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Eyeing Minnesota Section 8AAA second seed, East Grand Forks picks up second-straight shutout against Perham

Quarterback Tanner Campos and running back Joey Votava each tallied short touchdown runs in the second half of the 14-0 win.

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East Grand Forks Senior High's Tanner Campos tries to evade Perham defensive back Levi Richter (2) on a quarterback keep in the first quarter of the regular-season finale football game in East Grand Forks on Thursday, October 14, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

East Grand Forks needed a win on Thursday to stay in contention for the No. 2 seed for the Minnesota Section 8AAA playoffs.

Against Perham, the Green Wave started slowly but managed to pick up their second-consecutive shutout in a 14-0 win, moving them to 5-2 on the year. Quarterback Tanner Campos and running back Joey Votava each tallied short touchdown runs in the second half after not much offense was produced from either side in the first two quarters.

“Our motto is 1-0 each week. We’ve just got to focus, tonight is a Thursday so we’ve got to turn around, get to school tomorrow and focus on Fergus (Falls) right away,” East Grand Forks coach Ryan Kasowski said.

The Green Wave caught a slight momentum swing early in the first quarter after they sniffed out a fake punt from the Yellowjackets and started their second drive just past midfield. A 17-yard Campos keeper put them in the red zone, but a choice to go for it on fourth down from the five-yard line cost them points when Justin Overgaard was stopped short of the marker.

By the end of the first quarter neither side had built much to work with offensively, but Kasowski and staff have done well this year in controlling possession.

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“That’s the kind of offense we want to run. Wind the clock down and grind it out. We were able to do that tonight which really makes a big difference. Proud of our offense for doing the kind of things they did,” he said.

Numerous option runs from EGF picked up little yardage throughout the first half. The lone highlight came from a Carter Vasek 15-yard run in the red zone that was negated by a holding call.

What East Grand Forks did have going for them was field position, which helped the Wave alleviate some of the pressure for the defense.

The last play of the first half was an Overgaard 37-yard run that would have put the Green Wave in prime field goal position with just seconds remaining and all three timeouts. Instead, the ball popped out at the end of the run and the Yellowjackets recovered.

Looking to shake things up, the Green Wave ran a double reverse right out of the gate in the second half. Cooper Smith rushed all the way to the 25-yard line before a Campos naked bootleg and 11-yard Schmeideberg rush set up a two-yard Campos touchdown run, giving East Grand Forks the lead.

A missed exchange on a Colton Hackel snap gave Campos and the East Grand Forks offense the ball right back again, but couldn’t get any points out of it. Instead, the Wave elected to punt from the 35 and put the ball right at the three-yard line for the Yellowjackets, feeding into their field position battle.

After forcing the three-and-out they needed, the Green Wave needed to find some consistency in their rushing attack in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

“We just started to grind (in the second half). We started to play our style of football. Wore them down a little bit. Just needed to make a couple of adjustments at halftime to put us over the edge, so I credit the kids for going out and playing that way,” said Kasowski.

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Then after Overgaard and Schmeideberg crawled yard-by-yard to inside the five, it was Votava that gave them a 14-0 lead on a three-yard rush with less than eight minutes left. The defense was then able to step up and seal the shutout for the second straight week.

“Now we’ve got to get right into it. It’s a quick turnaround. We've got to go to Fergus which is a tough place to play. They’ve got 24 hours (to celebrate) and then it is right back to work here,” Kasowski said.

Fergus Falls, 5-1, will take on first place and undefeated Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Friday before getting ready for the Green Wave next week.

The Otters, much like EGF, have a deep backfield that can tire out the defense, making the first score of the game next week crucial.

“Defensively right now we’re playing really well. We’re okay with a field position game if we need to be. We feel like if we can get a lead, defensively we’re able to play our style of game and hopefully keep points off the board,” said Kasowski.

The midweek kick-off between the Green Wave and the Otters will be Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.

East Grand Forks 14

Perham 0

Third Quarter

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EGF - Tanner Campos 2 run (Overgaard kick)

Fourth Quarter

EGF - Joey Votava 3 run (Overgaard kick)

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING -- EGF: Caleb Schmeideberg 7-59, Tanner Campos 12-50-1, Joey Votava 6-19-1, Carter Vasek 4-12, Justin Overgaard 9-49, Cooper Smith 1-38, PHS: Colton Hackel 5-1, Hudson Hackel 4-15, Braylon Rach 3-22, Chaz Melvin 1-4, Levi Richter 4-19, Joshua Peterson 1-8

PASSING -- EGF: Tanner Campos 2-5-0-0 23 yards PHS: Colton Hackel 3-12-0-0-13 yards

RECEIVING -- EGF: Cooper Smith 1-6, Sam Schumacher 1-17 PHS: Joshua Peterson 3-13

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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