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Class AA Semifinals Chatfield 22, Barnesville 18

Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 5:32 PM

A fifth berth in a Prep Bowl championship game didn’t appear to be likely for the Chatfield team in the Class AA semifinals against Barnesville on Thursday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium. Barnesville had been in control and had kept the Gophers at bay, maintaining a lead throughout. But that all changed in a stunning turn of events.

Chatfield staged a stunning rally with two touchdowns in the second half to post a dramatic 22-18 victory over the Trojans to earn its first spot in the Prep Bowl Championship game since emerging as the Class AA champion in 2013. Sophomore quarterback Parker Delaney was pressed into service in the second half and sparked the Gophers (12-1) with two long touchdown passes. The clincher was a 47-yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Luke Carrier with 2:21 remaining. He then hit junior tight end Drew O’Connor with a two-point conversion pass.

On the ensuing kickoff, Barnesville junior running back Braeden Bredman fumbled near midfield and Chatfield senior Mason Clemons recovered. Moments later, Delaney responded with a 48-yard run, but just prior to crossing into the end zone, he fumbled, and Barnesville recovered with 1:04 remaining. But the Gophers promptly answered with two sacks and an interception by junior defensive back Eli Hopp. All Chatfield had to do to end the dizzying finish was to kneel down.

Delaney completed 7 of 17 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. In the third quarter, he pulled Chatfield to within 18-14 on a 32-yard scoring pass from Delaney to junior wide receiver Isaac Erding.

Barnesville (9-3) had built an 18-8 lead when Braeden scored on a 15-yard run with 4:01 elapsed in the third quarter.

Barnesville built a 12-0 lead after 12 minutes of play behind two touchdowns from senior quarterback Noah Krause. He opened the scoring on a 16-yard strike to Bredman with 6:43 left in the first quarter. Just more than three minutes later, Krause struck again on a 70-yard scoring run. But the Gophers climbed to within 12-8 in the second quarter after a three-yard run by junior quarterback Sam Backer. Chatfield quickly added the two-point conversion on a successful passing play and that set the score for the first half.

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