The West Central Area Knights scored a touchdown with 15.6 seconds left in the game to beat the Crookston Pirate Football team 14-6 in a game played on a wet and muddy field in Crookston.

Crookston’s defense came out strong with a Zach Brown interception on the second play of the game to give the Pirates the ball at the West Central Area 36-yard line. “Zach made a great play there,” said Crookston Pirate Coach Scott Butt. “Zach read it well and made a nice play.”  The first play of the drive was a six-yard pass from Leyton Salentine to Ethan Boll.  After a one-yard loss, Crookston got a first down on a West Central Area penalty.  On the next play, Salentine scampered 27 yards into the endzone to give Crookston a 6-0 lead after the Pirates missed the extra point kick.  “Leyton was wide open and he is looking more and more comfortable each week,” said Coach Butt. “He had a really nice game for us tonight and that was great to see.”
West Central Area’s second offensive series went six plays, and they were moving the ball before they fumbled and Crookston jumped on the loose ball to force the second turnover of the game.  “That was a great start for our defense and to force a couple of turnovers right away was great,” said Coach Butt. “We came out playing well and to force a quality team into the turnovers early was good to see.”   Crookston had excellent field position again, at the WCA 41-yard line, but on a fourth down and five play Leyton Salentine was sacked for a loss of 19 yards, and they turned the ball over on downs.  After West Central Area turned the ball over on downs, Crookston put a beautiful drive together with 10 plays and three first downs before they threw a pass and the Knights’ Braden Overson intercepted the pass at the Crookston 45-yard line.
Late in the second quarter, West Central Area took advantage of their second interception of the game and started the drive in Crookston territory.  The Knights had a couple passes to Gage Staples and Tate Christianson (Crookston High School Spanish teacher and coach, Taylor Christianson’s brother) for a combined 25 yards to set up a Jaden Norby six-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 6-6 with 1:12 left in the half. “That stung,” said Coach Butt. “Even though we were tied at halftime I still felt pretty good, especially when they outscored teams like they did in their first two games.  The mood in the locker room at halftime was good and they thought they should have been ahead.”

Crookston started the second half with the ball and put together a nice drive that began with back-to-back three yards carries from Ethan Boll before Leyton Salentine ran for 39 yards to get the Pirates in Knight territory.  Crookston continued to move the ball with a pass to Jacob Miller, and Salentine and Boll runs down to the one-yard line, setting up a fourth and goal at the one-yard line.  The Pirates Salentine tried a quarterback sneak and was stopped short of the goal line, and they turned the ball over on downs.  “Give West Central Area credit, they were able to get off the ball better than we did,” said Coach Butt. “We wanted to score, but felt having them on the one-yard line wasn’t terrible.”
The Crookston opening drive took over four minutes off the clock, but West Central Area wasn’t about to be outdone as they answered with a 13 play drive that spanned 74 yards while chewing up over seven minutes before they turned the ball over on downs at the Crookston 25 yard line with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.
Crookston answered with another beautiful drive, and on a fourth down and one play, the Pirates Salentine ran 10 yards for a first down to keep the drive going.  The Pirates added 12 yards on two carries, and after a run for no gain, Salentine had an 18-yard run for another first down.  Crookston was called for a 10-yard holding penalty on the next play and a play later, another 10-yard penalty (block to the back) was called on the Pirates stalling the momentum they created.  The next pass was incomplete, two runs for a loss of eight yards and after another Pirate penalty they had to punt the ball on a fourth and 38 situation.  “We imploded,” said Pirate Coach Scott Butt. “We want to play aggressive, but we also have to play smart and to beat a team like West Central Area you can’t do that and beat yourself.”
West Central Area got the ball back with 5:01 left in the game and marched the ball down the field with an 11-yard run from Jaden Norby.  A couple of plays later Norby found Mark Adams for a 16-yard pass and five plays later Norby found a wide-open Gage Staples (a cousin of Crookston’s Ethan Boll) for a 22-yard pass down to the one-yard line.  On the next play, Norby scored on a one-yard run to give the Knights the lead with 15.6 seconds left in the game.  Norby converted the two-point conversion with a run, and the Knights led 14-6.  “We wanted to score, but not too quick,” said WCA Coach
Nate Wood.  “Really, the final drive was Jaden Norby.  He is our playmaker so we put the ball in his hands and he made some big plays for us.”  Crookston ran a hook and ladder on their first play and ran out of bounds with seven seconds left.  On the last play of the game, Salentine handed the ball off to Ben Andringa who threw a pass across the middle of the field hand West Central Area’s Connor Nadgwick intercepted the pass to seal the 14-6 West Central Area victory.  “We figured what the heck and were hoping for pass interference or something like that,” said Coach Butt. “It didn’t happen, but we can take a lot of good things from the game tonight.”

West Central Area came into the game outscoring their first two opponents 119-0 (Thief River Falls and Wadena-Deer Creek) and improve to 3-0 on the year. Crookston drops to 0-3 on the year and will travel to #2 ranked Barnesville on Friday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
West Central Area 0 6 0 8 14
CROOKSTON 6 0 0 0 6


1st Quarter
9:42 –  Crookston –  Leyton Salentine 27 yard run  (kick failed)

2nd Quarter
1:12 –  West Central – Jaden Norby 6 yard run  (run failed)

3rd Quarter
No Scoring

4th Quarter
0:16 –  West Central – Jaden Norby 1 yard run  (Jaden Norby run)

Rushing Yards 147 120
Passing Yards 26 89
Total Yards 173 209
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
First Downs 10 17
Penalties-Yards 6-40 4-30
Punts 3-92 0-0



CROOKSTON West Central Area
Rushing Rushing
Ethan Boll   19-53 Jaden Norby   17-83
Leyton Salentine  14-96 Braden Overson   9-29
Jacob Hesby   5- (-2) Jordan Lohse   6-4
Mark Adams   3-10
Anthony Sykora  2-(-5)
  Hunter Norby  1-(-1)
Passing Passing
Leyton Salentine  5-9-1 Jaden Norby  7-11-2
Ben Andringa  0-1-1
Receiving Receiving
Ethan Boll   2-17 Gage Staples  4-55
Jacob Miller  2-4 Tate Christianson  2-18
Quinn Westlake  1-5 Mark Adams  1-16