Panthers escape with playoff win

At the time, Jordan McCollum's 95-yard interception return to end the first half only seemed to put the finishing touches on a dominant first half for the Park Rapids football team.

Matt Bade
Matt Bade (11) found some running room thanks to blocks from Zach Tretbar (54), Logan Veo and Zach Hagen (55) during Park Rapids’ 18-12 Section 8AAA playoff victory over Roseau Tuesday night.

     At the time, Jordan McCollum’s 95-yard interception return to end the first half only seemed to put the finishing touches on a dominant first half for the Park Rapids football team.

     In the end, that touchdown on the final play of the first half proved to be the game-winner as the Panthers escaped with an 18-12 Section 8AAA quarterfinal victory over Roseau at Vern Weekley Field.

     Entering the first-round playoff game, the No. 3-seeded Panthers were the heavy favorites to advance past No. 6-seeded Roseau.

     Park Rapids entered the playoffs on a roll with back-to-back victories while Roseau had lost seven games in a row by a combined score of 234-13, including a 43-0 loss at Park Rapids in Week 3.

     The Panthers appeared headed for another easy win by carrying an 18-0 lead into the break. But two long scoring drives by Roseau in the second half made things interesting before the Panthers ran out the final 4:25 to advance.


     On their second series of the game, the Panthers used a 40-yard run by Matt Bade to reach the Roseau 5 before a fumble ended that drive.

     The Rams were forced to punt and Park Rapids used Derek Porozinski’s 15-yard punt return to the Roseau 18 to set up a quick two-play scoring drive. Jon Burlingame followed a 6-yard run with a 12-yard TD run to give Park Rapids a 6-0 lead with 3:05 to play in the first quarter.

     Roseau used four carries for 21 yards by Alex Severson to reach midfield before Justin Dravis sacked Tanner Landman on fourth-and-1 to end that drive.

     After both teams exchanged punts, the Panthers extended their lead with a seven-play, 44-yard drive. Jordan McCollum rushed for 8 and 16 yards to the Roseau 10 before capping the drive with a 13-yard TD reception from Jake Dickinson. That gave Park Rapids a 12-0 lead with 4:06 remaining in the first half.

     The Panthers appeared to be taking that score into the half when McCollum intercepted a pass and returned it 98 yards down the sideline for a touchdown as time expired. That gave the Panthers an 18-0 lead and the momentum entering the intermission.

     On the opening series of the second half, Roseau took over the momentum by driving 82 yards in 14 plays. Severson rushed twice for 12 yards and Reilly Stroot rushed three times for 47 yards as the Rams reached the Park Rapids 23. On fourth-and-3, Alec Valenzuela caught a 15-yard pass to set up a 1-yard TD run by Severson. That drive consumed 7:18 off the clock and cut the gap to 18-6 with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter.

     Park Rapids countered with a nine-play drive as McCollum’s pair of 15-yard gains and a pass interference penalty provided a first down at the Roseau 12. That drive ended when Valenzuela intercepted a pass at the 9 and returned it to the 15.

     A seven-play, 85-yard scoring drive followed as the Rams cut the deficit to 18-12. A 74-yard pass to Valenzuela on third-and-10 set up a 1-yard TD run by Ryan Jobman with 8:41 to play.


     Both teams were forced to punt as the Panthers regained possession with 4:25 to play. An 8-yard run by Bade, a 7-yard run by Ben Baumgartner and a 7-yard run by McCollum provided first downs. McCollum broke free for a 40-yard run to the 12 to seal the win.

     The Panthers finished with 262 yards in offense with McCollum rushing 16 times for 140 yards and Bade adding 53 yards on six attempts.

     Stroot gained 102 yards on 24 carries and Landman completed 3 of 8 passes for 93 yards to lead Roseau’s offense. The Rams ended the season with a 1-8 record.

     The Panthers improved to 4-5 and will travel to No. 2 Pequot Lakes tonight (Saturday) for a 6 p.m. kickoff. Pequot Lakes defeated the Panthers 41-25 in Week 2.

     In Tuesday night’s other Section 8AAA quarterfinal game, No. 5 East Grand Forks upset No. 4 Perham 27-14. East Grand Forks will play at No. 1 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in a semifinal game today (Saturday).

     The Section 8AAA championship game is set for Thursday at 5:30 at the Fargodome.


Roseau               0      0    6    6…12


Park Rapids        6     12   0    0…18



PR–Burlingame 12 run (kick failed)

PR–McCollum 13 pass from Ja. Dickinson (run failed)

PR–McCollum 98 interception return (kick blocked)

R–Severson 1 run (kick blocked)

R–Jobman 1 run (pass failed)




                                ROS         PR

First downs               15            12

Rushes-yards             50-161     42-249

Passing                     3-8-1        1-6-1

Passing yards            93            13

Total yards                254          262


Penalties-yards          3-25        2-15

Fumbles-lost              1-0           2-1



RUSHING. Roseau: Stroot 24-102, Severson 13-39, Landman 9-15. Park Rapids: McCollum 16-140, Bade 6-53, Baumgartner 6-29, Burlingame 7-27, Yliniemi 2-6, Porozinski 2-5, Ja. Dickinson 3-(-11).

PASSING. Roseau: Landman 3-8-1 for 93 yards. Park Rapids: Ja. Dickinson 1-6-1 for 13 yards.

RECEIVING. Roseau: Valenzuela 2-88, Stroot 1-5. Park Rapids: McCollum 1-13.

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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