Football: Pequot’s Loge leads record-breaking offense
Pequot Lakes senior quarterback named The Brainerd Dispatch Player of the Year
When Grant Loge was a junior, he quarterbacked a Pequot Lakes team that won one game.
As a senior, the 6-foot-5 quarterback led the Patriots to a record-breaking offensive season.
Loge is The Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Football Player of the Year for 2022. He finished with 2,441 yards on 154-of-270 passing. He threw 32 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He set the Pequot school record in both passing yards and touchdowns in a season.
He was named All-Midwest Red District and Midwest Red District Quarterback of the Year.
As a team the Patriots accumulated 4,376 yards of total offense, a new school record. They scored on average 39.1 points per game, another all-time mark for Pequot.
With Loge under center for a second season, Pequot went from a one-win season to an eight-win season and a section final appearance.
“We definitely didn’t want to have a year like we did last year,” Loge said. “We told the underclassmen that we had to get ready to go and we did. We got after it in the weight room and we knew we were capable.”
Pequot Lakes head coach Bill Magnuson raved about Loge’s knowledge of the offense.
“His understanding of the offense and his relationship with offensive coordinator Gregg Martig goes beyond just on the field,” Magnuson said. “It was the classroom, the film study and because of that, he got what we did. He would a lot of times get us out of negative plays and get us into positive plays. And because of that those records are set and he had the season he did.”
Loge started the season with 203 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-5 win over East Grand Forks.
The next week Loge threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns in a loss to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. It would be the first of three five-touchdown games for the Pequot quarterback.
Loge said he knew they had a special team after the first win.
“That win kind of got us going,” he said. “I think the whole team knew we had a good team after we lost to DGF. After we lost by two and had a dogfight with them, we knew that we were in for a fun season.”
He threw for five touchdowns and 265 yards in a 61-18 win over Pillager in Week Six. He also threw for five touchdowns and 200 yards in a 49-8 win over Aitkin in the Section 7-3A Semifinals.
Loge threw six interceptions, but played turnover-free for the last four games including all three postseason games.
He threw touchdown passes in every game, but two.
“If you would hear coaches after the game they would say ‘that kid is special,’” Magnuson said. “They complimented him a ton about his throwing and game leadership. Grant is as humble as they come and so that said a lot about how coaches in our district felt about him.”
Magnuson trusted Loge to run the offense and audible at any time.
“I could just read a defense better and the game slowed down for me,” Loge said. “Coach gave me the freedom to change plays and plays that I wanted to get out of in crucial situations.”
After Pequot lost to DGF in Week Two, the Patriots rattled off four wins in a row. Loge threw four touchdowns and 233 yards in a 34-7 win against Fergus Falls. He threw for two touchdowns in a 50-0 win over Park Rapids. He rushed for two touchdowns in a 35-21 win over Detroit Lakes before the Patriots' fourth-straight win against Pillager.
“Some of the teams that gave us a beating last year we gave a beating this year,” Loge said. “It just shows how competitive high school football can be in our district.”
Magnuson said the biggest improvement to Loge’s game was his accuracy.
“It helps to see over the line when you are 6-5,” he said. “His willingness to just take the offense and say I’m going to run this thing and hold people accountable. He leads by example and can redirect players without having to do it in a negative way. He was a leader who could reconnect and explain himself.”
Loge threw for four touchdowns and 306 yards in a narrow 43-42 overtime loss to Thief River Falls, but the team bounced back in the last regular season game with a 22-12 win against Perham where Loge threw for three touchdowns and 200 yards.
“His leadership means everything,” Magnuson said. “The guys on the team basically said Grant, you lead us and we will follow. We had a great supporting cast, but the mentality was following him and his willingness to be the best.”
In the Section 7-3A final against undefeated Esko, Loge rushed for two touchdowns. His second rushing touchdown gave the Patriots a 19-14 late in the third quarter.
Esko scored 14 points to spoil upset-minded Pequot.
“We knew we had to make them play four quarters,” Loge said. “When we moved the ball at the start of the game I think right away they knew they were in for a game.”
Loge said his favorite moment playing football for Pequot came in the Esko game.
“It was a play early on in the game and I felt pressure coming from behind me,” Loge said. “I stepped up in the pocket and just chucked one down the field and Darby Boelter made the catch. That was the turning point in the game to prove we could play with them.”
Loge’s favorite receivers during the season were Riley Larson, who led the team with 671 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Bryar Nordby, who led the team in catches with 36.
Tight end Cullen Kratochvil was another target for Loge and finished with 25 catches for 444 yards and eight touchdowns.
“I had unbelievable skill guys,” Loge said. “We threw all the time and our practices had a tempo where we were going up and down the field nonstop. We are working routes and working on timing. We developed six or seven guys that you could put in at any time in a game and they would make a play.”
Magnuson noticed in the offseason that his quarterback was going to make a leap.
“Basically from when football ended last year to now he’s been in the weight room every morning,” Magnuson said. “But the knowledge of the game and taking his lumps that he did his junior year. He listened to the coaching staff. He just took over this year and it’s so refreshing to have someone who can take you out of a bad play.”
School: Pequot Lakes
Season Highlights: Named All-District Midwest Red and Midwest Red District Quarterback of the year. He finished with 2,441 yards and 32 touchdowns with six interceptions on 154-of-270 passing. He rushed for four touchdowns.
All-Area Football Players of Year
2022: Grant Loge, Pequot Lakes
2021: Gideon Ervasti, Verndale
2020: Owen Miller, Aitkin
2019: Matthias Algarin, Pierz
2018: Reese Kapsner, Pierz
2017: Charlie Geraets, BRD
2016: Noah Gindorff, C-I
2015: Noah Boser, Pierz
2014: Robbie Skiba, Pierz
2013: Conor Gessel BRD, Cole Smith BRD
2012: Josh Lanners, Pierz
2011: Jake Kassulker, BRD
2010: Jordan Hayes BRD; Zach Horejsi, Little Falls
2009: Kyle Crocker, BRD
2008: Colby Ring, BRD; Matt Moenkedick, Verndale
2007: Nate Schaefbauer BRD; Mike Valesano BRD
2006: Scott Herold, Pierz
2005: Scott Saehr, Pierz
2004: Christian Even, Pierz
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.