Panthers rip into Evergreens, 86-12MINONG — In the Lakeland Eight-Man Conference this season, there are the haves and the have-nots. That disparity was particularly evident Friday night when the Prairie Farm Panthers rolled over the Northwood-Solon Springs Evergreens, 86-12.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
MINONG — In the Lakeland Eight-Man Conference this season, teams fall into two categories: the haves and the have-nots.
The disparity was particularly evident Friday night when the Prairie Farm Panthers rolled over the Northwood-Solon Springs Evergreens, 86-12.
The Panthers scored their first touchdown just a minute and a half into the game and added eight more before the first half came to an end.
Northwood-Solon Springs scored both of its touchdowns in the fourth quarter against Prairie Farm’s reserves.
“You take a look at Minong, and Minong is very young,” said Steve Schaaf, co-head coach of the Panthers. “In a couple years, Minong is going to be a very strong program. And I give all the credit to the coach over there for hanging in there and doing a good job and teaching his kids the right things.”
For the Evergreens, both touchdowns Friday night were scored by freshmen.
Running back Walker Grenier put the home team on the board to start the fourth quarter when he ran the ball in 4 yards to cap off a 45-yard drive that began midway through the third quarter.
Later in the fourth quarter, Randy Forsberg returned a kickoff 64 yards to give the Evergreens their second touchdown. That score was sandwiched between a pair of scoring kickoff returns by the Panthers’ Mike Slagel, who finished with three touchdowns for the night.
“We played a very good team; they were pumped up and ready to go,” said Brian Amys, Evergreens head coach. “We came out flat footed and we were not fired up. It was a tough way to start conference play, but we have to stay focused and come out this week and prepare and stay focused for another week.”
Prairie Farm’s McKale Slagel had a pair of receiving touchdowns from quarterback Josh Siebert. Siebert went 2-for-3 passing for 11 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also added 89 yards rushing and two more touchdowns on the ground.
Nathan Moen had 30- and 45-yard touchdowns runs, Kirk Hart picked off an Evergreens pass and returned it 8 yards for a TD, and Bucky Nelson and Kenny Quarders also scored once apiece.
“I told the boys that we have to learn from this and move forward,” Amys said. “We can’t let this game effect the way we look at the rest of the season. We have to stay focused and come back this week and correct our mistakes.”
Northwood-Solon Springs is not alone in its need to regroup after the opening week of conference play. The other three Lakeland Eight-Man Conference games Friday night were equally lopsided.
Bruce, Siren and Luck all claimed victories of more than 50 points over their opponents.
“It’s a matter of time before the other teams catch up,” Schaaf said. “And I believe that you’ll see an eight-man championship game down in Madison in a few years.”
Currently, the Panthers sit at the top of the pile in eight-man football.
They have outscored opponents 154-16 in the two games they’ve played this season, and their starting defense has not given up a single point in those two games.
“It wasn’t too long ago that we were in a similar situation to a lot of teams that started eight-man,” Schaaf said. “We were down to 14 kids at one time.”
Since then, the Panthers have embraced the eight-man game.
Last year Prairie Farm went undefeated in the Lakeland Eight-Man Conference and then claimed the state title in the WIAA 2012 Eight-Player Football Jamboree with a 70-14 victory over Abundant Life/St. Ambrose.
“The success kind of builds success,” Schaaf said. “It’s a tribute to the kids. They wanted to build a strong football program.
“And the kids take a lot of pride in it. It’s built a tremendous source of pride in our school. When they walk in that school every day and see that eight-man trophy, it just puts a little gleam in their eye. It’s the reason why every day they’re putting on those shoulder pads, they’re lifting those weights and doing the things they need to do.”
Prairie Farm hosts the Siren Dragons on Friday. Siren defeated Birchwood 64-6 last week and looks to give the Panthers their first big challenge of the season.
“We’ve got a big target on our back,” Schaaf said. “Everyone wants to beat the team that’s undefeated.”
The Evergreens will be at home again Friday, hosting Winter. Winter was shut out by Bruce in its conference opener 56-0.
Northwood-Solon Spring 0 0 0 12 — 12
Prairie Farm 36 28 8 14 — 86
PF — Josh Siebert 57-yard run (Austin Christopherson run), 10:21.
PF —McKale Slagel 5-yard pass from Siebert (run failed), 9:09.
PF — Nathan Moen 30-yard run (Siebert run), 7:33.
PF — McKale Slagel 6-yard pass from Siebert (Moen run), 4:44.
PF — Moen 45-yard run (run failed), 0:56.
PF — Kirk Hart 8-yard interception return (Siebert run), 11:50.
PF — Siebert 19-yard run (Bucky Nelson run), 10:30.
PF — Nelson 17-yard run (run failed), 8:20.
PF — Mike Slagel 14-yard run (run failed), 7:24.
PF — Kenny Quarders 10-yard run (Quarders run), 7:44.
N-SS — Walker Grenier 4-yard run (run failed), 11:58.
PF — Mike Slagel 69-yard kickoff return (Quinn Larson run), 8:55
N-SS — Randy Fosberg 64-yard kickoff return (run failed), 7:06.
PF — Mike Slagel 65-yard kickoff return (run failed), 4:34.
Lakeland Eight-Man Conference
Prairie Farm (2-0) 1-0
Bruce (3-0) 1-0
Luck (2-1) 1-0
Siren (2-1) 1-0
New Auburn (1-1) 0-1
Northwood (1-2) 0-1
Birchwood (1-2) 0-1
Winter (1-2) 0-1
Friday, Sept. 6
Bruce 56, Winter 0
Prairie Farm 86, Northwood-Solon Springs 12
Siren 64, Birchwood 6
Luck 60, New Auburn 6
Friday, Sept. 13
Luck at Birchwood, 7 p.m.
Siren at Prairie Farm, 7 p.m.
Bruce at New Auburn, 7 p.m.
Winter at Northwood-Solon Springs, 7 p.m.