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High School Football: Warriors to open against high-octane Bison

An offensive juggernaut awaits the Brainerd Warriors when they open the football season at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Buffalo against the high-octane Bison.

Left-handed quarterback Aidan Bouman, who has verbally committed to Iowa State University entering his junior high school season, is the centerpiece of the Bison's offense. According to Minnesota Football Hub, during the 2017 regular season, Bouman completed 141 of 257 passes (54.9 percent) for 2,141 yards and 16 scores. He averaged 267.6 yards per game and was intercepted eight times.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Bouman is one of many Buffalo offensive weapons. His top three receivers from a year ago return including Treyton Welch, Jack Munsterteiger and Joe McNamara.

Welch, a 6-4, 210-pound senior, caught 51 passes for 872 yards (17.1 per catch) with 11 TDs. He averaged 109 yards per game and, according to the Star Tribune, has received offers from North Dakota State University and Northern Iowa. He was named to the Star Tribune's Preseason All-Metro Dream Team.

Munsterteiger (5-10, 175) made 25 receptions for 347 yards (13.9 average) with two TDs. McNamara (6-0, 183) added 25 catches for 540 yards (21.6) average and three TDs.

Senior running back Riley Habisch (5-10, 195) also returns. He rushed for 861 yards and 12 TDs last fall.

Blockers for those skill position players include left tackle Hunter Poncius, a 6-foot-8, 275-pound senior who's given a verbal commitment to North Dakota State University.

Last season the teams met for the first time since 2010 and Brainerd rallied for a 30-23 season-opening victory at Adamson Field. The Warriors trailed 23-22 in the fourth quarter. On second and 10 at the Brainerd 49, quarterback Sam Miller handed off to running back Charlie Geraets, who carried out a fake as he ran toward the sideline. Geraets then stood and passed to Max Boran, who turned it into a 45-yard gain to the Buffalo 4. Two plays later, Geraets rammed into the end zone from the 1 with 1:48 remaining.

The victory was Stolski's 300th as Brainerd's head coach.

In that game, Bouman completed 16 of 34 passes for 199 yards and two scores. Welch had six catches for 112 yards and a TD, Munsterteiger had four grabs for 47 yards and a score. Habisch ran for 123 yards and a TD.

Buffalo, which competed in the North Central (Blue) in 2017, finished 4-5 after losing to Lakeville North in the Class 6-1A playoffs.

Nine Warriors who started in last season's 56-28 Class 5A state semifinal loss to Owatonna at U.S. Bank Stadium and both kickers return this fall.

Brainerd's returning delegation includes wide receiver Pat Gervenak, offensive linemen Jason Jennette, Nate Bessingpas and Brett Hague, defensive linemen Morgan Gibson and Garret Gardiepy, outside linebackers Taylor Ludwig and Braden Kramer and safety Brady Anderson who picked off two passes against Buffalo.

Punter Joe Klang, who played extensively at running back in 2017 and will start there this season, returns as the punter. Zach Henke is back as the placekicker.

Quarterback Sam Miller, who started a few games as a freshman and a half-dozen last year, is back as the starter.

Brainerd finished 9-3 in 2017, losing only to St. Cloud Tech and Sauk Rapids during the regular season. The Warriors won seven straight after the loss at Sauk Rapids, including a 23-14 win over Alexandria for the Section 8-5A title and a 24-7 win over St. Louis Park in the state quarterfinals.

The Warriors scrimmaged last weekend at Minnetonka against the Skippers, Champlin Park and Eastview.

"We did not back down," Stolski said. "I was pleased with the scrimmage. We made a few mental errors but fundamentally we played well. We got out healthy which every coach wants to do.

"We have a great relationship with those people. Champlin Park won their section last year and we went toe to toe with them."

Warriors roster

No., name, position, grade

2-Braden Kramer, LB, 12

5-Taylor Ludwig, LB, 12

7-Sam Miller, QB, 12

8-Patrick Gervanak, DB, 12

10-Brett Besenfelder, WR, 11

11-Levi McDonald, DB, 12

12-Isaiah Windorski, QB, 10

14-Zach Benes, DB, 12

15-Jack Olson, DB, 12

16-Joey Wiskow, DB, 11

17-Jacob Dreitz, DB, 11

18-Dalton Hamre, WR, 11

20-Brady Anderson, DB, 12

21-Bryson Bassett, RB, 12

22-Ben Staehling, DB, 11

23-Owen Davis, DB, 11

24-Gabe Smith, WR, 12

25-Joe Klang, RB, 12

26-Davon Stuckey, DB, 11

27-Devin Emslander, DB, 11

28-Josh McLain, LB, 11

30-Tommy Fickett, LB, 12

31-John Barr, DB, 12

32-Caleb Nagel, DB, 11

34-Nathaniel Staehling, QB, 9

35-Jack Lundstrom, RB, 10

36-Jon Nelson, WR, 12

37-Erik Stoxen, QB, 10

38-Brandt Patton, RB, 10

40-Forest Gibson, LB, 10

41-Mark Boran, DB, 12

42-Steven Pribula, RB, 10

43-Harry Carlson, DB, 10

44-Devlin Lamke, DB, 12

45-Morgan Gibson, DL, 12

46-Maxwell Ferrie, LB, 11

47-Calvin Foss, DB, 12

48-Donald Neadeau, RB, 11

50-Aden Crabb, DL, 10

51-Ethan Strong, OL, 10

52-Andrew Thielke, LB, 10

53-Brett Hague, OL, 12

54-Zach Sunderland, LB, 10

55-Simon Nelson, LB, 11

56-Nathan Bessingpas, OL, 12

57-Garret Gardiepy, DL, 12

58-Fletcher Derosier, DL, 12

60-Isaac Chappuis, OL, 12

61-Ryan Cook, OL, 10

64-Cameron Olson, OL, 12

65-Damian Unzueta, OL, 10

66-Jason Jennette, OL, 12

67-Logan Thede, DL, 11

68-Nic Smith, OL, 10

71-John Berry, OL, 11

71-Issac Chappuis, OL, 12

72-Nick Schneider, OL, 11

72-Nolan Reynolds, OL, 10

74-Tate Lodermeier, DL, 10

75-Brady Seidl, OL, 12

76-Blake Schibonski, DL, 11

77-Elijah Rock, OL, 10

78-Nicholas Moline, DL, 11

80-Dylan Mello, LB, 12

81-Zach Henke, K, 12

82-Aaron Stark, DB, 10

83-Simon Foss, DB, 10

84-Renzen Caughey, WR, 12

85-Caden Schoeppner, LB, 10

86-Parrion Taylor, RB, 10

87-Jacob Smith, WR, 10

88-Cole Beyer, WR, 10

89-Dustin Kraft, WR, 10

90-Manni Ukutegbe, DL, 11

91-Matthew Kelm, DL, 10

92-Mac Eigen, DL, 10

93-Winter, Isaac, DL, 12

94-Max Olson, DL, 10

95-Elias Lies, DL, 12

96-D'Khori Sturkey, DL, 10

97-Logan Hurt, DL, 10

99-Mason Zebroski, LB, 10

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