Josh Edlund rushed for 415 yards, the third most ever in the history of Minnesota prep football, and became the seventh player ever to score seven or more touchdowns in a game.
Josh Edlund rushed for 415 yards, the third most ever in the history of Minnesota prep football, and became the seventh player ever to score seven or more touchdowns in a game Friday in a 53-46 win in Park Rapids over the Panthers.
"It was fantastic, there were so many holes to run through, the offensive line did amazing!" Edlund said in an email to the Times. "I think we were all in the zone, me and all the offensive linemen, even on pass plays we were on the same page! They had a great game!"
Pirate Head Coach Scott Butt said it was the greatest rushing performance he's ever seen. And he's seen another great one.
"I've seen something close to it," said Coach Butt. "I never thought I would ever see anything quite like that. In my first year at UMC R.J. Rollins went for 384 yards against MSU Moorhead. I never thought I'd see that again. Last week we told Josh to quit trying to bounce everything outside and go downhill. Josh can change directions as well as anyone I've ever seen. Give other guys credit too. A.J. Biermaier and Ryan Schear absolutely dominated when they pulled on power. They sealed and knocked people down and our wide receivers did a nice job of blocking all night long."
Edlund said it was all about fun this week and rebounding after a sub-par game against East Grand Forks last week.
"We were missing the excitement last week; we had a ton of fun playing, everybody was pumped to play," he said. "When we aren't having the most fun we can possibly have we don't play as well as we know we can so it was great having so much fun this week!
"The sky is the limit for this team," Edlund continued. "We have so much potential; we just have to keep working hard each week. If we can do the little things right we can be a force!"
Coach Butt was very happy with how his team bounced back from East Grand Forks.
"It was a nice rebound," he said. "We played with a lot more confidence than a week before, no doubt. With the way (Park Rapids) was playing everything we were going to be able to run the ball. We were going to run it until they stopped it. As hot as Josh was we weren't going to go away from it. Even when they tried to take our cutback run game away we were able to go up the middle and run power all night."
Despite giving up 46 points, the Pirate defense made some key plays.
"Our defense made some very big plays," Butt said. "It's hard to say that when the scoreboard says 46 points, but we made some big plays when we had to. And we started to see some things out of people. I can't say enough about Cam Leas and Seth Solheim. Both did a really nice job. Andrew Waller on the defensive line was all over the place."
Senior quarterback Dylan Klatt was 5 of 14 passing for 104 yards with two interceptions. Sophomore receiver Aaron Hollcraft had two receptions for 37 yards.
The Pirates led 38-14 after the third quarter thanks to four third-quarter touchdowns by Edlund.
Park Rapids clawed its way back into the contest, though, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 38-30.
Edlund, though, broke free for a 63-yard touchdown run a minute into the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 46-30.
Park Rapids fought back, however, and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Zach Eystad with 5:28 left and a 75-yard run by Cory Gartner with 1:19 remaining. Two-point conversions on each score tied the game at 46-46.
It was Edlund once more, though, as he notched his seventh and the game-winning touchdown with 12 seconds remaining.
Leading Park Rapids was the dual running combination of Gartner, who rushed for 171 yards, and Ian Johnson, who rushed for 117 yards. Quarterback Tyler McCollum was 11 of 32 passing for 138 yards with three interceptions.
The Pirates are now 2-1 on the season and will host the 3-0 Perham Yellowjackets next Friday in the Homecoming game. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.
"It's a big Homecoming game," Coach Butt said. "The opponent (Perham) creates a lot of issues for you. Perham is the class of the section. It's going to be a real interesting game."