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Football: Panthers stymie W-DC in opener

Parkers Prairie senior Matt Jirik makes one of his 11 tackles during the Panthers' win over Wadena-Deer Creek on Aug. 31. Jirik also had an interception in the game that led to his team's first touchdown in the 14-0 final. (Jason Groth / Forum News Service) 1 / 2
Parkers Prairie senior Travis Yohnke follows the block of junior Zach Olson (12) during the season opener against Wadena-Deer Creek. Yohnke had a team-high 98 rushing yards in the win. (Jason Groth / Forum News Service) 2 / 2

The Parkers Prairie football team will head into week two fresh off a dominating defensive performance after a 14-0 win over Wadena-Deer Creek on Aug. 31.

Senior Matt Jirik had a lot to do with that. He had a team-high 11 tackles, and Jirik’s second-quarter interception set up the Panthers on the W-DC 15-yard line. It took three plays before Tanner Shaw scored a 7-yard touchdown run to start the scoring. Brendan Johnson threw a two-point conversion to Travis Yohnke, and it was 8-0 at the half.

Johnson took matters into his own hands for the final Parkers Prairie score. He dropped back to pass in the third quarter and scrambled to his left down the sideline. He weaved his way 37 yards for a touchdown run that made it 14-0.

The defense took things from there. Wadena-Deer Creek advanced the ball inside the Panthers’ 20 only once, and Parkers Prairie’s Brandon Schroeder recovered a fumble to stop that drive. It was part of four takeaways on the night for the Panthers as Zach Olson added a fumble recovery and Spencer Yohnke joined Jirik with an interception.

The Panthers ran the ball 49 times offensively and racked up 267 yards. Travis Yohnke had 98 yards rushing, while Zach Olson added 83. Johnson was 4-for-6 passing for 31 yards, and Andrew Warren caught two balls for 22 yards.

The Panthers will now turn their attention to a second straight home game when Royalton comes to town for Parents’ Night at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Royals are also 1-0 after beating Sauk Centre 34-20 in week one.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229
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