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Red River's Pearce Parks scores on both sides of ball to pick up 47-12 win over Turtle Mountain

Parks, a sophomore quarterback-defensive back, scored on a touchdown run of 44 yards and scored a touchdown on a 70-yard interception return in the first half.

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Red River quarterback Pearce Parks (1) reacts after his first quarter touchdown run during a home football game against Turtle Mountain in Grand Forks on Friday, September 9, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks Red River sophomore Pearce Parks has only played a handful of snaps defensively this season.

With Turtle Mountain going for it on fourth-and-long in the second quarter, the Roughriders brought Parks in for just one snap at cornerback to utilize his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame.

With that one snap, Parks intercepted a pass, returned it 70 yards for a touchdown and ignited the No. 4 Riders to a 47-12 win over Turtle Mountain on Friday at Cushman Field.

"I don't play a lot of defense but sometimes they throw me out there and say guard their guy," Parks said. "I saw the ball come my way, caught it and took off."

Parks' athleticism was evident throughout the first half, as he also scored on a 44-yard run and ran for 100 of his 106 yards by halftime.

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Roughriders quarterback Pearce Parks (1) sprints down the turf at Cushman Field on a breakway touchdown run in the first quarter of a home football game against Turtle Mountain in Grand Forks on Friday, September 9, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

On the 44-yard run on Red River's opening drive, the play was designed for a running back.

But a high snap forced Parks to keep it and he ran up the middle and into the end zone.

"It was supposed to be a handoff, but I couldn't get it to him," Parks said. "So I just told (the running back), I'm taking off."

The Riders didn't turn the game into a rout early thanks to muffing a punt, then later fumbling at the 1-yard line.

However, the Riders turned the fumble at the goal line into points when Brett Feller tackled Turtle Mountain quarterback Kobe Parisien in the end zone to make it 10-6 early in the second quarter.

After getting the ball following the safety, the Riders needed just six plays to score again.

The drive was capped with a Gunnar Heuchert 11-yard touchdown run. A Feller two-point conversion run gave the Riders an 18-6 lead.

"Our goal was to try to not have any turnovers tonight, and we didn't do that, so that made the beginning of the game kind of mucky," Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. "We had a lot of penalties at the beginning of the game. We cleaned that up and things started rolling for us a little bit."

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Red River's defense limited Turtle Mountain to 4 yards rushing. The Braves were led by quarterback Kobe Parisien, who had 152 passing yards and two touchdowns, including a 65-yard strike in the fourth quarter to Gannyn Monette.

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Turtle Mountain's Parker Wallette hauls in a touchdown under pressure of Red River defensive back Logan Okstad as other Roughriders Hudson Flom (4) and Quinn Nelson (6) look on in the first quarter of a prep football game at Cushman Field in Grand Forks on Friday, September 9, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GF Red River 47, Turtle Mountain 12

First quarter

RR – Pearce Parks 44 run (Mason Wosick-Bimler run)

TM – Parker Wallette 19 pass from Kobe Parisien (pass failed)

Second quarter

RR – Safety

RR – Gunnar Heuchert 11 run (Brett Feller run)

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RR – Parks 70 interception return (Heuchert run)

RR – Hudson Flom 22 pass from Parks (Heuchert run)

Third quarter

RR – Logan Okstad 17 run (Cole LeDuc kick)

Fourth quarter

RR – Andrew Peterson 5 pass from Heuchert (kick failed)

TM – Gannyn Monette 65 pass from Parisien (kick failed)

Individual leaders

RUSHING – RR: Pearce Parks 9-106, Logan Okstad 8-60, Mason Wosick-Bimler 5-56, Brett Feller 5-43; TM: Kobe Parisien 7-8

PASSING – RR: Parks 5-8-0, 68 yards; TM: Parisien 12-24-1, 152 yards

RECEIVING – RR: Quinn Nelson 2-38, Hudson Flom 2-29; TM: Gannyn Monette 3-81, Parker Wallette 4-56

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Red River quarterback Pearce Parks vaults over Turtle Mountain linebacker Keon Laducer, bottom, on a first quarter carry during a prep football game at Cushman Field in Grand Forks on Friday, September 9, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Related Topics: GF RED RIVER
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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