Zach Stich | Daily Journal

Stretching the zone: Pelican Rapids’ Jayden Rutherford makes his move into the flats during Tuesday’s Section 8AA playoff game against the United North Central Warriors. The Vikings defeated the Warriors 40-12 to advance to the section semifinals.

PELICAN RAPIDS — The Pelican Rapids football team took advantage of turnovers in their Section 8AA playoff game against United North Central Tuesday as the Vikings claimed a 40-12 win.

The Vikings got on the board early in the first quarter as the Warriors fumbled and gave the home team the ball. Pelican Rapids’ Matt Ziebell would turn that into a 6-yard touchdown run. Later in the quarter, an interception led to another Vikings score as Johnny Ziebell scampered into the endzone from 3 yards out to take a 14-0 lead.

After an interception by the Warriors, United North Central found life as Jonah Howard broke free from the Vikings defense for a 68-yard touchdown run. The point after would be no good as Pelican Rapids held a 14-6 lead. Carson McNeal would give the Vikings more cushion before the half as he ran the ball in from 3 yards out. Pelican Rapids would convert a 2-point conversion to take a 22-6 lead into the break.

The Viking began to pull away in the second half as Johnny Ziebell scored his second touchdown of the game from 3 yards. Later in the third, McHale Korf hit Logan Fahje for the team’s lone completion of the game and a 5-yard touchdown.

Holding a 34-6 lead in the fourth, Carter Johnson would add another rushing touchdown for the Vikings from 3 yards out to seal the deal. Howard would add another score late in the quarter as he took a Kolby Kiser screen pass for 62 yards. That would be the final points of the game as the Vikings claimed the win.

“Our ability to run between the tackles really gave us a big advantage and the offensive line deserves a lot of credit for our performance tonight,” Vikings head coach Dave Haugen said.

Matt Ziebell led the Vikings in rushing with 112 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, while teammate Jayden Rutherford recorded an interception in the win.

The Vikings will now advance to the section semifinals where they will host Frazee Saturday at 2 p.m.

In the two teams’ previous meeting, the Vikings edged the Hornets 45-36.

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