Duluth East junior Austan Orvedahl ran for 187 yards on 25 attempts and all three Greyhound touchdowns to lead his team to a 21-7 win over Cloquet Friday, Sept. 24.
Orvedahl scored all three of his touchdowns in the first half, but had three runs over 35 yards in the second half — including a 36-yard scamper on a fake punt — to extend Duluth East drives and take valuable minutes off the clock.
“Austan has enough speed where he can run away from people, but his biggest thing is he is so strong that you’re not going to get him down with an arm tackle,” Greyhound coach Joe Hietala said. “Rarely is just one guy going to bring him to the ground and he never stops his feet — he turns small plays into big plays and he can turn zero plays into something. It’s a lot of fun when you have somebody like that and it sure makes play calling a lot easier.”
Cloquet returned the opening kickoff to its own 41-yard line, but a fumble by Will Turnbull on the third play from scrimmage set the Greyhounds up in good field position.
Orvedahl had runs of 14 and 21 yards before running the ball in from 3 yards out to give the Greyhounds a 7-0 lead.
Cloquet answered with an 88-yard drive, topped by a 16-yard touchdown run by Reese Sheldon, to tie the game after Dayne Painovich’s extra point kick.
On the ensuing kickoff, Duluth East returned the ball to the Cloquet 40 yard line, but a personal foul on the Lumberjacks set the Greyhounds up at the Cloquet 25.
After Dean Hudoba connected with Bryce Miller on a 14-yard pass, Orvedahl ran the ball in from a yard out to put Duluth East up for good.
Cloquet looked to respond again, eating up more than 8 minutes of the clock and driving to the Greyhound 4-yard line, before turning the ball over on downs.
The Cloquet defense committed three penalties on the drive, including two personal fouls on the same play that gave Duluth East 30 yards of field position.
Five minutes later, Orvedahl ran it in from 7 yards out to put the Greyhounds up 14 at halftime.
Both teams drove deep in the other’s territory but were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in the second half. Orvedahl’s big runs in the second ate up valuable minutes on the clock and put more pressure on the Cloquet offense.
“We came out strong, I kept my legs moving and ran hard,” Orvedahl said. “The line kept pushing us forward and we ran the clock down.”
Twice in the second half, Cloquet drove the ball deep into Greyhound territory by penalties and mistakes caused the Lumberjacks to walk away with no points for the effort.
“East is a tough team and they played great tonight, but the story of our offense was kind of the way it’s been the year,” Cloquet coach Tom Lenarz said. “We move the ball and then we shoot ourselves in the foot. It’s just been like that, key mistakes, key drops, key missed blocks, key penalties. Those kinds of things have a cumulative effect over the course of a game.”
Reese Sheldon had 93 yards rushing for the Lumberjacks and passed for another 77 yards.
Duluth East (2-2) will host Rock Ridge at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1.
Cloquet (2-2) will travel to Hermantown to play the Hawks at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1.
Duluth East 14-7-0-0—21
D — Austan Orvedahl 3 run (Michael Kastelic kick)
C — Reese Sheldon 16 run (Dayne Painovich kick)
D — Orvedahl 1 run (Kastelic kick)
D — Orvedahl 7 run (Kastelic kick)
This article was updated at 10:50 a.m. Monday, Sept. 27, with the correct spelling of Rylee Burkhart's name. It was originally posted at 11:17 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. The News Tribune regrets the error.