full force.”

Pillager needed just 32 yards to score its next touchdown — a Jeff Flickinger 4-yard TD run.

It was Flickinger again from 2-yards out to cap a two-play, 5-yard drive that was set up by a poor snap on a Blackduck punt attempt.

Travis Richards finalized a seven-play, 64-yard drive with a 3-yard run. Flickinger finished the first half scoring with a 19-yard run. Flickinger gained 89 yards on nine carries.

The Huskies accumulated 275 yards of offense in the first half and held Blackduck to -15.

“They scored a lot of points last week against Fertile-Beltrami and we saw the film so we were worried about their offense,” said Pillager head coach Lowell Scearcy. “They can spread it out and their No. 7 (Trey Volk), he’s a good kid whether he’s running the ball or catching the ball or whatever it is. We were hoping we could move the ball on them, but we were also hoping we could shut them down.”

Pillager took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched it nine plays and 84 yards with Devin Strack capping it off with a 10-yard touchdown run. That was the end of Pillager’s varsity home opener and the start of it’s junior varsity.

And while the defense may have struggled, the offense kept right on clicking.

Dezmond Berndt scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 61 yards. He finished with 105 yards on seven carries in one quarter of work.

Strack returned a kickoff 76 yards for another score. He rushed for 80 yards and caught Pillager’s lone pass for 42 more yards.

That was all part of a third quarter scoring bombardment by both teams that netted 52 points.

When the dust settled, Pillager gained 495 yards of offense and Blackduck gained 257 yards on Pillager’s JV defense.

“We came out well tonight,” said Scearcy. “I think being the first home game and we have quite a few seniors, I think they really wanted to look good this first night and we came out and played very well early on. When the subs came in, to be fair to our JV, they had been playing the other team’s defense all week and they never got to play our own defense so we probably should have had them play the other team’s defense.”

Blackduck 0 0 22 6 — 28

Pillager 24 16 30 0 — 70

First quarter

Pill-Travis Richards 3 run (Connor Uselman run) 9:12

Pill-Jeff Flickinger 4 run (Devin Strack run) 6:33

Pill-Flickinger 2 run (Richards run) 3:30

Second quarter

Pill-Richards 3 run (Flickinger run) 9:42

Pill-Flickinger 19 run (Flickinger run) 5:31

Third quarter

Pill-Strack 10 run (Richards run) 8:17

B-Trey Volk 57 run (Dylan Weisert run) 7:21

Pill-Dezmond Berndt 2 run (run failed) 3:22

B-Volk 41 run (run failed) 1:10

Pill-Berndt 61 run (Beau Van Vickle run) 49.8

B-Cooper Jedlicka 49 run (Weisert run) 6.5

Pill-Strack 76 kickoff return 0.0

Fourth quarter

B-Levi Dexter 1 run (pass failed) 3:06

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: Pill 43-453, B 39-223

Pass comp-att-int-yds: Pill 1-1-0-42, B 3-7-0-34

Total offense: Pill 44-495, B 46-257

Individual leaders

Rushing: Pill-Travis Richards 12-118, Dezmond Berndt 7-105, Jeff Flickinger 9-89, Devin Strack 7-80, Beau Van Vickle 2-27, Connor Uselman 2-13, Nick Ruhl 2-12, Dillan Eischeid 1-8, Andrew Uffendell 1-3, team 1-(-2); B-Trey Volk 12-147

Passing: Pill-Uselman 1-1-42; B-Jacob Krabbenhoft 2-5-15

Receiving: Pill-Strack 1-42; B-Volk 2-15

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856