Jayden Rutherford

Jayden Rutherford

PELICAN RAPIDS — Early scores allowed the Pelican Rapids Viking football team to hold on to a 32-26 victory Friday over New York Mills.

The Vikings came out firing with two touchdowns in the first quarter. The First came on a run by quarterback McHale Korf from three yards out. The two-point conversion after was unsuccessful. Later in the quarter Korf would hook up with Jayden Rutherford for a 39-yard strike. Another failed attempt gave the home team a 12-0 lead.

With time ticking away in the second, the Eagle responded with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Bren Salo to Logan Small. Salo would find Jonah Johnson on the conversion after to put the score at 12-8 going into halftime.

The Vikings regained the momentum after the break as Rutherford broke off a 26-yard touchdown run and Korf would add his second touchdown on the ground, this time from 26 yards out. Both two-pointers after the scores failed, leaving the score at 24-8.

New York Mills would put a scare into Pelican Rapids as Small rushed for a 1-yard touchdown at the end of the third and followed with an 11-yard touchdown in the fourth to cut the lead to four. The combination of Korf and Rutherford would strike again as the Vikings celebrated a 16-yard touchdown pass. Rutherford would run in the two-pointer after to put the score at 32-20. The Eagles weren’t done scoring though as Daunte Leiran rushed for a 9-yard touchdown with 2:40 remaining to cut the lead to six. The Vikings would hold off the Eagles final push to secure the win.

“We were able to get to an early lead and after that it became a real back and forth game,” Vikings head coach Dave Haugen said. “Overall I was very pleased with our offensive performance as we put a lot of points on the board and a big number of total yards for the game.”

Korf led the rushing attack for the Vikings with 122 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns, while also going 9-for-11 for 143 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Rutherford would finish the game with four catches for 90 yards and two scores receiving.

Defensively, Matt Ziebell and Rutheford led the team in tackles with eight, while Johnny Ziebell added seven.

The Vikings will hit the road for the first time this season as they travel to take on Wadena-Deer Creek at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13.

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