McHale Korf was a huge part of the Pelican Rapids offense on Friday night as he passed for 180 yards and ran for 178 more to lead the Vikings to a 40-14 win over the Hawley Nuggets. Pelican Rapids finished with 481 total yards in the game and Hawley had 279.
“This turned out to be a great way to finish our season,” said Pelican Rapids Head Coach David Haugen. “We played quite well and executed on both sides of the ball the way we needed to be successful. It's obviously fun to finish with a win and especially for the seniors to be able to finish off good football careers with a win on their home field. Hawley was able to put together a couple of good drives early in the game and twice got inside our 20 yard line. Our defense was able to come up with some big plays to eventually get the stops needed forcing them into field goal tries that were missed. Offensively we were able to get some success running the ball and were able to get some key plays through the air to keep drives going.”
Following a scoreless first quarter, Korf scored on a 17 yard run one minute into the second quarter. The extra-point kick by Alex Lynnes put the Viking up 7-0. With 4:47 left in the half Johnny Ziebell ran the ball in from one yard out and Pelican Rapids had a 13-0 advantage. Korf hooked up with Hunter Williams on a 6-yard scoring toss with just 3 seconds remaining until halftime. Lynnes tacked on the extra-point and the Vikings enjoyed a 20-0 lead at the break.
A 1-yard run by Carson McNeal with 7:27 left in the third quarter, followed by another Lynnes PAT kick, made it 27-0, Vikings.
Korf increased the lead to 34-0 with an 8-yard run, followed by a Lynnes kick one minute into the fourth quarter. Hawley scored their first TD of the night with 7:34 remaining when Laydon Leister ran 58 yards for a score. He also carried the ball over the goal line for the two-point conversion. After a Justin VerDorn TD run of 3 yards for the Vikings, Bradley Olson broke loose for a 20-yard touchdown run for the Nuggets, making the final score 40-14.
Korf completed 9-of-13 passes with Logan Fahje on the receiving end of three of them for 42 yards. Jayden Rutherford went 71 yards with his only catch of the night. Ziebell had 85 rushing yards on 14 carries and led the defense with six solo tackles. Verdorn had 5 solo tackles, 2 assists and 1.5 tackles for loss.
For Hawley, Cole Sunde was 6-for-14 throwing the ball for 91 yards. Leister was the leading rusher with 100 yards on 7 carries and Sam Burkel had 55 yards on 19 attempts. Justin Koski had a team high 3 receptions for 45 yards. Kaden Murphy had an interception to lead the Hawley defense.