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Warroad holds off rally by Warriors

United North Central's late rally fell short as Warroad escaped with a 26-20 Section 8AA quarterfinal football victory Tuesday night at Warroad.

Warroad, the No. 4 seed, opened the scoring when Dylan Cain caught a screen pass from Tristan Johnson and raced 94 yards for a touchdown. Johnson kicked the extra point to give Warroad a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Johnson's 2-yard TD run and kick extended that lead to 14-0 at the half.

The No. 5-seeded Warriors opened the second half with a 63-yard scoring drive, capped off with a 12-yard TD run by James Clark. Clark ran in the conversion as UNC trailed 14-8.

Warroad pushed the lead to 26-8 as Johnson followed a 6-yard TD run in the third quarter with a 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

UNC rallied as Clark scored on TD runs of 1 and 12 yards, but Warroad was able to run out the clock to advance.

The Warriors finished with 299 yards in offense with Clark completing 9 of 18 passes for 135 yard and rushing 13 times for 82 yards. Zach Floyd added 43 yards on seven carries while Owen Anderson had 39 yards on eight attempts. Jack Lillquist (three catches for 42 yards) and Tristan Aho (three catches for 32 yards) were the primary receivers.

Caleb Mostrom had 11 tackles and Anderson had nine tackles as the Warriors end the season with a 5-4 record.

Spencer Musgrove rushed 22 times for 110 yards, Cain added 57 yards on 11 carries and Johnson completed 3 of 5 passes for 116 yards as Warroad improved to 8-1 on the season. Warroad ended the regular season rated No. 12 in the state Class AA poll.

"It was a tough loss. It was especially disappointing because I felt we didn't execute as well as we could have," said UNC head coach Jeremy Nordick. "The last half of the season there's been a ton of adversity surrounding this team with injuries and other distractions that made it impossible to overcome. I give a lot of credit to our guys for hanging in there and grinding it out until the end. We just dug ourselves a big hole to start the game and it was a four-quarter struggle to try and get out of it. We just ran out of time."

UNC 0 0 8 12...20

Warroad 7 7 6 6...26

SCORING

W--Cain 94 pass from Johnson (Johnson kick)

W--Johnson 2 run (Johnson kick)

UNC--Clark 12 run (Clark run)

W--Johnson 6 run (kick failed)

W--Johnson 4 run (run failed)

UNC--Clark 1 run (run failed)

UNC--Clark 12 run (run failed)

OFFENSIVE STATISTICS

RUSHING. UNC: Clark 13-82, Floyd 7-43, Anderson 8-39. Warroad: Musgrove 22-110, Cain 11-57, Johnson 5-20.

PASSING. UNC: Clark 9-18-2 for 135 yards. Warroad: Johnson 3-5-0 for 116 yards.

RECEIVING. UNC: Lillquist 3-42, Aho 3-32, Tellers 2-31, Floyd 1-30. Warroad: Cain 1-94, Shoen 1-21.

UNC DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

TACKLES: Mostrom 11, Anderson 9, Pinoniemi 5, Aho 4, Clark 4, Floyd 4, B. Bettin 3, Hintzman 3, Kako 2, Tolkkinen 2, G. Bettin 2, Howard 1, Lee 1.

QUARTERBACK SACKS: Anderson 1, G. Bettin 1.

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