High School Football: Pillager prepped for section rematch

Pillager's Erik Peterson passes the ball Saturday, Oct. 26, against Staples-Motley at Pillager School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

And we’re back.

Three hundred and sixty four days after their last meeting, the Pillager Huskies will face the Osakis Silverstreaks for the Section 6-2A Championship Friday, Nov. 1, in the Fargodome in Fargo.

The last meeting, which happened Nov. 2 of 2018, saw the Huskies top Osakis 30-16 to advance to their fifth state tournament appearance.

This year, Osakis owns the No. 1seed with an 7-2 overall record and a No. 10 ranking by the Quality Results Formula. The Silverstreaks defeated No. 4 seeded West Central 49-6 in the Saturday, Oct. 26, semifinals.

“They’re a good team,” Pillager head coach Paul Peterson said. “They returned a lot of starters, similar to us, since we played them last year in the section championship. They do a lot of the same things and they do them well.


“They’re well-coached, experienced football team.”

The Silverstreaks’ two losses came early as they own a six-game winning streak. Osakis lost to Browerville in Week One and then fell to BOLD 35-25 in Week Three.

Pillager’s last loss was a 28-22 defeat to West Central in Week Four. The Huskies opened the season against Class 3A’s Pequot Lakes and suffered a 28-20 loss

Pillager has won five straight since, including a 28-8 victory over Staples-Motley Saturday.

This will be the fourth straight section final for Pillager.

“It’s really neat for us that we get to play in the Fargodome setting, too, because our town loves it,” Paul Peterson said. “They look forward to it and we have great community support.

“It’s not old hat by any means. It’s a championship game and we get to go to Fargo to do it.”

The Huskies are the No. 15 ranked team according to the QRF. The Huskies are averaging 278 rushing yards and 92 passing yards per game.


Senior Tucker Peterson sits at 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns on 121 carries for a 10.0 yards-per-carry average. Luke Woidyla has 540 yards and six touchdowns on 92 carries for a 5.9 yards-per-carry average. Fullback James Bentson has 345 yards and four scores.

This season, the Huskies have been able to open things up a bit more with their passing game. Senior quarterback Erik Peterson has thrown for 826 yards and nine touchdowns on 53-of-93 passing.

Spencer Schaefer has caught 15 of those passes for 214 yards and three scores. Tucker Peterson has 13 catches for 167 yards and a TD and Woidyla has 12 catches for 227 yards and two scores.

“We’re going to try and keep it balanced because our play-action game is important and having Erik being able to throw the ball helps,” Paul Peterson said. “They’ll focus on Tucker and Luke as running backs and if we can run a little play action off of that and get some yards to Spencer and Luke and Tucker in the passing game that helps us greatly.”

Pillager’s defense is holding teams to 12.8 points per game, but Osakis has a better number at 12.0 points per game allowed.

Junior Hunter Gjovik leads the Huskies with 85 tackles and five sacks. Cole Hiltner has 57 tackles followed by Tucker Peterson’s 53, Griffin Decker’s 44 and Bentson’s 42. Schaefer has 4.5 sacks while Judah Beard, Woidyla and Decker all have two interceptions.

“They’re run heavy and a lot of it runs through (Luke) Imdieke,” Paul Peterson said. “He’s a really good one.

“These last couple of days of practice these kids have been focused and they are getting to their assignments. We have film on their last two games and we’re going off our game from last year. The defense is looking really good and our offense is doing a nice job as well.


“Their offensive and defensive lines are very big so they have some size, but I think our quickness will balance that out.”

Section 6-2A Final

Who: No. 1 seeded Osakis (7-2) vs. No. 2 seeded Pillager (7-2)

QRF: Osakis 10, Pillager 15

When: 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1

Where: Fargodome, Fargo

Last meeting: Pillager defeated Osakis 30-16 in 2018 Section 6-2A Final

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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