Prep football: Esko falls flat in Class AAA quarterfinalQuarterback Jordan Hein ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns to spark Perham to a 42-8 win over Esko in a Minnesota Class AAA quarterfinal on Saturday at Public Schools Stadium.
By: Rick Weegman, Duluth News Tribune
Perham played four high school football games during the regular season in weather conditions as poor as those faced Saturday, so the Yellowjackets weren’t fazed by the rain and high wind that greeted them for their state tournament game at Public Schools Stadium.
“We played in snow, pouring rain and in a game with 30 mile-an-hour winds, so it was definitely a big help mentally for us coming into this game,” senior quarterback Jordan Hein said.
Hein ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns to spark Perham to a 42-8 win over Esko in a Minnesota Class AAA quarterfinal. The Yellowjackets (10-1) totaled 359 yards on the ground and Hein was 5-for-7 for 59 yards passing to lead his team into next Saturday’s semifinals against Blue Earth Area at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
“They have a pretty good package — they are a championship-caliber team,” Esko coach Bill Hudspith said. “The quarterback was outstanding and he had a good group around him.”
Hein swung a lateral pass out to Payton Jordahl for a 36-yard touchdown on the first series, starting an avalanche of points for the Yellowjackets.
“We expect to put up a lot of points in our offense; that’s the strength of our team,” said Hein, who is being recruited by nearly 30 Division I and II colleges. “Our offensive line has peaked the past couple weeks and we established the run and that opened up the pass, which has been a key for us.”
The Eskomos (8-3) recovered a fumble and reached the Perham 17, but threw incomplete on fourth-and-10 and never were in the game after that.
Perham responded with an 83-yard drive that included 51 yards running by Hein, capped by his 9-yard keeper for a 14-0 lead.
“He does everything that a leader does,” Perham coach Mike Jordahl said. “He’s an amazing athlete; we’re definitely going to miss him next year.”
Esko’s Marc Peterson, who was 15-for-15 passing in the Section 7AAA title game, was picked off on the next play and the Yellowjackets needed only five plays to reach the end zone again.
By halftime, Hein had run in another 7-yard touchdown for a 28-0 lead that Esko showed no signs of threatening.
“When you play at this level, you have to raise your game,” Hudspith said. “When you get into the final eight, there are no slouches.”
Still, Hudspith says his team’s season was a success.
“They did some things that a lot of people didn’t think they could do, and even our kids didn’t think we could early in the season,” he said.
“But then our demeanor changed little by little as the season wore on.”
The Eskomos finally did score on Earl Brinkley’s 25-yard run in the final two minutes to cap the scoring.
P — Payton Jordahl 36 lateral (Nick Bahls kick)
P — Jordan Hein 9 run (Bahls kick)
P — Jordahl 2 run (Bahls kick)
P — Hein 5 run (Bahls kick)
P — Luke Sailer 39 run (Bahls kick)
P — Eli Beachy 17 run (Bahls kick)
E — Earl Brinkley 25 run (Brandt Hintsala run)