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Panthers roll past Warriors in Nordick's debut

Zach Fritze went untouched for a 2-yard TD run to open the fourth quarter in Park Rapids' 46-0 win over United North Central Friday night. Vance Carlson / Enterprise1 / 4
Jack Hensel (left) and Cody Dravis tackled United North Central's Brandon Miller during Friday night's game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise2 / 4
Brendan Kruchowski (66) and Kian Scott (73) tackled United North Central's Mason Dailey during Friday night's season opener. Vance Carlson / Enterprise3 / 4
Park Rapids quarterback Jens Anderson fought off a tackle by United North Central's Eion Ness to score on a 5-yard run in the second quarter of Friday night's game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise4 / 4

Jeremy Nordick wanted to send a message in his first game as head coach of the Park Rapids football team.

Message sent.

Led by an opportunistic offense and stifling defense, the Panthers opened the season with a 46-0 win over United North Central Friday night at Menahga.

The Panthers scored four touchdowns in the first half while limiting UNC to only one first down in building a 28-0 advantage.

Cody Dravis opened the scoring with a 35-yard TD run and conversion to cap a seven-play, 67-yard drive. Park Rapids led 8-0 with 6:37 to play in the first quarter.

After a 6-yard punt by the Warriors gave Park Rapids possession at the UNC 30, Dravis made it 16-0 at the 2:47 mark with an 18-yard TD run and conversion to cap a five-play drive.

An interception by Dravis set up a four-play, 21-yard scoring drive as Jens Anderson's 5-yard TD run made it 22-0 with 8:49 to play in the first half.

Park Rapids ended the half with a six-play, 37-yard scoring drive. Tristin Persons' 7-yard TD run with 36 seconds remaining before the break gave the Panthers a 28-0 advantage.

A fumbled punt by UNC midway through the third quarter set up the Panthers' fifth touchdown. Persons capped off that short three-play, 20-yard drive with a 9-yard TD run and conversion for a 36-0 lead at the 4:28 mark.

After stopping the Warriors on downs at the UNC 37, the Panthers needed five plays to pad their lead with Zach Fritze scoring from 2 yards out and Spencer Fritze running in the conversion for a 44-0 lead with 11:52 to play.

The fourth quarter was played with running time as Park Rapids' defense concluded the scoring when Kolby Brandt tackled UNC quarterback Charlie Hodge in the end zone with 1:36 remaining.

Park Rapids will make its  home debut this Friday night by hosting Thief River Falls. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Vern Weekley Field.

Park Rapids 16  12  8  10...46

United North Central   0  0  0  0...0


PR-Dravis 35 run (Dravis run)

PR-Dravis 18 run (Dravis run)

PR-Anderson 5 run (pass failed)

PR-Persons 7 run (run failed)

PR-Persons 9 run (Persons run)

PR-Z. Fritze 2 run (S. Fritze run)

PR-Safety: K. Brandt tackled Hodge in end zone