Football: Nighthawks win thrillerPrairie Valley saw an early lead disappear only to take back the game in the final minutes
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
Logan Riedel didn’t have his best night as a quarterback for the Prairie Valley football team, but he moved onto the next play after a couple interceptions to score the winning touchdown for his team in a 27-22 win over Verndale last Thursday night.
Riedel capped off a 17-play drive in the fourth quarter with a touchdown run from two-yards out that proved to be the game winner. That put an end to a possession that spanned 73 yards and chewed up almost eight minutes of clock.
“This was a tough, hard-fought game for both teams,” head coach John Sieling said. “The Nighthawks had three turnovers that led to two scores for the Pirates. The Pirates had two turnovers that ended their drives with zero points put on the board.”
The Nighthawks moved methodically down the field on their last drive by running the ball 16 times. The only pass play on the drive was a big one as Riedel found Hunter Arnold for three yards on a fourth-and-2 conversion.
The Pirates had one last chance with a little more than a minute left in the game. They took over past midfield but a quarterback sack by Clayton Rud and Tyler Schlosser forced a fumble that was recovered by Alec Alberts to put the finishing touches on a dramatic win.
It looked like the Nighthawks might run away with things early as they took a 21-8 lead into the half. Verndale marched right back by scoring after an interception and using a five-play drive to take a 22-21 lead.
Prairie Valley didn’t waste any time taking its first lead of the night. The Nighthawks traveled 78 yards on 14 plays on the opening possession before Luke Mock punched one in from two yards out for a touchdown. Grant Yohnke then caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Riedel before Mock added his second touchdown of the night from four yards out for his team’s third touchdown of the half.
Mock had another strong night for the Nighthawks with 104 yards and the two scores. Schlosser bullied his way to 72 yards himself on the ground. That duo eventually wore down the Verndale defense by combining for 43 carries.
Riedel finished 7-of-13 passing with the touchdown and two interceptions. He connected with six different receivers. Arnold caught two of those balls for 19 yards.
Schlosser led the defense with a dominant performance, finishing with 19 tackles. Junior Quentin Uran added 12 tackles. Arnold had a key interception at the two-yard line that halted a scoring drive for Verndale, while Alberts added a fumble recovery and a sack.
The win for Prairie Valley moved it to 3-1 on the season. The Nighthawks will turn their attention to homecoming week now as they host a 1-3 Bertha-Hewitt team on Friday at 7 p.m. in Parkers Prairie.