Eagles improve to 3-0, to host Bagley in homecoming game
By Chad Koenen
In a battle against two unbeaten teams atop Section 6A, the New York Mills made the trek north to Pine River-Backus on Friday night and knocked off the Tigers by a score of 26-12. The game not only improved the Eagles to 3-0 and kept them atop the section standings, but was also their seventh straight win dating back to last season.
“A very good physical football game. Pine River-Backus was 3-0 and they are a good football team,” said head coach Matt Radniecki. “Our kids played very well tonight in all three areas of the game; special teams, offense and defense.”
The Eagles scored a touchdown in each of the four quarters, highlighted by a 63-yard run in the first quarter by quarterback Bren Salo. The two-point conversion failed to make the score 6-0 in favor of NY Mills.
The Tigers answered right back with a score of their own on a 26-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 6-6. The two-point conversion failed.
The Eagles continued to dominate the game on the ground behind a solid performance by the offensive line. They were also able to find some success through the air as Salo found Monte Briard in the second quarter on a 24-yard pass to make the score 12-6 heading into halftime. Radniecki said he was pleased by the performance of the Eagles on the ground,
“Our offensive and defensive line did some good things tonight and it was fun to see us be able to move the ball against Pine River-Backus,” said Radniecki. “Dane, Bren and Eathan ran hard all night long and it took a toll on their defense. This was a big section win for us for seeding and hopefully homefield advantage in the playoffs.”
NY Mills gave itself a bit of breathing room in the third quarter as Salo found Noah Noffsinger on a 28-yard pass for a touchdown. Salo converted the two-point conversion to make the score 20-6 in favor of NY Mills.
The Tigers cut the Eagles’ lead to just 8 points in the fourth quarter when they scored on a 7-yard run, but the Eagles were able to put together a solid drive that was capped off by Dane Niemi in the fourth quarter to make the score 26-12.
Radniecki said one of the big keys in the game was NY Mills’ ability to control the tempo on the offensive side of the ball, while also holding a big advantage in turnovers. The Eagles defense also essentially shut down the Tigers rushing attack, which led them to throwing the ball throughout the game.
“We were able to hold their rushing attack down and forced them to throw the ball,” said Radniecki. “We had four interceptions on this night, which helped us win the turnover battle 4-1.”
In addition to the varsity win over Pine River-Backus, the NY Mills JV team lost a tough 14-0 game against Wadena-Deer Creek. The Wolverines played strong defense against the Eagles all day long.
This week the Eagles will take on Bagley for homecoming. The Flyers come into the game with a record of 0-4 with losses to Menahga by a score of 30-8, Pine River-Backus by a score of 58-14, Red Lake County by a score of 46-22 and Polk County West by a score of 55-6.