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Monday, June 15, 2015

Pioneers take control in second half, top Bulls 23-6

George Hall calls the Pioneers offensive line the St. Paul Moving Company.

Jacob Husnik protects Joseph Mapson.
On Saturday, they helped move the team to a 7-0 record and cemented its spot in first place in the Minnesota Division of the NEFL. Playing with Joseph Mapson – a safety – at quarterback because the team’s two signal-callers were out of town, the Pioneers nonetheless controlled the clock, the tempo and the game for great stretches as they defeated the North Bank Bulls 23-6.

Much of that was due to the exertion and coordination displayed by Zac Thompson, Jacob Husnik, C.J. Sanderson, Alex Christen, Scott Schmidt and Cory Huggar – guys who don’t get a lot of attention but are critical to the Pioneers offense succeeding.

Mapson on the move.
Trailing 6-0 after the Bulls first drive, the Pioneers offensive line began exerting its will soon after, leading St. Paul to a Mapson quarterback sneak and a halftime lead of 7-6. In the second half, it was all Pioneers, as fullback Daryl Davis and Mapson, again, scored on runs. The game scoring was tapped off when Jay Harding nailed a 38-yard field goal with, once more, great protection by the offensive line.

Pioneers defenders also rose to the occasion after the Bulls opening salvo. Jeff McGaster picked up his 13th sack on the season so far. Terry Jones early and Brock Keaton late intercepted Bulls quarterback Brett Schreiner to snuff North Bank drives. In the middle, defensive back Bobby Wright stripped a Bulls receiver of the football, taking it and the momentum back to the Pioneers’ side.

Bobby Wright steals the ball.
The Pioneers travel to Winona Saturday to take on the undefeated River City Rough Riders in what is technically a non-league game, but one that will certainly count for bragging rights to the teams that currently lead their divisions in the NEFL. Kickoff is set for Noon.

Players of the game:
Offense – Joseph Mapson, two TDs and great leadership and poise.
Defense – Bobby Wright with a key takeaway and several outstanding tackles.
Special Teams -- Jay Harding, the field goal and several booming kicks.

Jeff McGaster applying pressure.

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