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Area Football: Pierz proves to be too much for Lakers

Pierz 70, Howard Lake-W-W 20 Highlight: Pierz had no turnovers and scored on all but three possessions Subdistrict: Prz 4-0, HLWW 0-4 Overall: Prz 5-0, HLWW 0-5 Next: Pierz at Paynesville 7 p.m. Friday PIERZ - Michael Meyer caught everything thro...

Pierz’s Michael Meyer gets an interception and runs the ball for a touchdown Friday against the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)
Pierz’s Michael Meyer gets an interception and runs the ball for a touchdown Friday against the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)

Pierz 70, Howard Lake-W-W 20

Highlight: Pierz had no turnovers and scored on all but three possessions

Subdistrict: Prz 4-0, HLWW 0-4

Overall: Prz 5-0, HLWW 0-5

Next: Pierz at Paynesville 7 p.m. Friday

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PIERZ - Michael Meyer caught everything thrown in his direction except for the only pass that was intended for him.

Meyer finished with two interceptions returning one 99 yards for a touchdown helping Class 3A's third-ranked Pierz Pioneers destroy Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 70-20 Friday.

On Pierz's opening drive, the senior wideout broke free from the secondary. Pierz quarterback Aaron Weber found him. Threw the ball right to him. The ball nestled nicely into Meyer's hands, but while his legs and body moved to score what would have been an easy touchdown - the ball remained.

"I just took my eyes off the ball before I caught it and just dropped it," said Meyer.

Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp said he felt for his senior and couldn't be mad at him after seeing so many NFL players drop passes, too.

"He's got the best hands on our team," said Pohlkamp. "I don't know if he was too open or what. I just can't get mad at a high school kid because guys get paid to catch passes and they drop them, too. But he came back and got a few interceptions for us."

It didn't take long for Meyer to redeem himself. On Howard Lake's fourth possession, the Lakers drove it to the Pierz 13. On third and 14, Howard Lake quarterback Cole Gagnon floated a pass over the middle and Meyer was ready to pounce.

"The quarterback rolled out and I was running across the field," said Meyer. "He lobbed it up and I just went up and got it. It was a wide open lane once I caught it.

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On the Lakers next offensive play, Meyer picked the ball off again. That helped set up a seven-play, 35-yard drive capped off by Weber's 1-yard sneak, which had Pierz up 27-0 at the 9:22 mark of the second quarter.

Pierz scored two more times in the second frame to build a 41-6 halftime lead.

Despite all the scoring, the Pioneers only accumulated 132 yards of offense. Short fields and defensive touchdowns had much to do with that.

"In practice we work on the running game, but we work hard on the passing game," said Pohlkamp. "We always think of it this way, if we're going to be able to beat good defenses you have to be able to pass. We think we have that. Yes, we dropped a couple, but we're improving."

In the third quarter, however, Pierz's offense ran up and down the field. On four possessions, Pierz accumulated 211 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Lane Girtz scored from 68 yards out and finished with 89 yards on just seven carries. Derick Hall's only carry of the game resulted in a 59-yard touchdown run and Rob Schlegel scored his second touchdown off the game from 27 yards out.

That put Pierz ahead 62-20 and induced running time in the fourth quarter.

Matt Faust capped off Pierz's last scoring drive with a 3-yard plunge.

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"The nicest thing about walking off this field tonight is nobody got hurt," said Pohlkamp. "We had a nice parents' night and my mom won split the pot."

Howard Lake 0 6 14 0 - 20

Pierz 21 20 21 8 - 70

First quarter

Prz-Jonny Kasper 4 run (Lane Girtz kick) 6:29

Prz-Kolton Eischens 26 pass from Aaron Weber (Lane Girtz kick) 3:59

Prz-Michael Meyer 99 interception return (Lane Girtz kick) 28.5

Second quarter

Prz-Weber 1 run (kick blocked) 9:22

HL-Sam Gatz 81 pass from Cole Gagnon (kick failed) 8:24

Prz-Rob Schlegel 1 run (Lane Girtz kick) 4:56

Prz-Nathan Gritz 1 run (Lane Girtz kick) 1:50

Third quarter

Prz-Lane Girtz 68 run (Preston Rocheleau kick) 11:32

HL-Brad Bickman 20 pass from Gagnon (Dominic Duenow pass from Gagnon) 5:15

Prz-Derick Hall 59 run (kick failed) 4:58

HL-Duenow 69 pass from Gagnon (kick failed) 3:53

Prz-Schlegel 27 run (Schlegel run) 2:54

Fourth quarter

Prz-Matt Faust 3 run (Jalen Jansen run) 9:47

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: Prz 48-387, HLWW 23-19

Pass comp-att-int-yds: Prz 4-6-0-63, HLWW 22-33-2-312

Total offense: Prz 54-450, HLWW 56-331

Individual leaders

Rushing: Prz-Derick Hall 1-59, Jonny Kasper 6-32, Noah Boser 3-14, Lane Girtz 7-89, Nick Herold 3-60, Aaron Weber 1-1, Rob Schlegel 6-47, Nathan Girtz 4-22, Matt Faust 3-9, Jalen Jansen 1-0, Ben Herold 2-13, Alex Funk 1-3, Luke Girtz 1-7, Cohlton Boser 1-5, Reese Kapsner 2-40, team 6-(-14); HL-Sam Gatz 15-50

Passing: Prz-Aaron Weber 4-6-63; HL-Cole Gagnon 21-30-313; Brenan Barth 1-3-(-1)

Receiving: Prz-Nick Herold 1-5, Matt Kummet 1-12, Kolton Eischens 2-46; HL-Dominic Duenow 1-69, Gatz 1-81, Dawson Altringer 6-54, Ben Maus 6-48

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Pierz’s Kolton Eischens catches a pass and runs it in for a touchdown Friday against the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)
Pierz’s Kolton Eischens catches a pass and runs it in for a touchdown Friday against the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)

Related Topics: PIERZ PIONEERS
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