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East Grand Forks holds on to beat Thief River Falls 14-7 in Minn. 8AAA football

The Green Wave move to 2-3 on the year with Caleb Schmiedeberg and Drew Carpenter rushing for touchdowns.

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East Grand Forks' Clyde Anderson reacts to a long run in the first half against Thief River Falls Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Senior High in East Grand Forks.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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EAST GRAND FORKS – In the fourth quarter, Thief River Falls came marching down the field looking to tie things up against East Grand Forks. A heavy dosage of power right runs got them to the 2-yard line. The Green Wave, after scoring the go-ahead touchdown on the previous drive, would stand tall at their goal line.

East Grand Forks was coming off a 22-12 loss to section-leading DGF, but managed to lead the game at halftime. On Friday night, however, the Wave would be the only team to score in the second half as East Grand Forks won 14-7.

“We knew it was going to be a four-quarter game," said East Grand Forks coach Ryan Kasowski. "We knew these guys were physical and a great football team. And right up there until the end, it was in question. Two teams that have a lot of respect for each other that are very similar."

After the first quarter of introductory rushes, the Green Wave found a setup that worked to start the second quarter.

From their own 20, they got to the end zone using just two rushing looks and it culminated in a 16-yard Caleb Schmiedeberg touchdown run. Schmiedeberg, however, would exit from the game due to injury.

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“He’s a playmaker for us and a dynamic player offensively and defensively. We have to get healthy and make sure that we get some of these guys back,” Kasowski said.

The drive as a whole took seven minutes off the clock, but that didn’t stop the Prowlers from reaching the scoreboard before half’s end.

A 39-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Rosendahl to Braedon Potucek got Thief River Falls seven points and a tie game with 1:00 left in the half.

Coming out of the break and a three-and-out by the Prowlers, East Grand Forks found an explosive play in the form of a 47-yard Clyde Anderson screen pass reception, unfortunately, it was negated by a holding call and would force the Green Wave to punt.

“It was a great play call and it was run perfectly, too. I was proud of our team to be able to respond after that and get the stop we needed,” said Kasowski.

A strong hold on the TRF rush developed into a turnover on downs and gave the Green Wave the ball to start the fourth quarter. Facing a 4th and 5, they were able to get the Prowlers to jump into the neutral zone and continue the drive into Thief River Falls territory.

Green Wave quarterback Drew Carpenter would be the star to end the drive. He dashed down the left hash for 22 yards and then followed up at the goal line with a 2-yard keeper for the touchdown to put East Grand Forks ahead 14-7.

The next drive saw the Prowlers plow through EGF with some hard-nosed runs from Kadin Grindeland and Potucek. The pair combined for 96 yards on the ground, but all would be for naught as the fumble at the East Grand Forks 2-yard line ended their possession and scoring chance.

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As time rolled off on three-straight runs, an EGF punt with 1:13 to go gave the ball back to Thief River Falls. Cooper Smith would completely seal the game on the next play as he hauled in an interception to set up victory formation.

“It’s a battle every single week. That’s Section 8 football. Great teams that have a ton of respect and are well-coached. The last two weeks have been very physical with some heavy runs, so we have to make sure to get healthy and take care of our guys,” said Kasowski.

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East Grand Forks' Jordan Nowacki pursues Thief River Falls' Jameson Hurst in the first half of their game Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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Thief River Falls' Jack Rosendahl breaks up a pass intended for East Grand Forks' Damian Bushaw Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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East Grand Forks defender Tanner Nowacki eyes Thief River Falls quarterback Caleb Rosendahl Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, at Senior High in East Grand Forks.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Digital Content Producer and Sports Reporter at the Grand Forks Herald since December of 2020. Maxwell can be contacted at mmarko@gfherald.com.
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