Cade Schmidt rushed 29 times for 286 yards and four touchdowns in helping the Staples-Motley football team celebrate homecoming with a 34-14 win over United North Central Friday night at Staples.
The Warriors opened and ended the game with big scoring plays in this clash between teams seeking their first wins of the season.
Brett Pinoniemi's 58-yard TD run gave UNC a 6-0 lead before Schmidt responded with TD runs of 23 and 65 yards to give Staples-Motley a 14-6 lead after the first quarter.
After a scoreless second quarter, Schmidt scored on TD runs of 2 and 4 yards in the third quarter to extend the Cardinals' lead to 28-6.
Logen Weite scored on a 2-yard TD run to make to 34-6 at the start of the fourth quarter before Brandon Miller hit Tyce Lee on a 58-yard scoring route and Pinoniemi ran in the conversion to conclude the scoring.
UNC finished with a season-high 349 yards in offense with Pinoniemi rushing 10 times for 129 yards and Lee catching three passes for 112 yards. Miller completed 7 of 14 passes for 173 yards while Pinoniemi (8), Miller (7) and Howard (6) combined for 21 tackles to lead the defense as the Warriors fell to 0-4 in Midwest Blue District games and 0-5 overall this season.
Staples-Motley improved to 1-2 in the district and 1-4 overall.
In Friday night's other district games, Ottertail Central defeated Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 46-14, Pillager defeated West Central Area 28-8 and Wadena-Deer Creek lost to Pelican Rapids 12-6. OTC leads the district standings at 4-0 (5-0 overall) while Pillager is 3-1 (4-1 overall), West Central Area is 2-1 (2-3 overall), LP-GE is 1-2 (2-3 overall) and W-DC is 1-2 (1-4 overall).
Barnesville defeated Roseau 32-6 to improve to 5-0 to top the Section 8AA standings. Hawley improved to 4-1 with a 56-27 win over Breckenridge while Roseau fell to 2-3. Bagley is 3-2 after a forfeit win over Pine River-Backus while Roseau joined Crookston (which edged Frazee 14-6) at 2-3. Warroad (which lost to Polk County West 61-6) joins UNC and Frazee at 0-5.
UNC will host LP-GE at Menahga this Friday night (Oct. 5) at 7 p.m. as Menahga celebrates homecoming.
United North Central 6 0 0 8...14
Staples-Motley 14 0 14 6...34
UNC--Pinoniemi 58 run (PAT failed)
SM--Schmidt 23 run (PAT failed)
SM--Schmidt 65 run (Schmidt run)
SM--Schmidt 2 run (Schmidt run)
SM--Schmidt 4 run (PAT failed)
SM--Weite 2 run (PAT failed)
UNC--Lee 58 pass from Miller (Pinoniemi run)
RUSHING. UNC: Pinoniemi 10-129, Miller 5-33, Howard 5-14. SM: Schmidt 9-286.
PASSING. UNC: Miller 7-14-1 for 173 yards. SM: Strickland 6-11-1 for 33 yards.
RECEIVING. UNC: Lee 3-112, Dailey 2-16, Kiser 1-24, Hodge 1-21. SM: Carlson 2-26.