FARGO-Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton senior Spencer Ewen decided to come out for varsity football for the first time this fall. The 6-foot-6 wide receiver came up with a clutch play Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Fargodome to help extend the Rebels' season.
Ewen caught a 46-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter on a third-and-31 play. That big catch helped D-G-F earn a 31-20 victory against Pequot Lakes for the Minnesota Class 3A, Section 8 championship.
"That's a game-changer," Rebels running back Garrett Scheel said of Ewen's catch. "Things started to kind of go downhill and he just picked us up."
D-G-F (10-1) won its fourth consecutive section championship to advance to the state quarterfinals. In the next round, the Rebels play the Albany vs. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta winner Friday, Nov. 11, in Alexandria.
"It's great for the seniors," D-G-F head coach Tony Soderberg said. "Our job as coaches it to get them as many games as possible. We get one more game for sure."
The Rebels led 21-14 in the third quarter when Ewen made his momentum-shifting catch. D-G-F faced a third-and-31 from the Pequot Lakes 46-yard line. Rebels quarterback Ethan Edeen dropped back and lofted a pass deep up the sideline. Ewen caught the ball over the top of two Pequot Lakes defenders near the 17. He then slipped a tackle and tight roped the sideline before diving into the end zone.
"I focused on not falling because I tripped up a little bit," Ewen said.
"That put points on the board and got us out of a third-and-31," Soderberg added. "He's a heck of an athlete, tall kid, he went up and got the ball and made a play."
That touchdown gave the Rebels a 28-14 lead with 4 minutes, 59 seconds to play in the third quarter. Ewen finished with three catches for 87 yards. Ewen had lived in Iowa for three years before returning to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton as a sophomore. He didn't play football as a sophomore and junior, but competed in track and basketball for the Rebels.
Ewen is glad he gave football a chance, making an impact in the section title game.
"It's the best feeling in the world," Ewen said.
The Rebels started strong, scoring on their first two drives. Scheel scored on a 5-yard run that gave D-G-F a 7-0 lead with 6:10 to play in the first quarter. Senior tight end Brandon Ciak added a 67-yard touchdown catch that gave the Rebels a 14-0 lead with 4:19 remaining in the first. D-G-F never trailed.
"The thing about this place is you get about two good possessions before everybody on both sides is tired," Soderberg said of playing in the Fargodome. "As soon as it gets hot in here ... it gets tough. To get those two drives early is huge."
Pequot Lakes got within a touchdown of the lead on three occasions after D-G-F's fast start, but the Lakers were unable to draw closer. Pequot Lakes senior quarterback Max Tangen completed 6 of 22 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown. Tange added a 1-yard scoring run.
Rebels senior kicker Drew Stalboerger booted a 35-yard field goal that gave his team a 31-20 lead with 3:47 to play in the fourth quarter to help ice the outcome.
Scheel had a big game for the Rebels rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 26 attempts. Edeen completed 8 of 15 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns.
"We needed everybody," Soderberg said.
PL 7 7 0 6--20
DGF 14 7 7 3--31
DGF--Scheel 5 run (Stalboerger kick)
DGF--Ciak 67 pass from Edeen (Stalboerger kick)
PL--Traut 60 run (Nagy kick)
DGF--Scheel 14 run (Stalboerger kick)
PL--Young 77 pass from Tangen (Nagy kick)
DGF--Ewen 46 pass from Edeen (Stalboerger kick)
PL--Tangen 1 run (kick failed)
DGF--Stalboerger 35 FG