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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Warriors host state runner-up Lumberjacks

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For the second time in four weeks, the Brainerd Warriors will face an opponent that played in a 2011 state championship game.

Friday’s foe, the Bemidji Lumberjacks, lost to the Rocori Spartans 17-10 in the Class 4A championship game at the Metrodome. In their opener this fall, the Warriors lost to Rocori 48-28.

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Like Brainerd, the Lumberjacks are 2-1 and coming off a close win last week. Bemidji beat Duluth East 14-7 while the Warriors defeated Willmar 21-14.

The Lumberjacks return eight individuals who started or played on last season’s 11-1 team.

“Bemidji has a nice team again,” Warriors coach Ron Stolski said. “They’re probably the best team we’ve seen since Rocori. They’re well-coached. They present a lot of problems defensively. They’re another spread, option team. They return a number of good players from last year’s state runner-up team.

“From what we’ve seen they’re a good ballclub on both sides of the ball. They’re just sound and solid. They do a nice job, particularly offensively, of creating dilemmas.”

Many members of the Jacks’ runner-up football team experienced success in other sports in 2011-12.

“Last year was a great year for the Lumberjacks all the way around, those kids accomplished a lot,” Bemidji coach Troy Hendricks said. “I’m real proud of the effort those kids put in. We hope they set the benchmark for our kids to continue to strive for.”

Hendricks’ sophomore son, James, replaces his graduate brother, Mitch, as the starter at quarterback. James has completed 16 of 30 passes for 262 yards and three TDs. He also is a threat to run with 126 yards rushing and a score.

Tanner Boes leads the Bemidji running game with 35 attempts, 216 yards and two TDs. Brady Schmidt has gained 137 yards with two scores.

Jaylen Ingalls leads Lumberjacks receivers with seven catches for 124 yards, Alex Fenson has five grabs for 83 and Connor McNallan has three receptions for 30.

“Offensively, we feel like we’ve got a lot of skill, somewhat similar to last year in some respects, but maybe not to the same degree,” Troy Hendricks said. “We have kids who can make plays if we can get them the ball.

“We like the way Jaylen Ingalls is coming along. Connor McNallan is the goalie on the soccer team. We think he’s got real upside, he’s improving every week. Brady Schmidt is back at running back. Tanner Boes is a horse at running back. He has as good of hips as anyone I’ve coached here at Bemidji. He runs the ball with a purpose.”

Three players who received game time in 2011 return in the offensive line. Defense, Hendricks said, has been a learning process.

“We’re trying to figure out who goes where,” he said. “We moved Dylan Dickinson from outside to inside linebacker this year. Schmitz started last year at outside linebacker and is still there. Those two are our main cogs there. Richard Seado played safety last year, is a cornerback this year and has been playing well.”

The Warriors shoot for their third straight win Friday. Quarterback Luke Boran is a dual threat with 327 yards passing and three TDs and 195 yards rushing with three scores. Conor Gessell is the leading rusher with 207 yards and three TDs. Logan Davis has added 185 yards and three scores.

Cole Smith leads the receivers with 11 for 143 yards. Isaiah Smith and Grant Reuer have each caught six passes for a combined three TDs.

Cole Smith is also the leading tackler with 40 from his defensive back spot. Linebackers Winston Fenske and Slade Simpson have 39 and 37, respectively. Reuer has picked off three passes.

“We always know Brainerd is going to be a great opponent, a midseason checkpoint to see where we’re at,” Hendricks said. “Whether it’s at Brainerd or Bemidji it doesn’t matter. We will have to strap it on, play a physical brand of football and play with more consistency than we have. If we do that, it will be a great game. If we don’t, we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

■ Lineups

Brainerd Warriors

OFFENSE

QB: 11-Luke Boran, 12-Thomas Stoxen, 15-Logan McElfresh

RB: 23-Logan Davis, 22-Conor Gessell, 10-Mason Severson, 24-Matt Ramerth, 26-Matt Sucik

WR: 2-Isaiah Smith, 7-Grant Reuer, 18-Geoff Sheflo, 81-Quinn McElfresh

SR: 8-Logan Jones, 31-Cole Smith

TE: 15-Logan McElfresh, 54-Alex Mimmack

C: 64-Billy Desrocher, 57-Zach Shepersky, 50-Wyll Erickson

G: 63-Jon Asprey, 57-Zach Shepersky, 54-Alex Mimmack, 65-Andrew Seglem, 77-Zach Thomas

T: 67-Alex DeRosier, 68/87-Alex Evanson, 62-Andy Meierhofer, 75-James Weiss

DEFENSE

Line: 55-Jace Engelmann, 88-Chris Bowman, 73-Eric Uphoff, 54-Alex Mimmack, 96-Chris Laber, 95-Lee Birchem, 78-Sam Adams, 66-Zach Hatcher

OLB: 36-T.J. Graumann, 33-Jake Donnay, 27-Troy Lenz, 33-Cole DeRosier

ILB: 34/52-Slade Simpson, 53-Sam Kelash, 30-Taylor Scheidenberger, 15-Logan McElfresh, 47-Winston Fenske

CB: 31-Cole Smith, 7-Grant Reuer, 12-Thomas Stoxen, 17-Beau Janousek, 20-Cody Mihok

S: 16-Trevor Maier, 31-Cole Smith

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punter: 15-Logan McElfresh

Kicker: 15-Logan McElfresh

Punt return: 23-Logan Davis, 2-Isaiah Smith

Kickoff return: 23-Logan Davis, 22-Conor Gessell

Long snap: 33-Jake Donnay, 17-Beau Janousek

Holder: 11-Luke Boran, 12-Thomas Stoxen

■ Bemidji

Lumberjacks

OFFENSE

QB: 1-James Hendricks

WR: 4-Connor McNallan

WR: 12-Alex Fenson

WR: 14-Jaylen Ingalls

RB: Brady Schmidt

RB: 33-Tanner Boes

T: 51-Alex Johnson

G: 64-William Deer

C: 71-Hunter Weidenborner

G: 72-Patrick Voss

T: 78-Gaeton Roy

DEFENSE

S: 7-Nicholas Gubbels

CB: 9-Nick Hovila

S: 15-Sam Bruestle

LB: 16-Jeremiah Huseby

LB: 20-Dylan Dickinson

CB: 23-Richard Seado

OLB: 30-Brady Schmidt

OLB: 48-Troy Sauceda

E: 49-Josh Misco

NG: 79-Lucas Goins

E: 81-Roman Misco

SPECIAL TEAMS

P: 4-Connor McNallan

K: 31-William Annette

■ Warriors schedule

Aug 31, Rocori, LOST 48-28

Sept 7, St. Cloud Tech, WON 42-28

Sept 14, at Willmar, WON 21-14

Sept 21, Bemidji 7 p.m.

Sept 28, at St. Cloud Apollo 7 p.m.

Oct 6, St. Michael-Albertville 2 p.m.

Oct 12, at Grand Rapids 7 p.m.

Oct 17, at Alexandria 7 p.m.

■ Central Lakes

Conference

Conf All

Fergus Falls 3-0 3-0

Rocori 3-0 3-0

Sartell 2-0 3-0

Brainerd 2-1 2-1

St. Cloud Tech 1-1 2-1

Willmar 0-2 1-2

St. Cloud Apollo 0-2 0-3

Sauk Rapids 0-2 0-3

Alexandria 0-3 0-3

Sept. 14 results

Brainerd 21, Willmar 14

Fergus Falls 48, Alexandria 35

Rocori 35, Apollo 18

Sartell 28, Sauk Rapids 0

Tech 47, Grand Rapids 35

Friday, Sept. 21

Willmar at Rocori

Tech at Sauk Rapids

Non-conference

Fergus Falls at Moorhead

Sartell at Grand Rapids

Bemidji at Brainerd

Saturday, Sept. 22

Apollo at Alexandria

■ Section 5-6A

Section All

Osseo 3-0 3-0

Anoka 0-0 2-1

Brainerd 0-0 2-1

Blaine 0-1 2-1

Maple Grove 0-1 2-1

Champlin Park 0-0 1-2

Coon Rapids 0-0 0-3

Centennial 0-1 0-3

Sept. 14 results

Brainerd 21, Willmar 14

Osseo 35, Blaine 14

Totino Grace 43, Anoka 29

Maple Grove 28, Elk River 25

Champlin Park 48, Park Center 12

Andover 34, Coon Rapids 13

Eden Prairie 49, Centennial 12

Friday, Sept. 21

Bemidji at Brainerd

Osseo at Robbinsdale Armstrong

Anoka at Centennial

Blaine at Maple Grove

Champlin Park at Coon Rapids

■ Warriors statistics

THREE GAMES

RUSHING Att Yds Avg TD

Conor Gessell 41 207 5.0 3

Luke Boran 42 195 4.6 3

Logan Davis 53 185 3.5 1

Matt Ramerth 2 14 7.0 0

Thomas Stoxen 3 14 4.7 0

Ma. Severson 2 10 5.0 0

Matt Sucik 1 6 6.0 0

Team 3 -22 -7.3 0

PASSING Com Att Yds TD

Luke Boran 27 47 327 3

Thomas Stoxen 2 4 25 0

RECEIVING No Yds Avg TD

Cole Smith 11 143 13.0 0

Isaiah Smith 6 97 16.2 2

Grant Reuer 6 64 10.7 1

Logan Davis 4 48 12.0 0

Logan Jones 3 32 10.7 0

Conor Gessell 0 0 0.0 0

Alex Evanson 0 0 0.0 0

SCORING TD 2PT EPK TP

Conor Gessell 4 0 0 24

Luke Boran 3 0 0 18

Lo. McElfresh 0 0 13 13

Isaiah Smith 2 0 0 12

Grant Reuer 2 0 0 12

Logan Davis 2 0 0 12

Fumble recoveries: Sam Kelash 1, Jake Donnay 1, Cole Smith 1

Interceptions: Reuer 3, Thomas Stoxen 1,

Season tackle leaders: Cole Smith 40, Winston Fenske 39, Slade Simpson 37

Points per-game average: Brainerd 30.3, opposition 30.0

Yards per game average: Brainerd 338.3, opposition 344.0

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