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Otter Defense Shuts Down Panthers in 35-0 Victory

By Craig Olson, 11/06/20, 8:15PM CST


Fergus Falls broke open a close game with 22 third quarter points as they defeated the Park Rapids Area Panthers 35-0 on Friday night at the Otter Stadium Field.

Kaden Hartwell caught a 17 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Johnson to finish their first possession of the night by putting six points on the board.  That was the only score of the first half.

Hartwell scored the first of three third quarter TD’s on a one yard run and the Otters added a two-point conversion to increase their lead to 14-0.  Cole Zierden then scored on a 25 yard run and on a 77-yard punt return as the Otters upped their lead to 22-0 after three quarters.  Matthew Niblock added extra point kicks after each TD.
Fergus Falls added a fourth quarter touchdown on a 2-yard run by Hartwell and Niblock booted another PAT to put the final at 35-0.

The Otter defense held Park Rapids to 114 yards and also had four interceptions, two by Luke Newman and one each for Cole Zierden and Abel Aho.

Fergus Falls ran for 225 yards, led by Zierden (5 carries, 62 yards), Hartwell (8 carries, 55 yards) and Logan Schake (5 carries, 48 yards).

"It was really good to put a complete game together," said Fergus Falls Head Coach Steve Olson.  "Our defense has been solid all year, but our offense has taken a little time to click.  Tonight we blocked really well and then to add really good special teams play was really fun for our kids and our fans."

Fergus Falls is now 2-3 on the season.  They will close out their regular season schedule with a road game in Perham next Wednesday night.

Matthew Niblock with the extra point kick. PHOTO by MELISSA BABOLIAN

Landon Thacker wraps up the ball carrier. PHOTO by MELISSA BABOLIAN

Cole Zierden (13) celebrates a TD with his teammates. PHOTO by MELISSA BABOLIAN