Field goal lifts Esko to Section 7AAA title, state tournament

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On Thursday, undefeated Esko football fought to return to the state tournament for the second time in three years. The Section 7AAA semifinals kicked off at Malosky Stadium, home of the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs, with Esko needing their second win of the season over Aitkin to take the title.

Eskomo’s Ty Christensen handed the ball off to Makoi Perich who, on a 74-yard touchdown run gave Esko the first lead of the game 7-0. Nolan Witt would tack on another touchdown in the second quarter to lead 14-0.

Carson Kullhem would get Aitkin on the board before halftime, trailing 14-8. In the third quarter he’d take in the tying touchdown to knot it up 14-14.

Late in the fourth quarter it’d come down to a field goal with Esko’s Wyatt Stankiewicz putting it straight through the uprights to win 17-14.

"I knew that I had to make it I knew that it’d come down to that," shared the Junior kicker after the win. "My friends always come up to me, saying that you’re going to be the reason why we win a game. And this was the game."

"We knew this was going to come down to the wire. We were talking to the coach before the game, this is kind of the games we play. So it’s kind of what we expected what we prepared for," shared Head Coach Scott Arntson.

Esko improves to 10-0 on the season and will kickoff state tournament action November 11.