NRHEG makes strides

Published 4:49am Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva football team was able to stick around for a while on Tuesday night, but turnovers doomed the team in the end.

The Panthers fell 14-40 at Martin County West in the Section 3AA quarterfinals.

“Our kids played hard,” NRHEG head coach Dan Stork said. “Martin County West is a very good football team.”

After falling behind by a touchdown in the first quarter, NRHEG cut the lead to one point after Dillon Parpart found the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown run. Parpart had 156 yards rushing.

Martin County West responded to NRHEG’s touchdown by scoring 19 more points before halftime, thanks to some turnovers.

NRHEG was able to cut its deficit to two possessions (26-14) in the third quarter, but Martin County West was able to pull away because of two more Panthers turnovers. Spencer Tollefson tossed a touchdown pass to Preston Peterson for NRHEG’s second touchdown.

“We turned the ball over five times and they took advantage,” Stork said.

The Panthers significantly improved on last year’s 1-8 overall record by going 5-4 this season. NRHEG lost its first game of the season 28-7 at home against Blooming Prairie — a team that thrashed Kingsland 42-6 in the Section 1A quarterfinals Tuesday and is still undefeated at 9-0. The Panthers’ only other regular season losses were a 21-14 home setback against Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity and a 10-7 overtime loss at Maple River. NRHEG piled up wins against Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, Medford, Lake Crystal-Wellcome-Memorial, Mankato Loyola and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, outscoring those opponents 156-48.