Key interception helps Moorhead High win football section championship
November 6, 2019
An interception by Moorhead High’s Keenan Wendt set up a field goal to lift the Spuds to a 17-14 victory in the Section 8 championship football game against Bemidji on Nov. 1.
The Spuds held Bemidji to two touchdowns, while scoring two themselves and a late field goal with just over two minutes left to play in the Minnesota Class 5A, Section 8 football championship at Bemidji State University. Caden Triggs kicked the 28-yard field goal to lift the Spuds to a 17-14 win and advance them to the state tournament.
The Spuds scored first when Trey Feeney found Blake Walthall over the middle with a 15-yard touchdown pass. Moorhead drove 91 yards in six plays for the score.
The Lumberjacks played hard on a drive that started at the Bemidji one-yard line, but they failed to connect in the red zone. The Spuds and the Lumberjacks traded the ball throughout the remainder of the first quarter and most of the second, until Feeney found the other Walthall brother, Brady, in the corner of the end zone with nine seconds remaining in the half.
Bemidji had the momentum coming out in the third quarter. Late in the third, the Lumberjacks scored on a rush play, then followed in the fourth with another rush into the end zone. A botched snap on the first point after touchdown followed by a successful two-point conversion on the second touchdown tied the game with 10 minutes remaining.
Moorhead had a three and out, and the Jacks were again driving hard when Keenan Wendt picked off a Bemidji pass at the Moorhead 30-yard line midway through the fourth. Feeney handed off to Wendt through a series of plays to set up the field goal. Moorhead scored with 1:21 remaining in the game to take the lead. In their attempt to get down the field fast, the Lumberjacks threw another interception that sealed their fate.
Feeney completed 18 of 38 passes for 256 yards, and he ran for another 16. Wendt was the leading rusher for the Spuds with 42 yards. Brady Walthall had 145 yards receiving while Blake Walthall had 49 yards. Jacqui Fitzpatrick added 55 yards to the Spud tallies.
Defensively, Austin Altepeter and Thomas Myers led with seven and six tackles respectively. Wendt, Fitzpatrick, Jackson Gotta and Lee Karfear each added four tackles. Triggs scored 100 percent with his two points after touchdowns and one field goal. Saif Allawi had three kickoffs totaling 165 yards, with his longest at 60 yards.
Moorhead plays Elk River at noon Saturday, Nov. 9 at Monticello High School in the first round of the state tournament.
Photos: During the Section 8 championship football game on Nov. 1, Moorhead High’s Keenan Wendt heads up field after intercepting a Bemidji pass, shifting the momentum of the game and setting up a Moorhead field goal. Credit: Renée Grover
The Minnesota Class 5A, Section 8 football champions celebrate with fans after the game at Bemidji State University on Nov. 1. Credit: Bill Grover
Moorhead High’s Brady Walthall catches a pass during the Section 8 championship football game against Bemidji on Nov. 1. Credit: Bill Grover