Colton Hackel showcased his athletic ability on the football field against Park Rapids on Friday, Sept. 13.
The Perham sophomore quarterback couldn’t be contained offensively, running for three touchdowns, throwing for two more scores, kicking a field goal and an extra point, running in a conversion and passing for a conversion in sparking a 44-12 Section 8AAA and Midwest Red District victory over the Panthers at Ted Meinhover Field.
Hackel rushed 12 times for 104 yards, completed 4 of 8 passes for 114 yards, returned a punt 9 yards, returned an interception 12 yards, had a 34-yard punt, averaged 52.2 yards on eight kickoffs and tallied two solo tackles as the Yellowjackets remained undefeated on the season.
Perham, which was rated No. 9 in last week’s state Class AAA poll, capitalized on ideal field position to jump out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
After forcing the Panthers to punt on the opening series, Perham needed only two plays to march 42 yards to open the scoring. Dylan Lysne’s 11-yard run was followed by Hackel’s 31-yard touchdown scamper and extra-point kick as the Yellowjackets led 7-0 with 9:40 to play in the first quarter.
An illegal block forced Park Rapids to start at its own 11 on the ensuing series. Jens Anderson hit James Hartig on a 9-yard pass and rushed for 2 yards on fourth-and-1, but that drive stalled and resulted in a punt.
The Yellowjackets took over at the Park Rapids 36. Two plays later, Hackel hit Noah Rooney on a 37-yard TD pass and Hackel ran in the conversion for a 15-0 lead at the 4:55 mark.
Caleb David’s 11-yard run produced a first down on the Panthers’ next series, but Perham’s defense held and forced another punt.
Hackel connected with Rooney on a 55-yard scoring strike on the next play from scrimmage and Perham led 21-0 with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter.
Perham recovered a fumble at the Park Rapids 22, but couldn’t move the ball as the Panthers regained possession at the 25.
An 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive followed as Anderson hit Jeff Haas for a 15-yard gain, rushed for 12 yards and found Hartig on a 26-yard route. On fourth-and-goal, Anderson hit Haas for a 4-yard TD pass as Park Rapids cut the gap to 21-6 with 9:32 to play in the first half.
The Yellowjackets responded with a six-play drive as a 40-yard carry by Finn Diggins and a 12-yard run by Diggins after a holding penalty set up a 32-yard field goal by Hackel to make it 24-6 at the 7:25 mark.
Perham’s defense set up two more scores before the half.
Anderson hit Hartig for a 33-yard gain to start Park Rapids’ next series, but a fumble gave the Yellowjackets possession at the Panthers’ 38. A 12-yard run by Diggins set up a 12-yard TD run by Hackel as Perham led 30-6 with 3:26 remaining before the intermission.
Hackel’s interception and 12-yard return set up an eight-play, 40-yard scoring drive. Hackel hit Diggins on a 9-yard route and Maddux Kovash on an 11-yard pass before following an 8-yard run with a 3-yard gain on fourth-and-2. Kellogg’s 6-yard run set up a 1-yard TD plunge by Kellogg with :22 showing on the clock. Rooney’s conversion catch produced a 38-6 lead at the break.
Perham took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 62 yards in seven plays to pad the lead. Hackel’s 12-yard run and unsportsmanlike penalty on the Panthers started that drive. A 13-yard gain by Rooney and a facemask penalty set up a 3-yard TD run by Kellogg as the Yellowjackets led 44-6 with 9:14 remaining in the third quarter.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Panthers marched 65 yards in 14 plays to conclude the scoring. David caught a 6-yard pass, Haas hauled in a 5-yard throw, David rushed twice for 11 yards, Haas caught a 16-yard pass and Hartig hauled in a 4-yard pass on fourth-and-4 that set up a 16-yard TD pass from Anderson to Haas. That made it 44-12 with 9:02 to play.
The Yellowjackets recovered an onside kick at the Park Rapids 48, but Haas stopped that drive with an interception at the 20. Josiah May rushed twice for 12 yards and followed a penalty for an illegal block with a 24-yard pass to David, but that drive stalled and the Panthers were forced to punt with 1:12 to play.
The Panthers, despite possessing the ball for 33:04, fell to 0-2 in district games and 0-3 overall while Perham improved to 2-0 against district opponents and 3-0 overall.
In the other Week 3 section games, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton routed Pequot Lakes 55-7, Fergus Falls defeated East Grand Forks 19-6, Detroit Lakes shut out Thief River Falls 61-0 and Underwood defeated Roseau 44-8.
D-G-F joined Perham with 3-0 records to top the section standings while Pequot Lakes fell to 2-1. Fergus Falls, Roseau and East Grand Forks are 1-2 with Thief River Falls joining Park Rapids at 0-3. In the district standings, Detroit Lakes, D-G-F and Perham are 2-0 with Pequot Lakes and Fergus Falls sitting at 1-1. East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls join Park Rapids at 0-2.
The Panthers travel to East Grand Forks for a 7 p.m. kickoff this Friday night (Sept. 20). East Grand Forks opened the season with a 27-19 win over Crookston before falling to Pequot Lakes 47-35 in Week 2.