Defense carries UNC in victory over LP-GE
United North Central relied on its defense to snap a two-game losing streak with a 14-0 Midwest Blue District football victory over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle at Long Prairie on Oct. 6.
The Warriors also relied on two big offensive plays for the win as quarterback James Clark broke free for an 82-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and found Mason Dailey on a 29-yard scoring route in the third quarter. Clark ran in the conversion on the second score, which was set up by a bad snap on a LP-GE punt attempt.
"It was an ugly game filled with mistakes and penalties on both sides, but we will definitely take the win," said UNC head coach Jeremy Nordick. "Defensively we played well all night for the most part. There were a couple of plays we'd like to have back, but I felt all night our defense was in control of the game. We also took a few risks offensively that put our defense in some tough situations, but we were able to lock it up and keep them out of the end zone. Any time you can shut a team out is a great night. The lifeline of our football team is our attitude and intensity on the defensive end and that was on full display."
UNC finished with 276 yards in offense with Clark rushing 14 times for 144 yards and completing 3 of 12 passes for 46 yards. Dailey had two receptions for 32 yards while Zach Floyd added 47 yards on seven rushing attempts.
Caleb Mostrom's nine solo tackles and Owen Anderson's seven solo tackles led the defense as UNC improved to 3-2 against district teams and 4-2 overall. LP-GE fell to 0-4 in district games and 0-6 overall.
"We definitely left some scoring opportunities go by the wayside. We moved the ball fairly well all night, but stalled out on five different chances inside the 15-yard line. Three times inside the 10 we didn't get the job done. Obviously we need to execute much better in those situations," said Nordick. "Overall, we are progressing as a group. The last couple weeks we've had major injuries to a couple of key linemen who start on both sides of the ball. Some guys that haven't played a lot of varsity minutes have had to step in there and make an impact. It is a process, but they're improving every day."
Barnesville and Hawley remained undefeated on the season at 6-0 while Warroad improved to 6-1 to top the Section 8AA standings. Barnesville defeated Crookston 40-20, Hawley received a forfeit win over Frazee and Warroad defeated Red Lake 52-6 in Week 6. Pelican Rapids topped Roseau 8-6 while Ada-Borup/Norman County West defeated Bagley 35-7 in the other section games. UNC joins Crookston and Bagley at 4-2 while Roseau fell to 1-5.
In the district standings, Ottertail Central (4-0 against district teams) improved to 6-0 overall with a 33-6 win over Breckenridge. Pillager improved to 4-1 in the section and 5-1 overall following a 40-0 victory over Wadena-Deer Creek. West Central Area defeated Staples-Motley 40-7 to improve to 2-2 against section teams and 3-3 overall. Staples-Motley fell to 2-2 in section games and 2-4 overall while W-DC fell to 0-4 in the section and 0-6 overall.
UNC 6 0 8 0...14
LP-GE 0 0 0 0...0
UNC--Clark 82 run (run failed)
UNC--Dailey 29 pass from Clark (Clark run)
UNC OFFENSIVE STATISTICS
RUSHING: Clark 14-144, Floyd 7-47, Mostrom 6-26, Anderson 5-13, Pinoniemi 1-0.
PASSING: Clark 3-12 for 46 yards.
RECEIVING: Dailey 2-32, Aho 1-14.
UNC DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
SOLO TACKLES: Mostrom 9, Anderson 7, Hintzman 4, Clark 3, Olson 3, Dailey 3, Floyd 2, Pinoniemi 2, G. Bettin 2, Tolkkinen 1, B. Bettin 1.
ASSISTED TACKLES: Mostrom 3, Floyd 2, Clark 1.
QUARTERBACK SACKS: Clark 1, Anderson 1, G. Bettin 1, B. Bettin 1.
INTERCEPTIONS: Tolkkinen 1.