PEQUOT LAKES — Bode Magnuson was seeing green Friday, Oct. 23.
Part of it was due to the spectacular work by the grounds crew to get the Pequot Lakes High School football field cleared of snow. The other part was the responsibility given to the three-year starter to run when he sees fit.
That greenlight also works during special teams as the senior quarterback is the Patriots’ punter. On fourth and 5 at the Perham 49, Magnuson saw open field and took off from his punter position. He rambled 39 yards to set up Pequot’s first touchdown, an 11-yard touchdown pass to Alex Morgan, and the Patriots went on to defeat the Perham Yellowjackets 21-14.
That wasn’t the only time Magnuson took off from punting formation. The second time gave his father and Patriots head coach Bill Magnuson a slight scare. It was late in the third quarter and Pequot was on their own 5-yard line. Magnuson scrambled right, switched directions and slid past three would-be tacklers before gaining a first down on a 28-yard run.
“He does have the greenlight, but not the one in the end zone,” Bill Magnuson said. “The first one he saw them overload and we talked about that. If they overload he has the greenlight and he had a great run.
“The next one, he shouldn’t have done it in the end zone, but he was nervous they were coming. We actually picked it up pretty good, but he jitterbugged through there pretty good and got the first down.”
Those two runs and his 71-yard second-quarter touchdown run helped him rush for 158 yards. He also threw for 109 yards and two touchdown passes, both going to Morgan.
The second touchdown pass came on Pequot’s opening drive of the second half as they recovered the short kickoff. Six plays later Magnuson hit Morgan on a fly route to make it 21-0 Pequot.
“We do have some pretty good receivers and we still missed some wide-open guys right off the hands,” Bill Magnuson said. “We’ll continue to work on that. You can’t just come into the box and try and take away the run game because he’s going to find people. The scrambling is what is cool because he still finds people that are moving across the field and stuff.”
That’s when Perham went on attack mode and emptied its backfield. With starting quarterback Colton Hackel out of the game for an undisclosed reason, junior Josh Peterson stepped in and went 22-of-34 passing for 196 yards.
Perham’s first drive of the second half stalled after going 62 yards on 13 plays. The Yellowjackets’ next possession found the end zone as Peterson hit Levi Richter on a 17-yard TD pass. The two-point conversion connected for a 21-8 score.
Peterson capped off Perham’s final drive with a 1-yard run.
“Your first thought, is Hackel OK?” Bill Magnuson said about Perham’s QB situation. “We still don’t know, but he’s a special athlete and we hope he’s OK.
“I really like what Peterson brought to the table. First, I thought maybe he was just a runner, but he threw the ball well and he settled in as the game went on. They’re close to similar so it wasn’t much different. What got us was the total empty backfield the rest of the game.”
Perham finished with 304 yards of offense on 73 plays. Pequot gained 333 yards on 69 plays.
The Patriots iced the game on their next possession. On third and one, Magnuson powered for 2 yards for the first down. Magnuson then connected with Ryan Harmala on an 11-yard pass for another first down and the game ended with three kneel-downs.
Perham recovered the game’s opening kickoff after a botched recovery by Pequot. The Patriots persevered and forced a loss on downs, but then fumbled on their first possession to set up Perham on the Pequot 29. Three plays later Perham was punting it back to Pequot.
“I think I took a little bit on myself to stay positive after that,” Bill Magnuson said. “Those are things that happen. It was a young sophomore that made a mistake. I went over, eventually, two plays later and said, ‘You’re fine. You’ll be OK.’ I’m proud of our kids because we held them from that and then we kind of righted things.
“We still had some mistakes, but stopping them right there on that was key. I’m very proud of our defense. They played a whale of a game. They were out there a lot of snaps, especially from the third quarter on with a spread set that was throwing and running it all over. I’m proud of our kids. We still made mistakes, but recovered pretty well.”
The Midwest Red Subdistrict victory pushes Pequot to 2-1 and drops Perham to 1-2. It was the Yellowjackets who knocked off Pequot Lakes 14-3 in the Section 8-3A semifinals last year before losing to eventual state champion Pierz in the state quarterfinals.
Perham 0 0 0 14 -- 14
Pequot Lakes 7 7 7 0 -- 21
PL-Alex Morgan 11 pass from Bode Magnuson (Vinny Sposito kick) 2:49
PL-Magnuson 71 run (Sposito kick) 4:06
PL-Morgan 20 pass from Magnuson (Sposito kick) 10:04
Per-Levi Richter 17 pass from Josh Peterson (Richter pass from Peterson) 11:25
Per-Peterson 1 run (pass failed) 3:07
Rushes-yards: PL44-224, P 35-99
Pass comp-att-int-yds: PL 10-25-0-109, P 23-38-3-205
Total offense: PL 69-333, P 73-304
Rushing: PL-Bode Magnuson 19-158, Carter Sjoblad 12-45, Erik Larsen 3-10, Darby Boelter 7-10, Ryan Monahan 3-1; P-Josh Peterson 26-82, Charles Melvin 2-15, Finn Diggins 3-7, Blake Lorentz 2-2, Colton Hackel 2-(-7)
Passing: PL-Magnuson 10-25-109 ; P-Peterson 22-34-196, Hackel 1-3-9, Diggins 0-1-0
Receiving: PL-Alex Morgan 4-45, Ryan Harmala 2-25, Ryan Monahan 1-19, Erik Larsen 1-17, Sjoblad 1-3, Boelter 1-0; P-Diggins 12-102, Melvin 6-54, Andrew Smith 3-20, Levi Richter 1-17, Gareth Covington 1-12
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.
Pequot Lakes 21, Perham 14
Key: Magnuson rushed for 158 yards and a TD and threw for 109 yards and two TDs.
Overall: PL 2-1, Per 1-2.
Next: Pequot Lakes at Fergus Falls 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30; Perham hosts Detroit Lakes 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30.