Polk County West shuts out Fosston in playoff opener

102319 S GFH PCWFOOTBALL MylesSmith MaxStaehnke01.jpg
Polk County West defensive lineman Myles Smith (51) tackles Fosston's Max Staehnke in the first quarter of Tuesday's Minnesota Section 8A football quarterfinal game in East Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

For a defensive player, Myles Smith was down right offensive Tuesday.

The senior defensive end scored a pair of touchdowns. Josh Wagner also scored twice as the Thunder whipped visiting Fosston 36-0 in the opening round of the Minnesota Class A high school football playoffs.

To have a defensive player score twice, “I’d say it's rare for it to happen in one game, let alone one quarter,’’ PCW coach Darrin Byklum said. “I don’t remember that we’ve ever had that happen.

“And it happened for a well-deserving kid. Myles leads by example. He’s put in a lot of time in the weight room. He really gets after it on the field.’’

Smith had a fast start with three impact plays on Fosston’s first five offensive plays.


On Fosston’s first offensive play, the senior registered a sack costing the Greyhounds nine yards. On the next play, Smith hauled in a pitch intended for a Greyhounds running back and went 38 yards for the score.

On the third play of Fosston’s second possession, Smith intercepted a pass and went 54 yards down the sideline for his second score.

“I did not expect that,’’ Smith said. “The ball came right to me on both of them. I looked up and had open field. I just wanted to keep running.’’

But, he added, “I was getting a little tired on them.’’

Wagner led the offense with 90 rushing yards on just three carries. Those included scoring runs of 48 and 44 yards.

The Thunder also received a 25-yard touchdown pass from Sam Gapp to John Fontaine.

With a 36-0 lead after one quarter, the rest of the game was played on running time. Polk County West went primarily with its reserves over the final three quarters.

“It was huge for our second- and third-string guys to get that experience,’’ Byklum said. “And they did a whale of a job on defense keeping Fosston out of the end zone.’’


The PCW defense limited Fosston to minus-13 yards rushing. Kyle Jacobson was the top threat for the Greyhounds, completing 6-of-14 passes for 44 yards. Top receiver Jacob Lomen had four catches for 38 yards.

“Our defense played well,’’ Byklum said. “The defense has played well all year.’’

The 7-2 Thunder play defending section and state champion Mahnomen-Waubun in a semifinal game scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday in Mahnomen. Fosston closed its season 0-9.

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