Football State Tournament, 2022: Semifinals, Day 2
Posted: Friday, November 18, 2022 - 10:47 PM
It was Day 2 of the Minnesota State High School League's football semifinals on Friday, Nov. 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Here is a look at what happened in five semifinal games:
Barnesville has another opportunity to climb that next step to a championship following a convincing 41-12 victory over Jackson County Central in the Class AA semifinals in the first of five games on Friday, Nov. 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
The Trojans (12-0) sprinkled in big-yardage scoring plays with balanced ball control in earning a spot in the Prep Bowl championship game for the fourth time. In three previous berths, Barnesville has been the runner-up three times: 1978 Class B; 2010 Class A; 2018 Class AA. Senior fullback John Roller rushed for 140 yards and scored two touchdowns while junior running back Zachary Bredman chipped in 98 yards for a ground game that churned out 348 yards.
Bredman completed 2 of 3 passes for 105 yards, the highlight a 77-yard strike to junior running back Dawson Gregg in the third quarter that stretched the Trojans’ lead to 35-12. Earlier, Roller had a 39-yard touchdown dash and then a 61-yarder.
Jackson County Central had some highlight-reel heroics as well. Sophomore Ben Dahlin had a nifty 89-yard kickoff return early in the second quarter that drew the Huskies to within 14-6. In the third quarter, freshman Roman Voss had a 49-yard touchdown run.
A handful of hours later, Chatfield completed the Prep Bowl Championship game pairing with a 27-12 victory over Eden Valley-Watkins. The Gophers (12-0) used a 15-point burst in the fourth quarter to snap a tie and earn a chance to defend its Class AA title. Senior quarterback Sam Backer rushed for 150 yards and scored two touchdown on the ground and then completed 7 of 9 passes for 55 yards, two of which went for touchdowns. After the Gophers kept Eden Valley-Watkins (11-1) from converting a fourth down attempt, Chatfield seized the opportunity with a 2-yard pass from Backer to senior running back Luke Carrier. Backer added an insurance TD on a 1-yard run with 44 seconds left in regulation time.
Senior running back Samuel Nistler rushed for 79 yards to pace the Eagles and junior quarterback Nolan Geislinger threw for 127 yards.
Hutchinson started fast and made it last in posting a 42-28 victory over Zimmerman in the Class AAAA semifinals. The Tigers (12-1) scored 20 points before Zimmerman (10-4) could do anything much on offense and that quick start paved the way to a Prep Bowl berth for the second consecutive season and a chance to defend their Class AAAA four crown. Hutchinson faces Simley (11-1) on Dec. 2.
Senior fullback AJ Ladwig rushed for 109 yards and scored three touchdowns for the Tigers’ running game that produced 257 yards on the ground. Senior running back Levi Teetzel.
Zimmerman, which didn’t run an offensive play until the second quarter, climbed to within 20-14 at the half. Senior running back Caden Spence spurred the surge with touchdown runs of 30 and 47 yards, respectively. Spence rushed for 230 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.
But Hutchinson responded with a touchdown by Ladwig and two-point conversion from Teetzel to extend the lead to 28-14 late in the third quarter.
Elk River’s deceptive run-oriented attack was as clever as ever in posting a 38-21 victory over Mahtomedi in the Class AAAAA semifinals on Friday afternoon. The Elks (12-0) rushed for 454 yards and scored five rushing touchdowns over the second and third quarters to race past the Zephyrs (10-2) and into the Prep Bowl championship game for the first time since 2017 when it was the Class AAAAA runner-up. Elk River was the Class AAAAA champion the season prior.
Senior quarterback Cade Osterman led the way with 218 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns, including a 63-yarder that snapped at 14-all tie. His scoring run was part of a spree that turned a 14-7 deficit into a 35-14 lead. Osterman had 148 yards on 10 attempts in the first half. Elk River averaged 7.7 yards per carry.
Mahtomedi looked sharp in the early going by taking a 14-7 lead in a fast-paced first quarter. Senior running back Corey Bohmert opened the scoring on a 64-yard run and, shortly after, junior wide receiver Michael Barry caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Charlie Brandt. Bohmert finished with 119 yards on 18 carries.
Just more 13 hours was completed when Rosemount ended Day 2 of the semifinals with a tense 14-10 victory over Eden Prairie in the big-school semifinals. The Irish (12-0) thrived early and withstood two late potential Eden Prairie drives with key stops and turnovers to earn a berth in the Prep Bowl Championship game on Dec. 2 opposite Maple Grove. It will be Rosemount’s first trip to the Prep Bowl since a runner-up finish to Eden Prairie in 2013.
Junior running back Jackson Ganser and senior running back Jermaine Richardson scored rushing touchdowns in the first half to stake Rosemount to a 14-7 advantage. Eden Prairie had knotted the score at 7-all on a 17-yard run from junior running back Liam Berndt late in the first half, but Rosemount answered quickly on Richardson’s 3-yard run with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.
Only three points were scored in the second half and that was a 39-yard field goal by junior Luca Ratakovich that inched the Eagles closer with more than 10 minutes remaining in regulation. But two later drives in the fourth quarter yielded nothing for Eden Prairie (9-3), including a fumble deep in Rosemount territory with 3:40 remaining. After a quick change of possession, the Eagles were foiled again and had to turn the ball over on downs to the Irish with 18 seconds left in regulation.