Football: Running attack leads No. 5 Breckenridge past No. 4 Menahga

The Braves get shut out for the first time this season to end with a 5-4 record.

Menahga's Marcus Peterson (75) and Cooper Hasbargen (53) provide blocks for Brock Berttunen on a quarterback keeper in the first quarter of a Section 6A playoff game on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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MENAHGA – Paul Armitage led a potent rushing attack that lifted Breckenridge to a 35-0 win over Menahga in a Section 6A quarterfinal football game on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Breckenridge, the No. 5 seed, opened the scoring on a 4-yard TD pass from Bailey Evans to Landon Blaufuss on fourth-and-goal as the Cowboys claimed a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

Menahga used a 27-yard reception by Isaiah Usher to advance deep into Breckenridge territory, but that drive stalled at the 7.

A 70-yard run by Evans set up Gavin Pederson’s 5-yard TD run that capped off a 93-yard scoring drive and gave Breckenridge a 13-0 advantage at the half.

The Cowboys opened the second half with Pederson’s 4-yard TD reception on fourth down and Armitage’s conversion run to make it 21-0 before Armitage scored on an 11-yard TD run for a 27-0 advantage entering the fourth quarter.


Armitage’s 7-yard TD run and Pederson’s conversion run concluded the scoring.

Breckenridge's Austin Drewlow (22) tackles Menahga's Lars Peterson (4) during a Section 6A playoff game on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

The Cowboys compiled 341 yards rushing, led by Armitage’s 133 yards on 17 carries. Pederson added 81 yards on 17 attempts while Evans rushed five times for 81 yards while completing 4 of 7 passes for 45 yards. Blaufuss caught two passes for 29 yards as Breckenridge compiled 386 yards in offense in improving to 6-3.

Menahga was held to only 109 yards offensively. Brock Berttunen completed 10 of 23 passes for 100 yards with Lars Peterson (five receptions for 63 yards) being the top receiver. On the defensive end, Cooper Hasbargen (13), Ryan Tolkkinen (12), Toby Isola (12), Peterson (10), Thomas Pietila (10) and Shawn Hendrickson (10) had double digits in tackles. Hendrickson and Isola also had fumble recoveries.

The No. 4-seeded Braves, who were shut out for the first time this season, fell to 5-4.

In the other Section 6A playoff games, No. 1 New York Mills defeated No. 8 Underwood 34-7, No. 2 Pine River-Backus eliminated No. 7 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 37-13 and No. 3 Ottertail Central topped No. 6 Lake Park-Audubon 33-22.

Breckenridge 0 13 14 8…35

Menahga 0 0 0 0…0


B–Blaufuss 4 pass from Evans (Bergkvist kick)

B–Pederson 5 run (PAT failed)

B–Pederson 5 pass from Evans (Armitage run)

B–Armitage 11 run (PAT failed)

B–Armitage 7 run (Pederson run)


RUSHING. Breckenridge: Armitage 17-133, Pederson 17-81, Evans 5-61, Sanchez 5-24, Erlandson 4-22. Menahga: Isola 8-12, Br. Berttunen 7-5, Pinoniemi 1-(-8).

PASSING. Breckenridge: Evans 4-7-0 for 45 yards. Menahga: Br. Berttunen 10-23-0 for 34 yards.

RECEIVING. Breckenridge: Blaufuss 2-29, Sanchez 1-11, Pederson 1-5. Menahga: L. Peterson 5-63, Usher 3-28, Foley 2-9.

KICKOFF RETURNS. Menahga: Sunstrom 2-2, Usher 1-43, L. Peterson 1-1.


TACKLES (SOLO-ASSISTS): Hasbargen 4-9, Tolkkinen 6-6, Isola 1-11, L. Peterson 3-7, Pietila 2-8, S. Hendrickson 2-8, Pinoniemi 2-4, M. Peterson 1-3, Bo. Berttunen 0-4, Foley 0-2, Usher 0-2, Lusti 1-0, Sunstrom 0-1.

TACKLES FOR LOSS: S. Hendrickson 2, Hasbargen 1, M. Peterson 1.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES: S. Hendrickson 1, Isola 1.

KICKOFFS: M. Peterson 1-20.

PUNTS: Sunstrom 3-33.

Winners to be announced at the NFL Honors event on Feb. 9

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