Pine City traveled back to Mora on Tuesday night for the first round of the playoffs.
It did not take long to score for the Mustangs. Tucker Hass had a huge return on the games opening kick, which he took the Dragons 25. It only took two plays for Connor Gmahl to find the endzone from 17 yards out for the games first points and a Mora 8-0 lead. Pine City would take over on the ensuing kickoff. Pine City's offense took many by surprise when they put together a long drive. It wasn't so much the long drive people were surprised at it was that Pine City converted multiple third downs, something that has been a struggle for them this season. Mora was caught off guard at how well the Dragons were driving against their defense which forced them to call a timeout. The Dragons continued to drive taking up much of the time in the 1st quarter. But on a third down QB Bryce Erickson tried to find s receiver across the field but the Mustang defense was waiting for it and grabbed the interception. A promising drive ended by a turnover. Mora would capitalize on the turnover on a Gmahl touchdown his 2nd of the game aiding his team to a 16-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Pine City would again put together a long steady drive late in the 2nd quarter only for it to end with a turnover. Mora again capitalized, this time on a 56 yard run from Brock Folkema putting his team up 22-0 at half.
Both defenses tightened down in the 2nd half and made moving the ball that much more difficult. In the third quarter though Mora was able to add onto their lead on a 6 yard touchdown from Nathan Nelson, giving his team a 29-0 lead. Pine City would have their third long drive of the game end with a turnover, something that has truly been heart breaking all season long for the Dragons.
The Mustangs were able to add one more score from Mark Perry in the 4th quarter sealing the 35-0 victory.
With the loss the Dragons season comes to an end with a 1-8 record. Congrats to Pine City and their seniors on the season.
For Mora this win pushes them to the semi finals on Saturday against Foley.