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High School Football: Pillager holds off Osakis for Section 6-2A title

FARGO, N.D.—Luke Woidyla ran for two touchdowns while Tucker Peterson and Jack Bentson each added another for the Class 2A's seventh-ranked and top-seeded Pillager Huskies who defeated the third-seeded Osakis Silverstreaks 30-16 for the Section 6-2A championship Friday, Nov. 2, at the Fargodome.

The Huskies jumped out to an early 16-0 lead. Peterson capped off a 60-yard opening drive with 3-yard run. After the ensuing Osakis drive went three and out, Cade Barrett blocked the punt attempt deep in Osakis territory at the 19. Four plays later, Woidyla scored his first TD on a 3-yard run.

The Silverstreaks responded with a 28-yard scoring run by Hunter Infanger to pull within 16-8.

Pillager's next drive ended with a punt at the start of the second quarter. Three plays later, Cade Barrett forced a Silverstreak fumble recovered by Spencer Schaefer, once again giving the Huskies good field position. Four plays later, Jack Bentson capitalized on the Osakis miscue with a 1-yard run capping a 53-yard drive.

A 37-yard return on the ensuing kickoff gave Osakis a short field at the Pillager 42 and four plays later a 21-yard scamper by Luke Imdieke kept the Silverstreaks in the game at 24-16.

Woidyla romped 62 yards on the first play after the kickoff for his second, and the final score of the game, with 7:23 left in the first half.

Neither team was able to find the end zone in the second half although both had their chances.

A 16-yard reception by Schaefer on a fourth-and-eight, and a 19-yard run by Peterson to the two-yard line gave Pillager a first-and-goal in the third, but penalties and a stiff Osakis defense denied any score.

The Silverstreaks had a chance in the fourth driving to a first-and-goal, but it was Pillager's turn to rise defensively. A fourth-and-14 pass was intercepted by Judah Beard in the end zone with 8:03 remaining. That gave the Huskies just their second possession of the second half and they were able to run out the clock.

"We actually dominated the time of possession in the second half," said Pillager head coach Paul Peterson. "We were able to run some long sustained drives in the second half."

Although they didn't score, the two second half drives covered 18 and 15 plays.

"We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times but we did a lot of great things today," said Peterson. "Osakis is a great football team and they did some great things too, but we were able to stop them when we had to and were able to control the second half."

Offensively, Pillager did it almost all on the ground. The Huskies amassed 349 yards on 48 carries led by Woidyla's 140 yards on 13 rushes and Tucker Peterson's 18 carries for 110 yards. Quarterback Erik Peterson completed two of 20 passes, both to Schaefer for 20 yards. The Huskies converted four of six fourth downs, three of 10 third downs and did not commit a turnover.

Defensively, Hunter Gjovik led with 13.5 tackles, 10 of them solo, and Tucker Peterson finished with nine, six solo.

"The kids that were playing today have played in the Fargodome before," said Peterson. "They didn't have too many nerves and they were ready to play."

Pillager takes a 10-1 record into the state 2A tournament, their only loss coming 50-22 to the Ottertail Central Bulldogs who played Ada-Borup for the Section 6-1A title Friday night at the Fargodome.

It will be the Huskies fifth state tournament appearance, the last coming in 2016 when they were defeated 42-14 by Barnesville in the opening round. They also reached state in 2000 and 2001 when they were Class 1-A runner-up, and 2002.

The Huskies will face the Paynesville/Minnewaska Section 5-2A winner at Alexandria 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the state opening round.

Osakis 8 8 0 0—16

Pillager 16 14 0 0—30

First quarter

Pill-Tucker Peterson 3 run (Luke Woidyla run) 8:25

Pill-Woidyla 3 run (Hunter Gjovik run) 5:53

O-Hunter Infanger 28 run (Logan Hartshorn run) 2:06

Second quarter

Pill-Jack Bentson 1 run (Bentson run)

O-Jacob Backes 21 run (Hartshorne run)

Pill-Woidyla 62 run (run fail) 7:23

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: Pill 48-329, O 42-186

Pass comp-att-int-yds: Pill 2-5-0-20, O 7-10-1-99

Total offense: Pill 349, O 285

Individual leaders

Rushing: Pill-Luke Woidyla 13-140, Tucker Peterson 18-110, Jack Bentson 9-51; O-Luke Imdieke 16-67, Hunter Infanger 13-63

Passing: Pill-Erik Peterson 2-5-0-20; 0-Hunter Infanger 7-10-1-99

Receiving: Pill-Spencer Schaefer 2-20; 0-Jarret Seela 3-71, Luke Imdieke 4-28

Overall: Pill 10-1, O finishes 8-3. Next: Pillager in Class 2A State Quarterfinal vs. Section 5-2A winner (Paynesville vs. Minnewaska) at Alexandria High School 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.