Football: Big plays help Spuds defeat Warriors
Moorhead 38, Warriors 13 The key: Three of the Spuds' scoring plays ranged from 43 to 63 yards Subdistrict: Brd 3-1, M 4-0 Overall: Brd 3-2, M 5-0 Next: Brainerd at Alexandria 7 p.m. MOORHEAD - A year ago, the Moorhead Spuds were unbeaten when th...
Moorhead 38, Warriors 13
The key: Three of the Spuds' scoring plays ranged from 43 to 63 yards
Subdistrict: Brd 3-1, M 4-0
Overall: Brd 3-2, M 5-0
Next: Brainerd at Alexandria 7 p.m.
MOORHEAD - A year ago, the Moorhead Spuds were unbeaten when they traveled to Brainerd and were administered a 56-21 thrashing by the Warriors.
Friday night at Jim Gotta Stadium, Class 5A's unbeaten and fourth-ranked Spuds repaid the Warriors as they outscored Brainerd 38-13 in a North Central Red Subdistrict and Section 8-5A game.
Senior running back Mike Duginski and senior quarterback Matt Bye ignited the Spuds' big-play, quick-strike offense. Duginski caught two TD passes from Bye and finished with 123 yards on only three receptions. He also rushed for two more scores and 114 yards on just 14 attempts. Bye, meanwhile, calmly completed 6 of 12 passes for 183 yards and the two scores.
After going three and out on its first drive, Moorhead scored on its next five possessions. The Spuds accumuated 449 total yards and limited Brainerd to just 135. Moorhead scored the game's first 31 points before Brainerd tallied twice late in the third.
"I'm not apologizing at all for our team," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said. "There are no at leasts here. (Moorhead is) a really good team, a big-play team. We had a few too many penalties the first half and sort of stalled ourselves. And they made a couple big defensive plays - like when it was third and three and all of a sudden it's third and 12 or third and 14.
"I thought we made good adjustments. I thought we fought really hard. We learned a lot from this game."
Bye and Duginski opened the scoring as they teamed up for a 43-yard TD pass late in the first quarter. The first of five Brady Leach extra-point kicks followed.
On the first play after a Brainerd three and out, Duginski bounced out of a scrum and bolted 51 yards to the end zone and it was 14-0 with 1:18 left in the first quarter.
Bye and Duginski struck again in the second quarter for a 62-yard pitch and catch and a 21-point lead.
The Spuds then recovered a Brainerd fumble at the Warriors' 30 - it was the 20th turnover they have forced this season. Seven plays later it was 28-0 as Bye rammed into the end zone from 5 yards out.
Moorhead opened the third with a 75-yard drive that ended with a 37-yard Leach field goal and it was 31-0.
The Warriors didn't go away quietly. Quarterback Hanson Devine connected with Chris Pederson for a 22-yard score with 2:27 left in the third.
Two plays later Brainerd's Luke Wiskow intercepted and he returned 21 yards to the Spuds' 5 from where Allen Jevning punched it in and the Warriors trailed 31-13 with 1:31 remaining in the third.
"As a team, we came out and played very well the second half," Stolski said. "I think that bodes well for us in the future."
Duginski iced the Spuds' fifth victory with a 6-yard TD run early in the fourth.
Brainerd 0 0 13 0 - 13
Moorhead 14 14 3 7 - 38
M-Mike Duginski 43 pass from Matt Bye (Brady Leach kick) 2:45
M-Duginski 51 run (Leach kick) 1:18
M-Duginski 62 pass from Bye (Leach kick) 7:15
M-Bye 5 run (Leach kick) 2:36
M-Leach 37 FG 8:17
Brd-Chris Pederson 22 pass from Hanson Devine (David Saxum kick) 2:27
Brd-Allen Jevning 5 run (pass fails) 1:31
M-Duginski 6 run (Brady Leach kick) 7:54
Rushes-yards: Brd 30-72, M 42-266
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Brd 5-12-0-63, M 6-12-1-183
Total offense: Brd 135, M 449
Rushing: Brd-Hanson Devine 2-(-16), Mitchell Rahn 18-42, Allen Jevning 9-19, Chris Pederson 3-27; M-Matt Bye 11-54, Mike Duginski 14-114, Otis Weah 10-72
Passing: Brd-Hanson Devine 5-12-0-63; M-Matt Bye , M 6-12-1-183
Receiving: Brd-Will Peabody 2-28, Allen Jevning 1-6, Brady Kline 1-17, Chris Pederson 1-22; M-Tristen Nelson 1-12, Carter Howell 1-6, Mike Duginski 3-123, Hunter Brandt 2-42, Weah 1-6