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Turnovers in first half cost Warriors in loss to OTC

Ottertail Central turned four United North Central turnovers into touchdowns in building a 34-0 lead in the first half en route to a 48-18 Midwest Red District football victory Oct. 13 during Menahga's homecoming game.

Austin Wensauer scored on a 2-yard TD run and Ben Naddy followed with a 4-yard TD run as the Bulldogs led 14-0 after the first quarter.

Naddy returned a UNC fumble 27 yards for another score before Wensauer scored on a pair of 1-yard runs for a 34-0 lead.

Zach Floyd's 5-yard TD reception from James Clark made it 34-6 at the half.

After Wensauer scored on a 1-yard run to open the second half, the Warriors cut the lead to 41-18 on Clark's 1-yard TD run in the third quarter and 38-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

Colton Kirschbaum's 3-yard TD run concluded the scoring.

UNC finished with 226 yards in offense with Clark rushing 21 times for 116 yards and completing 5 of 16 passes for 91 yards. Mason Dailey had three receptions for 35 yards while Jack Lillquist caught a 30-yard pass and Owen Anderson hauled in a 26-yard pass.

Anderson led UNC's defense with 11 tackles while Caleb Mostrom was in on 10 tackles. The Warriors forced four OTC turnovers.

"Offensively, we have some work to do. We turned the ball over four times in our own territory in the first half and that really was the difference in the game. I felt in the second half we finally got some things going and were able to put some points on the board. I was encouraged that our guys continued to battle and put ourselves in a position to get back in the game after the disastrous start," said UNC head coach Jeremy Nordick. "Defensively, we were just backed up in so many tough situations that we just couldn't get off the field. I feel we have one of the better defenses in our district, but when they're on the field the whole time battling to stay afloat from turnovers, it just makes it so overwhelming. We were able to cause some turnovers as well, but the field position was just not in our favor."

In the other district games last week, West Central Area defeated Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 40-14, Wadena-Deer Creek defeated Staples-Motley 37-19 and Pillager defeated Roseau 48-14. OTC improved to 5-0 in the district and 7-0 overall while Pillager improved to 4-1 in the district and 6-1 overall. UNC fell to 3-3 in the district and 4-3 overall while WCA improved to 3-2 in the district and 4-3 overall. Staples-Motley (2-3 in the district and 2-5 overall), W-DC (1-4 in the district and 1-6 overall) and LP-GE (0-5 in the district and 0-7 overall) round out the standings.

In Section 8AA play, Hawley defeated Barnesville 48-30, Crookston defeated Pelican Rapids 21-14 and Bagley defeated Red Lake 53-14. Warroad had a bye. Hawley leads the section standings at 7-0 while Barnesville and Warroad are 6-1. Crookston and Bagley are 5-2 with Roseau falling to 1-6.

"Overall, our kids and staff were obviously disappointed in our first-half performance for homecoming. We've got to get back to some of the basics and find that chip on our shoulder again headed into the playoffs," said Nordick, whose team ended the regular season with a forfeit win over Frazee. "We will end the regular season at 5-3. We had hoped going in that we'd be a little better than that, but cannot do anything about it. It is a new season now."

Ottertail Central 14 20 7 7...48

United North Central 0 6 6 6...18

SCORING

OTC--Wensauer 2 run (Aiello kick)

OTC--Naddy 4 run (Aiello kick)

OTC--Naddy 27 fumble return (Aiello kick)

OTC--Wensauer 1 run (Aiello kick)

OTC--Wensauer 1 run (run failed)

UNC--Floyd 5 pass from clark (kick failed)

OTC--Wensauer 1 run (Aiello kick)

UNC--Clark 1 run (run failed)

UNC--Clark 38 run (pass failed)

OTC--Kirschbaum 3 run (Aiello kick)

UNC OFFENSIVE STATISTICS

RUSHING: Clark 21-116, Floyd 6-15, Anderson 3-4, Mostrom 1-0.

PASSING: Clark 5-16-1 for 91 yards; Dailey 0-1-0 for 0 yards.

RECEIVING: Dailey 3-35, Lillquist 1-30, Anderson 1-26, Floyd 1-5.

UNC DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

TACKLES: Anderson 11, Mostrom 10, Hintzman 5, Clark 3, Pinoniemi 3, Dailey 3, Tolkkinen 3, Floyd 3, Olson 2, Bradley 1, Seibert 1, Juntunen 1, Bettin 1.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Pinoniemi 1, Dailey 1, Mostrom 1, Bettin 1.

QUARTERBACK SACKS: Anderson 1.

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