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Warriors top OTC, claim title

A nice balance of running and throwing led United North Central to the Prairie North Conference football title last Wednesday night at Menahga. Brady Yrjo and Alex Brockpahler combined for 181 yards passing and two touchdowns and Tyler Ahlf and C...

A nice balance of running and throwing led United North Central to the Prairie North Conference football title last Wednesday night at Menahga.

Brady Yrjo and Alex Brockpahler combined for 181 yards passing and two touchdowns and Tyler Ahlf and Charlie Hrdlicka combined for 220 yards on the ground and three TDs in leading the Warriors to a 36-16 win over Ottertail Cen-tral.

"This is a very big win for our program," said UNC head coach Jeremy Nordick. "The kids have been working extremely hard all year and it paid off with a conference championship."

Both teams entered this regular-season finale with 3-0 records in the conference and 6-1 overall marks.

OTC jumped out to an 8-0 lead on Erik Smith's 3-yard TD run in the first quarter.

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The Warriors responded by scoring 28 unanswered points to take control.

Hrdlicka took a short pass from Yrjo and turned it into a 32-yard TD to close the margin to 8-6 early in the second quarter.

Brockpahler's 55-yard pass to Luke Hendrickson gave the Warriors a 12-8 edge at the half.

At the start of the third quarter, Hrdlicka sprinted 64 yards and Ahlf ran in the conversion as UNC held a 20-8 lead.

A 13-play, 76-yard drive pushed the Warriors' lead to 28-8 later in the third quarter. Ahlf ended that seven-minute drive with a 10-yard TD run and Yrjo hit Steve Hamp on the conversion.

OTC countered with a 16-yard TD pass to Brady Cameron to cap a five-play, 71-yard drive to trim the deficit to 28-16 late in the third quarter.

The Warriors sealed the win with an 11-play, 75-yard drive in the final quarter. Ahlf ended that march with another 10-yard TD run and followed with the conversion to end the scoring.

Reid Anderson intercepted a pass by Burgee Boyum in the end zone to end the Bulldogs' final possession.

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Hrdlicka rushed 26 times for 175 yards and Ahlf had 45 yards on 14 carries to lead the Warriors. Yrjo completed 8 of 11 passes for 126 yards with Hendrickson making five catches for 104 yards. Brockpahler had 42 yards on two receptions in addition to throwing for a score.

Defensively, Hendrickson had four solo tackles and Ahlf had three solo tackles. Anderson's interception was the only turnover created by the Warriors' defense.

Boyum passed for 128 yards and Smith finished with 62 yards on 17 carries to lead OTC, which fell to 6-2 on the season.

"Beating OTC and winning a conference title were two of our main goals to start out the season," said Nordick. "I'm very proud of our seniors. They have been through a lot in their four years. They deserve the success and the honor of being a champion."

The Warriors opened the Section 8AA playoffs at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Tuesday night. The winner of that game plays either Hawley or Bagley Saturday night at 6.

OTC 8 0 8 0 .16

UNC 0 12 16 8 .36

SCORING

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OTC-Smith 3 run (Stich pass from Boyum)

UNC-Hrdlicka 32 pass from Yrjo (run failed)

UNC-Hendrickson 55 pass from Brockpahler (run failed)

UNC-Hrdlicka 64 run (Ahlf run)

UNC-Ahlf 10 run (Hamp pass from Yrjo)

OTC-Cameron 16 pass from Boyum (Smith run)

UNC-Ahlf 10 run (Ahlf run)

OFFENSIVE STATISTICS

RUSHING. OTC: Smith 17-62, Lachowitzer 4-26. UNC: Hrdlicka 26-175, Ahlf 14-45, Hendrickson 1-12, Yrjo 3-(-9).

PASSING. OTC: Boyum 8-19-1 for 128 yards. UNC: Yrjo 8-11-1 for 126 yards; Brockpahler 1-1-0 for 55 yards.

RECEIVING. OTC: Cameron 4-93. UNC: Hendrickson 5-104, Brockpahler 2-42, Hrdlicka 1-32, Hamp 1-3.

KICKOFF RETURNS. UNC: Hendrickson 2-4.

UNC DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

SOLO TACKLES: Hendrickson 4, Ahlf 3, Hrdlicka 2, Anderson 2, Floyd 2, Hepola 2, Chouinard 2, Nevala 2, Brockpahler 1, Thompson 1, Sams 1, Huttonen 1.

ASSISTED TACKLES: Hepola 5, Chouinard 5, Floyd 4, Brockpahler 3, Ahlf 2, Hendrickson 2, Gruchow 2, Ylitalo 2, Klettenberg 2, Hrdlicka 1, Anderson 1, Nevala 1.

INTERCEPTIONS: Anderson 1.

PASSES BROKEN UP: Hrdlicka 1, Anderson 1, Ylitalo 1.

KICKOFFS: Tyge 6-208.

PUNTS: Brockpahler 3-94.

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