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.
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Things looked good for the Parkers Prairie football team after one quarter last Friday in the Section 6A championship game. The Panthers built a 14-0 lead through that first frame. But Browerville-Eagle Valley (8-3) rallied from there, scoring 21 unanswered points on the way to a 21-14 win to advance to state. "The Panthers were in the red zone several times in the next three quarters, but the Tiger defense would stiffen and the Panthers were kept out of the end zone," Parkers Prairie head coach John Sieling wrote.
The Alexandria Blizzard won its only game of the weekend on Friday night after taking care of the New Ulm Steel in a 5-2 game. The Blizzard got goals from Dawson Ellingworth, Jack Cernohous, Emil Lindfors, Caleb Anderson and Tosten Mann in another balanced effort. Alexandria dominated the pace of play in the second period, outshooting the Steel 16-7. That led to three goals and a 5-2 lead after Alexandria led 2-0 after the first period. Brey Effertz got the win in net with 17 saves and the two goals allowed. Jon Albers took the loss after 27 saves and five goals allowed.
The West Central Area boys cross country team finished fifth at the Class A state meet at St. Olaf on Saturday. The Knights finished with 186 points, led by a...
Matt Schindler set the tone for the kind of day he and his team were going to have on Osakis’ first drive on Saturday in the Section 5AA title game. The junior defensive back/wide receiver from fourth-ranked Eden Valley-Watkins intercepted a Zach Weir pass and returned it down to near the Osakis 20-yard line. A few plays later, Schindler ran in the 8-yard touchdown to take a quick lead. It was part of a 28-point first quarter that led to a 41-7 win that cemented the Eagles’ spot in the state tournament.
The Alexandria football team led 40-18 in the fourth quarter but needed a huge play from its defense in the Section 8-5A title game at St. John’s on Friday. The Cardinals got it from Michael Empting. Sartell-St. Stephen trailed by eight with less than a minute left with the ball on the Alexandria 13. On 4th-and-8, Empting stepped in front of a pass over the middle to secure an interception and the section championship in a 40-32 win for the Cardinals.
Matt Snyder had never fished Lake Miltona for muskies, but he knew of its potential. Miltona has built a reputation for producing some giants in the 50-plus inch range, which is why it was the location for the Professional Musky Tournament Trail's season-ending Ranger Boats World Championship on Oct. 22 and 23.
Things can happen fast in the deer hunting woods, and decisions have to be made in a hurry. A few years ago, I took a smaller buck late season and got down to retrieve him. I remember the feeling of wishing I would have let him walk to grow up. That's really when I decided I was going to change the way I hunt and wait for a bigger buck or fill my tag with a doe in late December. Last Friday, I had some regret on the other end of the equation when I passed up a buck I maybe should have taken. It was an evening hunt, and I hadn't seen anything for about two hours.
The Alexandria swimming and diving team hosted the Central Lakes Conference championship meet on Saturday as the Cardinals finished seventh out of the nine-team field. A dominant Sartell-St. Stephen program continued its run at the top of the conference as the Sabres ran away with the meet with 637 points. Brainerd was a distant second at 334, and St. Cloud Tech rounded out the top three with 296 points. Alexandria finished with 196 points.
Verndale is a perennially strong football program that is one of the best 9-Man teams in the state this season, and Brandon-Evansville has played right with the Pirates twice.
Moorhead could have clinched the win in Alexandria on Saturday if what looked like a sure interception would have been caught late in the fourth quarter. Instead, Jaran Roste’s throw went through the hands of a couple Spuds’ defensive backs and to senior receiver Spencer Hockert for a 73-yard touchdown. “They both tipped it and it just fell right into my hands,” Hockert said. “I was just booking it from there...that just gave us new life. I can’t even explain it. It was unreal.”