GRAND FORKS - When Alex Yanosko had trouble putting together a passing game on Friday, he pulled the ball down and relied on his feet.
The plan worked perfectly.
Minot High School's junior quarterback rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns in the Magicians' 38-7 non-conference win over Grand Forks Central at Cushman Field.
Minot High junior quarterback Alex Yanosko eludes a Grand Forks Central defender during the Magicians' 38-7 win Friday night.
"The plan was to win and that's what we did," he said. "No matter how we had to do it, we just got it done. Throwing it in the air, running it on the ground - it doesn't matter as long as we win."
Minot (2-0) trailed 7-6 toward the end of the first half after a couple of red-zone drives resulted in field goals by junior kicker Ben Love. Central found the end zone early in the second quarter.
But after senior defensive back Cody Haugen picked off a Jake Mussman pass, Yanosko ran the ball in for a 9-yard score to give Minot a 13-7 lead.
Yanosko scored on a 35-yard keeper with 9:05 left in the third as the Magicians put the game away in the second half.
"When we started running up the middle, we were getting 10 yards per carry," Yanosko said. "Why fix something that's not broken? If we can keep picking up 10 yards per carry, then why not keep doing it?"
Later in the third, Yanosko found junior tight end Jacob Holmen for a 4-yard score. Yanosko finished the game 7-of-13 for 62 yards passing and a touchdown.
The MHS defense intercepted four Mussman passes - the most highlight-worthy belonging to junior defensive back Josh Pizzo.
With 1:10 left in the third, Pizzo picked off a deflected pass at his own 35-yard line, fumbled the ball, picked it up and ran it 65 yards for his first career defensive touchdown. The score capped a third quarter where Minot scored 19 of its 32 unanswered points.
Haugen ended up with a pair of interceptions. Sophomore linebacker Alex Mack added another.
"I thought our defense led us tonight," said MHS coach Barry Holmen, Jacob Holmen's father. "I thought they were solid for four quarters."
Junior running back Brady Lampert added a touchdown on a 4-yard run with 4:35 left in the fourth quarter.
The lone touchdown for the Knights (0-2) came on a pass from Mussman to senior receiver Zane Reller. The ball was tipped, but Reller came down with the pass as he was falling on his back into the end zone.
"They wore us down," Central coach Bill Lorenz said.
Minot returns home to face Williston on Friday at 8 p.m.