EAST GRAND FORKS -- Determined to resurrect their offense Saturday in their game with Northland Community College, the Minnesota West Bluejays accomplished their goal. But the bigger goal -- a victory -- eluded them in a 56-36 loss to the Pioneers.
Minnesota West's offense was in gear. But the defense couldn't hold the Pioneers, who passed for 402 yards and rushed for 170.
The first half was tight; Northland led just 26-23 at the break. But the home team outscored the visitors 30-13 in the second half.
In the week leading up to the game, Bluejays head coach Jeff Linder made a change at quarterback, inserting Caleb Tinklenberg into the spot for Frank Cromer, who started the previous game. Tinklenberg was very productive, passing for four touchdowns, running for another and booting a 20-yard field goal.
The former Pipestone Area Arrow, in fact, accounted for all of West's scores. He kicked three PATs, too.
Tinklenberg made good on a 20-yard field goal attempt to get the Jays' scoring started. Then he completed touchdown passes to Terryon Bumpus covering six yards and to Reginald Colson III covering three yards. Next, he ran in from nine yards out. Two more TD passes came on a 12-yard strike to Blaize Williams and a 65-yard score, again to Williams.
For the game, Tinklenberg completed 19 of 31 passes for 231 yards, with two interceptions. The Bluejays had just 15 net rushing yards.
Saturday's loss is the third in a row for Minnesota West, now 2-4 on the season.
Minnesota West 3 20 7 6 -- 36
Northland 8 18 12 18 -- 56