BLACKDUCK – Jeff Volk knew that the Blackduck football team was going to snap a three-year losing streak at some point this year. And Friday night the Drakes coach decided that the time to accomplish that feat had arrived.
“I believe in these kids,” Volk said. “I knew that the success they had in the other sports would transfer to football and last week I put a challenge to them. I told them that we were going to win Friday. I told them that the losing streak at Blackduck was going to end at 30 games.
“And the kids came out Friday and did everything I asked of them,” Volk added.
Volk’s players accepted the challenge and when they stepped onto their home field Friday against Lake of the Woods they were not going to be denied.
“The kids came to play,” Volk said. “It was a fun night.”
On the first offensive series the Drakes went down the field and scored. On their first defensive series they forced a 3-and-out and then recorded two points when the punt snap sailed out of the end zone.
That trend continued the rest of the half and by intermission Blackduck was ahead 44-0. The starters were able to watch most of the second half from the sidelines and at the final gun celebrated a 50-8 victory.
“I told the captains that if we won the toss we wanted the ball because we wanted to go right down the field and score,” Volk said. “That’s what we did and then our defense forced the safety.
“During the entire half our defense gave the offense great field position and the offense took advantage of it,” the coach continued. “We didn’t punt at all in the first half and I don’t think we punted the entire game.”
Blackduck opened the year with losses to Fertile-Beltrami and Pillager but Friday night Volk knew that the Drakes would experience victory for the first time in 30 games.
“I hadn’t talked about the losing streak during my two years as head coach but last week I told the players that it was going to end on Friday,” Volk said.
“I honestly think that we played two of the better teams on our schedule during the first two weeks and I believe we have the athletes who can do well this year. We have a team that can win a few more games.”
The next opportunity will be Friday when the Drakes host Walker-Hackensack-Akeley. On Sept. 28 they visit Cass Lake-Bena.
Other opponents this fall are Pine River-Backus, Red Lake County and Bagley.
“I don’t think there is a game on the rest of our schedule that we can’t win,” Volk said. “The players need to keep the right mental approach.
“Our long losing streak is over and now we will see what we can do from this point on.”
Blackduck had 314 rushing yards and 324 total yards in its victory. Trey Volk ran 13 times for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Dylan Weisert gained 65 yards and had a TD on his six carries and Cooper Jedlica scored twice.
Brad Kusper contributed eight tackles and an interception and Tyler Jablonski finished with five stops.
In other football games last week Bagley lost 37-14 to Pillager, Kelliher-Northome cruised to a 36-6 victory at Floodwood, Cass Lake-Bena dropped a 47-17 decision to Pine River and Red Lake fell 61-38 at Carlton.
Bagley trailed 22-0 at intermission but was outscored only 15-14 in the second half.
Lucas Thompson caught a 23-yard TD pass from Zach Thoma and Kyler LaVine scored on a 15-yard run.
LaVine finished with 73 yards on 12 carries and Thompson caught three pass for 76 yards. Thoma connected on eight of his 15 passes for 126 yards.
Chance Halverson and Taylor McCollum each had 10 tackles while Thompson made nine stops and added an interception.
Bagley visits Pine River this week while Kelliher-Northome hosts Nevis in a battle of unbeatens, Cass Lake-Bena visits Fertile-Beltrami and Red Lake travels to West Lutheran.
Cass Lake-Bena blanked Red Lake 25-4, 25-13, 25-20 behind Kit Rousu’s 10 kills and four by Justine Jourdain.
Brandi Dahmen dished 15 assists, Rousu had four aces and Miranda Richards two, and Janelle Peacock and Rousu added five digs.
Dahmen and Richards each finished with four digs.
The Panthers (2-5) visit Bug O Nay Ge Shig today and travel to Pine River on Thursday.
Bagley (1-7) dropped a pair of home matches last week, losing to Ulen-Hitterdahl 25-17, 25-18, 25-12 and to Fosston 25-11, 25-16, 25-11. Kari Skersick had five kills and Emily Dukek three in the latter match. Skersick also had 14 digs Riley Thoma 13 assists and Bridget Amiot two aces.
The Flyers hosted Crookston Monday and visit Mahnomen today.
Kelliher-Northome stopped Indus 3-0 last week to even its record at 4-4. Today the Mustangs will travel to Blackduck and Thursday they will host Bigfork.
Blackduck heads to WHA Thursday.