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Prairie proves power: Pirates declare Whitepine League dominance

 Blocks by Phillip Spencer (75, right), Tanner Ross (12, left) and others gave Prairie quarterback Jake Bruner (11, center) a chance to make a one-on-one move against an overmatched linebacker early in Prairie’s 60-20 win at Genesee last Friday night, Sept. 5. On the play, Bruner scored his second rushing touchdown of the first quarter.

Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Blocks by Phillip Spencer (75, right), Tanner Ross (12, left) and others gave Prairie quarterback Jake Bruner (11, center) a chance to make a one-on-one move against an overmatched linebacker early in Prairie’s 60-20 win at Genesee last Friday night, Sept. 5. On the play, Bruner scored his second rushing touchdown of the first quarter.



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PHS running back and linebacker Calvin Hinkelman scored two rushing touchdowns for the Pirates, but also delivered several punishing tackles — including this wallop of Genesee’s Trent Sounders.

GENESEE — Prairie’s season opener featured a matchup of two of the Whitepine League’s elite teams — a

rematch between teams whose places in the WPL pecking order were determined by a back-and-forth 96-point shootout last September in Cottonwood.

This time, it wasn’t even close.

A couple of PHS juniors — Jake Bruner and Calvin Hinkelman — combined for three rushing touchdowns during the first quarter and the Pirates cruised to a 60-20 win over the Bulldogs last Friday night, Sept. 5.

Bruner ran in a 20-yard touchdown during the second minute of action.

Genesee threatened to answer immediately with a 58-yard kickoff return, but under pressure from Prairie’s defense, lost yardage and turned the ball over on downs.

While Genesee continued to sputter, Prairie struck again with a 14-yard run by Hinkelman, who fumbled near the goal line and recovered the loose ball in the end zone to score.

The PHS defense blanked Genesee’s third possession with a third down sack of Bulldogs quarterback Beau Tilleman.

Bruner capped a 62-yard drive with a 10-yard run and added Prairie’s third straight conversion for a 24-0 score with 1:22 left in the first quarter.

Tilleman marshalled a scoring drive late in the first half, but Prairie’s grip on the game tightened with touchdown runs by Hinkelman (16 yards) and Lucas Arnzen (77 yards) and a touchdown pass from Bruner to Isaiah Shears (28 yards) during the third quarter.

Prairie’s offensive line also opened holes for touchdown runs by seniors Hunter McWilliams (11 yards) and Mason Dalgliesh (46 yards) during the fourth quarter.

“We played a typical first game,” PHS coach Ryan Hasselstrom said. “We didn’t score during the second quarter...We’ve got work to do on the offensive line. The linemen did an OK job, but Genesee adjusted well and put some pressure on us in the passing game.”

Averaging more than eight yards per play, the Pirates booked 540 yards of total offense including 381 rushing yards. Arnzen ran for 158 yards on 11 carries; Bruner threw for 158 yards on 21 passes.

Coming — Prairie (1-0) will play at Salmon River this Friday night, Sept. 12.

“They’ve beaten us the last two years,” Hasselstrom said. “They do a lot of the same things they’ve done the last two years, but with different personnel this year.”

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. MT in Riggins.



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