Vikings surge past Adrian in opener
It was your typical Minneota football game, but it was a typical Minneota outcome.
Plagued by numerous penalties, including three personal-foul calls, the Vikings struggled in the first half against Adrian before eventually getting things rolling in the second half and coming away with a 38-6 road win in the season opener.
The Vikings trailed 6-3 with 1:01 remaining in the first half before putting together a seven-play, 83-yard drive, capped by a five-yard touchdown pass from Isaac Pohlen to Peyton Gillund with only four seconds left. Gillund kicked the extra point for a 10-6 lead.
Minneota then outscored the Dragons 28-0 in the second half.
"It was a pretty sloppy first half," said Minneota coach Chad Johnston. "We knew this game would be a challenge because Adrian had a lot of kids back and we knew they would be physical."
Johnston was not pleased with his team's 10 penalties, including three personal foul whistles, in the game.
"We had them stopped, but two big penalties allowed them to keep the driving going," said Johnston about Adrian's 13-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. "They scored to get the momentum. That wasn't the execution we wanted."
The late Vikings' score seemed to spark the Vikings heading into the locker room at halftime as they dominated the second half.
"That score late in the first half gave us an advantage and got us going for the second half," Johnston said. "I think some of our sloppy play in the first half created adversity and we got to see how some of our players reacted to that adversity. We got to see the team the coaches thought we were capable of being."
Gillund, a senior co-captain, played a significant role in the Vikings' win. When Minneota's first drive stalled, he calmly booted a 34-yard field goal. Gillund also kicked two extra points, ran for a conversion off a fake extra-point kick attempt, had six receptions for 100 yards and a score, and intercepted a pass.
The Vikings scored with 1:01 left in the third quarter when Zack Fier drove around right end for five-yard touchdown for and 18-6 lead.
The Vikings then sealed the win with 20 points in the fourth quarter on a one-yard TD run by Zack Fier and 17-yard TD runs by Destin Fier and Eli Gruenes.
The final touchdown was set up by a fumble recovery by Branden Johnson on the Adrian 17 with 3:35 remaining in the game.
Minneota finished with 372 yards, including 182 through the air and 190 on the ground. Pohlen completed 12 of 23 passes for 182 yards and a TD.
Zack Fier led the Vikings' running attack with 101 yards in 18 carries. Gruenes added 36 yards in three carries.
Adrian did not complete a pass in the game in three attempts, and ran for 126 yards. Breyer Hieronimus gained 101 yards rushing in 28 carries.
Next: Minneota hosts Yellow Medicine East at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. A memorial tribute to longtime publics address announcer Ross Eischens will be presented after the game, along with a fireworks show.
Minneota 38, Adrian 6
Minneota..............3 7 8 20 - 38
Adrian...................0 6 0 0 - 6
Min - Peyton Gillund 34 field goal
Adr - Ian Stamer 1 run (kick failed)
Min - Gillund 5 pass from Isaac Pohlen (Gillund kick)
Min - Zack Fier 5 run (Gillund kick)
Min - Z.Fier 1 run (Gillund kick)
Min - Destin Fier 17 run (kick failed)
Min - Gruenes 17 run (Peyton Sheik kick)
Total yards: Minneota 372, Adrian 126 .... Passing yards: Minneota 182, Adrian 0 ... Rushing yards: Minneota 190, Adrian 126 ... First Downs: Minneota 18, Adrian 6 .... Turnovers: Minneota 1, Adrian 2 .... Penalties: Minneota 10-75, Adrian 7-47.
Passing (com-att-yds-td-int): Isaac Pohlen 12-23-182-1-1
Rushing (att-yds): Zack Fier 16-101, Eli Gruenes 3-36, Pohlen 3-17, Destin Fier 1-17, Ryan Meagher 2-11, Lucas Rybinski 2-5, Anthony Rybinski 1-4, Sawyer DeSmet 1-(-1).
Receiving: Peyton Gillund 8-118, DeSmet 2-47, Ryan Dalager 1-9, Z.Fier 1-8
Tackles (solo-assist-total): Parker Bradley 3-15-18, Alex DePestel 2-6-8, Lucas Rybinski 2-4-6, Peyton Gillund 2-3-5, Jack Lacek 2-2-4, Destin Fier 1-3-4, Eli Gruenes 0-4-4, Branden Johnson 0-4-4, Joe Verschelde 0-4-4, Zack Fier 0-3-3, Anthony Rybinski 0-3-3, Ryan Meagher 0-3-3, Carson Javers 1-1-2, Tate Peterson 1-1-2, Sawyer DeSmet 0-2-2, Evan Popowski 0-2-2, Peyton Sheik 0-1-1, Brayden Drowning 0-1-1, Hudson Scholten 0-1-1, Lincoln Jerzak 0-1-1, Brock Fier 0-1-1.
Interceptions: Gillund 1
Fumble recoveries: Branden Johnson 1
Punting (no-avg.): Gillund 2-32.0