The top seeded Perham Yellowjackets scored 22 fourth quarter points to break away from the Pequot Lakes Patriots and record a 54-33 victory in the Section 8AAA football semifinals on Saturday afternoon in Perham.
The visitors got on the scoreboard first when Nic Kotaska scored on a 5 yard run at 7:21 of the first quarter. Perham responded with a 9 yard TD run by Jenson Beachy at 5:06 and a two-point conversion run by Beachy gave the Yellowjackets an 8-6 advantage. With 1:11 left in the quarter Colton Hackel caught an 11 yard pass from Beachy and Ty Moser scored the two-point conversion, making it 16-6.
In the second quarter Pequot Lakes cut the lead to 16-13 on a 3 yard run by Zach Jorgens and a Daltin Ackerman kick. Perham extended their lead to 24-13 on a 3 yard run by Moser and a two-point conversion pass from Beachy to Zack Petersonat 8:34 of the second quarter. With 3:42 remaining in the half James Brennan scored on a 42 yard pass from Cale Wolf bringing the Patriots to within five points at 24-19. Hackel’s second TD reception of the day, this one from fifteen yards out, along with a Beachy conversion pass to Peterson gave Perham a 32-19 halftime lead.
Pequot Lakes pulled to within six points at 32-26 on a 17 yard TD pass from Wolf to Brennan and an Ackerman PAT kick with 2:24 left in the third quarter.
Perham established themselves as the better team on this day with a strong fourth quarter which started with a 4 yard TD run by Moser, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Beachy to Finn Diggins at 9:16 of the quarter and a 3 yard run by Dawson Kellogg with 5:33 remaining, putting the score at 46-26. Pequot scored their final points of the day on a 12 yard pass from Wolf to Bode Magnusonand another Ackerman kick with 5:03 to play. Moser broke free for a 61 yard TD run with 4:50 left and Beachy carried the ball into the end zone for the two-point conversion to put the final at 54-33, Yellowjackts.
Perham had 380 rushing yards and 199 passing yards, giving them a total offense figure of 579 yards. Beachy (22 carries, 164 yards) and Moser (12 carries, 114 yards) led the ground attack. Beachy completed 12-of-16 passes for 154 yards. Moser (4 catches, 42 yards), Hackel (4 catches, 41 yards) and Josh Jeziorski (3 catches, 97 yards) were the leading receivers for Perham.
Pequot Lakes had 348 total yards (121 rushing, 227 passing). Jorgens led the way with 20 carries for 99 yards. Wolf completed 13-of-34 passes for 227 yards and Brennan caught six passes for 116 yards.
The Perham defense recorded four sacks, two by Diggins and one each for Kellogg and Colton Kostynick. Peterson and Diggins led with 12 and 10 tackles, respectively. Diggins tied the record for most tackles for loss in a game with five.
Perham will face East Grand Forks in the Section 8AAA championship game on Thursday, November 1 at 5:30pm at the Fargodome.