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West pulls out 9-man Shrine Bowl win with fourth quarter TD

FARGO -- North Dakota Shrine Bowl 9-man all-star West head coach Terry Motl of North Prairie knew if his team could keep the East under 50 points, the West would have a shot at a win.

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Wyndmere-Lidgerwood No. 1 Adolfo Vasquez leaps over a North Dakota West defender for a first down during the 9-man all-star game of the Shrine Bowl on Sunday, July 10, 2016, in the Fargodome. East lost to West 20-14. Matt Hellman / The Forum

FARGO -- North Dakota Shrine Bowl 9-man all-star West head coach Terry Motl of North Prairie knew if his team could keep the East under 50 points, the West would have a shot at a win.

The West went ahead and limited the East to 20.

After limiting the opportunities of the East and converting a long drive for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the West took a 20-14 win on Sunday at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

“Everybody was thinking out defense doesn’t have a chance,” Motl said. “Both teams just fought and clawed. We could’ve played all day like this.”

Though the West forced the East into three turnovers for the game, the West didn’t take the lead until that touchdown.

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Quarterback Jalen Pfeifer of North Prairie paced the West down the field 91 yards over 12 plays for what would be the game-winning touchdown pass to Max Yutrzenka of Stephen-Argyle (Minn.).

That drive which lasted for 5 minutes, 26 seconds and ended with under 6 minutes to go stalled with about 20 yards before paydirt. The West, down by two points, opted to go for the first down on a fourth down with 1 yard to go.

Pfeifer handed off to Denver Colgrove of Richardton-Taylor-Hebron, who was hit at the line of scrimmage but powered his way to a first down. That play set up Pfeifer’s TD pass and two-point conversion run.

Colgrove ended the game with 23 carries for 82 yards.

East head coach Dan Imdieke of Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock said he felt good about his team’s chances about midway through the game. Travor Flaa of Richland, who ended the contest with 50 yards rushing, ran in a touchdown and Brady Heyen of Richland hit Adolfo Vasquez of Hankinson for a two-point conversion to give the East an 8-0 lead going into halftime.

But the West’s offense simply started clicking, Imdieke said.

“It was looking like we were handling them,” Imdieke said. “But they’re an awfully good bunch of athletes on that other team, and you just can’t take it away from them. They came back and played some good football.”

Though the East would score again on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Olsonawski of Kittson County Central (Minn.) to Cody Walton of Cavalier, that would be the last time the East found the endzone.

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The West fought back with a six-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard punch-in touchdown from Kyler Melby of Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central to get within two points.

With Yutrzenka’s TD catch and a scoreless fourth quarter, the West concluded the game the way it wanted to.

“We put ourselves in a good position and kept fighting and fighting,” Pfeifer said. “Some things didn’t go our way early. You’ve got to follow this key rule I learned early in life: It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. We just had to keep going and eventually things would come together.”

W  0   0   12   8

E   0   8   6   0

E - Travor Flaa 6 run (Adolfo Vasquez pass from Brady Heyen)

W--Jalen Pfeifer 4 run (conversion failed)

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E--Cody Walton 24 pass from Dylan Olsonawski (conversion failed)

W-Kyler Melby 1 run (conversion failed)

W- Max Yutrzenka 14 pass from Pfeifer (Pfeifer run)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: W, Pfeifer 16-25, Denver Colgrove 23-82, Cullen Seeger 1(-7), Kyler Melby 1-1. E, Heyen 6-16, Malek Larimer 13-22, Flaa 5-50, Ryley Cleem 9-61, Olsonawski 7-21.

PASSING: W, Pfeifer 9-17-1 171. E, Heyen 4-11-0 85, Olsonawski 4-8-2 47.

RECEIVING: W, Yutrzenka 2-21, Dalton Poitra 3-86, Colgrove 1-4, Carter Honeyman 1-16. E, Nathan Myers 1-17, Flaa 2-51, Adolfo Vasquez 2-26, Cody Walton 1-29, Cleem 2-18.

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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