Osakis sees no letdown after big win against Barnesville as the Silverstreaks move to 5-0 in Parkers Prairie

Both teams take a moment of silence before Friday night's game as Osakis and Parkers Prairie work through the heartbreak of recent deaths to fathers of players in their programs.

Osakis senior Bauer Klimek gets free for a first-down run during the first half in Parkers Prairie on Oct. 1, 2021. Klimek had a touchdown run of 33 yards in the Silverstreaks' win that moved them to 5-0 as he lined up all over the field for Osakis on Friday night. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)

The Osakis football team was coming off its biggest win of the season in a 52-50, triple-overtime game against district foe Barnesville on Sept. 24, and coaches were eager to see how this team would respond against a smaller Class A opponent in Parkers Prairie on Friday.

The Silverstreaks certainly did not want to have a letdown, and they didn’t. Osakis scored on all four of its first-half drives against the Panthers (1-4) to take a 32-0 lead into the break. That was plenty as the Silverstreaks improved to 5-0 with a 39-8 win.

“We were really happy about that,” Osakis senior Caleb Goodwin said looking back on the Barnesville win. “It kind of gave us a little more confidence, but we didn’t overuse it. We didn’t overlook these guys, and it’s a good thing we didn’t because they played hard.”

Osakis went almost 70 yards and converted two fourth downs on its opening possession before Drew Imdieke scored on a 12-yard run. Imdieke, a sophomore fullback, had another powerful night rushing as he scored three total touchdowns by adding scores of 9 and 10 yards.


Osakis sophomore fullback Drew Imdieke gets free for a 12-yard touchdown run in the first quarter on Oct. 1, 2021 in Parkers Prairie. It was one of three rushing touchdowns on the night for Imdieke as he added scores of 9 and 10 yards. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)

“Give credit to Parkers. They were physical,” Osakis head coach Bill Infanger said. “We didn’t dominate the line of scrimmage, but we were able to pick up first downs and move the ball consistently and get out to a big lead. It wasn’t easy. There weren’t any big, long plays.”

The longest play for Osakis came on the first play of the second quarter. On 4th and 5, senior Bauer Klimek took a pitch to the right side and ran in a 33-yard touchdown.

Klimek does a little bit of everything for the Silverstreaks as a receiver and defensive back. He played quarterback a year ago, but the emergence of sophomore Kyle Mages has allowed the Silverstreaks to use Klimek at multiple spots. He deflected passes in the secondary, punted, returned punts, caught passes as a receiver and carried the ball from the backfield on Friday.

Osakis senior Bauer Klimek runs for a few extra yards as Parkers Prairie junior Ryder Ashbaugh closes in on a tackle during the first half on Oct. 1, 2021 in the Silverstreaks' 39-8 win over the Panthers. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)

“We move him around the field all over the place,” Infanger said. “Just about every play, he’s the guy getting the ball or he’s the decoy. When the ball’s in his hands and he’s in space, he’s electric and makes things happen. He’s made so many big plays for us over the last two years that we just want to put him in places where he can be successful.”

Osakis ended the half with a little bit of luck on its side when Mages threw a ball up near the end zone with no time left on the clock. The ball deflected off a Parkers Prairie defender and into the waiting arms of senior Carter Watnaas for a 23-yard touchdown pass.


The Silverstreaks now have two home games against winning programs coming up on the schedule. First up is Class AAA’s Perham on Oct. 8. The Yellowjackets are 3-2 after falling 13-7 against Fergus Falls (4-1) on Friday.

Osakis then plays West Central Area-Ashby on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. The Knights are 5-0 after a 45-6 win over Crookston (1-4) on Friday.

“I’m really excited to find out how far this team can go and what we’re capable of,” Goodwin said. “Playing Perham will show us what we’re capable of, and then WCA after that.”

The Yellowjackets will offer a different kind of test for the Silverstreaks with plenty of athletes as a team that likes to throw the football a lot.

“Then you have the game for probably all the marbles in the district coming up in week seven against West Central,” Infanger said. “That game has implications for the district championship and the section as far as seeding. The Perham game is a big one, and we want to come out and play well in that one, but really West Central is the game that looms heavy.”


Osakis junior running back Tyson Hagedon gets into the secondary against the Parkers Prairie defense on Oct. 1, 2021. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)

They are exactly the kinds of games that make this time of year so fun for teams that put together winning seasons.

“I told the guys, ‘Congratulations on getting to this point where you’re 5-0 and you get to have two big games that matter,’” Infanger said. ‘“That’s where you are because you’ve earned that right to play in two huge games.’ It’s a lot of fun. It’s what you hope for at this time of year.”

Both teams trying to be there for a teammate

Before Friday’s game in Parkers Prairie, there was a long moment of silence for both teams as they work through tragedies that have struck families within their programs this year.

Osakis wore stickers on their helmets during its Barnesville game to honor Justin Meyer , the father of senior lineman Chayce Meyer. Justin died on Sept. 25 at the age of 47 after a battle with cancer.

The Parkers Prairie football team also lost a father and friend on Sept. 19 when Todd Mrnak died in an ATV accident. Todd’s son, Zachary, is a sophomore starting lineman on both sides of the ball for the Panthers.

“He’s a sophomore, but he brings a different level of intensity,” Parkers Prairie head coach Mike Johnson said. “We’re definitely better with him, and I’m very proud of him and how these guys have rallied around him. Osakis has been through so much. We heard about all this stuff, and a lot of it was close to home. A lot of people know each other in these communities. We feel for them and their loss as well.”

Johnson called Todd’s death a loss for the entire Parkers Prairie community. He has seen kids in the program step up to try to offer support to the Mrnak family. The Panthers will continue doing that any way they can.


“Fortunately we have some great kids and great families in this community who have rallied for Zach and his family,” Johnson said. “We try to just be there for them. I can’t imagine what they’re going through, so offering our assistance in anything we can do to help and being there to be supportive of them is what we’ve really tried to do.”

On the field, Parkers Prairie had a relatively inexperienced team coming into the season. The Panthers’ lone touchdown on Friday came on a 39-yard run from senior Jacob Wagner.

Parkers Prairie senior Cole Gesell gets to the edge on a run during the first quarter against Osakis on Oct. 1, 2021. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)

“The analogy one of our coaches said is sometimes we’re firing on five cylinders, sometimes we’re firing on six,” Johnson said. “We need to be firing on all of them. It’s about focusing on getting better each week. We feel we’ve had a tough schedule, and there’s not a lot we can do to control that except get better and compete. In almost every single game we’ve done a good job of competing. The score might not show it, but we’ve been getting better.”

Parkers Prairie, out of Section 4A, does not have a single section opponent on its schedule this season. The Panthers’ four losses have come against Class AA schools in Frazee, Pelican Rapids and Osakis, along with a Class A program in Breckenridge (4-1).

Parkers Prairie senior Cole Gesell looks for an opening on a kickoff return in the second quarter against Osakis on Oct. 1, 2021. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)


Johnson wants to see his team continue to get better as they now face three teams out of Section 6A in Underwood (2-3), New York Mills (4-0) and Otter Tail Central (4-0) to wrap up the regular season.

“It’s going to take the leaders we have stepping up a little more, and those inexperienced guys, we’re almost done with the season,” Johnson said. “The excuses have to stop and we have to step up and start getting better. They’re not inexperienced anymore. They got good experience under their belt and now it’s time for them to take their game to the next level.”


SCORING - FIRST QUARTER - Osakis - Drew Imdieke 12-yard run; Kyle Mages 2-point conversion run (8-0)

SECOND QUARTER - Osakis - Bauer Klimek 33-yard run; Kyle Mages 2-point conversion run (16-0); Osakis - Drew Imdieke 9-yard run; Tyson Hagedon 2-point conversion run (24-0); Osakis - Kyle Mages 23-yard pass to Carter Watnaas; Drew Imdieke 2-point conversion run (32-0)

THIRD QUARTER - Osakis - Drew Imdieke 10-yard run; Kyle Mages PAT (39-0)

FOURTH QUARTER - Parkers Prairie - Jacob Wagner 39-yard run; Wagner 2-point conversion pass to Jesse LaManna (39-8)


Parkers Prairie senior Jesse LaManna looks for an opening against the Osakis defense on Oct. 1, 2021. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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