Football: All three phases lead Warriors to homecoming win

Sometimes all you need is a good friend. Chris Pederson relied on his "Good buddy" Allen Jevning for some keen advice. Cole Spieker's coaches wouldn't let him hang his head after a dropped catch. The Brainerd Warriors never lost faith in Jaquon C...

Sometimes all you need is a good friend.

Chris Pederson relied on his "Good buddy" Allen Jevning for some keen advice.

Cole Spieker's coaches wouldn't let him hang his head after a dropped catch.

The Brainerd Warriors never lost faith in Jaquon Cogshell after allowing two early catches.



Warriors 42, Tech 21

  • Key: Brainerd scored on all three phases
  • Conf: Brd 4-1, Tech 1-4
  • Overall: Brd 4-1, Tech 1-4
  • Next: Brainerd at Bemidji 7 p.m. Friday


All three returned the favor by making big plays in the Warriors 42-21 homecoming victory over the St. Cloud Tech Tigers Saturday at Adamson Field in Brainerd.

It was a perfect game for Brainerd head coach Ron Stolski, who saw all three phases of the Warriors team contribute to the final score.

"There are a lot of ways to win a game and we spend a lot of time on special teams," said Stolski. "Frankly, we didn't do as well on special teams as we had hoped. Our kickoff coverage wasn't as good as it has been. But it was good to see all three phases contribute. When that happens you have a good chance to win."

After falling down 7-0, the Warriors managed to force the Tigers to punt on their second possession. The long booming punt landed in the hands of Pederson who sprinted across the field to find his wall of blockers. Once he reached them it was clear sailing as the junior strided for a 70-yard touchdown return.

"My buddy Allen was talking to me and told me that I had room to catch it," said Pederson. "I just followed my blockers all the way to the end zone. It was a big play. We got going a little bit and got the team riled up a little bit."

Tech outgained Brainerd in the first half 135 to 103, but Pederson's punt return was a momentum shift. The junior also closed the door on Tech's only other quality scoring opportunity near the end of the half when he broke up a pass at the end zone on fourth down.


"I just read it and watched their receiver go deep," Pederson said. "I was looking at the quarterback's eyes and made a play on the ball."

Evan Brecht handed the lead for good as he broke through the line of scrimmage and turned the corner for a 39-yard touchdown run.

Brainerd's next possession was a 10-play 54-yard drive capped off by Quinn McElfresh getting past the Tech secondary and hauling in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hanson Devine. The pass play resulted in a 21-7 Warrior halftime lead.

The third quarter belonged to Cole Spieker and Devine. The two connected on two touchdown passes, but not before Tech opened the second half with a 72-yard touchdown strike to Jake Martig from Chris Backes. Martig finished with 7 catches for 140 yards.

"You just can't go nuts because something happened," Stolski said. "I've never wanted a team to see me get rattled. If they see me hollering it's because we didn't do something fundamentally right. It's not because the other guy did something right. The other guy is playing, too. So we like to try and keep our poise. We coach poise out here."

Brainerd was poised as it drove 79 yards on eight plays capped off by Spieker's first touchdown.

"Everyone on the sideline has my back," said Spieker about coming back from an earlier drop. "They just told me that they believe in me. So the first touchdown it was just a corner route. It was man coverage and I beat him on an inside move and caught it over him."

Spieker finished with three receptions for 47 yards. He had another touchdown called back on Brainerd's next possession for an illegal man downfield. He made up for it on Brainerd's next drive as he and Devine connected from 20 yards out.


"I talked to Spieker," said Stolski. "You rarely see Spieker drop two balls. And he was down. I told him, 'look, you've got a whole half and you're going to come back and make some plays.' And by gosh if he didn't come back and get a couple."

Then it was Cogshell's turn. The senior defensive back jumped a route, picked off a Backes pass and returned it 34 yards for the touchdown to make it 42-14 early in the fourth.

Brainerd gave up 317 yards of offense, but picked off two passes, with Matt Hill getting the other interception and recovered a fumble. That was the handy work of Josh Howieson.

"I just wanted to make sure I had it in my hands and didn't drop it myself," said Howieson. "We just wanted to play fast and get 11 guys around the ball. They run a lot of sweeps and the goal was to not let that happen. I think we did a good job of that."

Tech's lone victory this season came against winless Grand Rapids in Week Two. Not since opening week of 2008 have the Warriors lost to St. Cloud Tech. That's a string of seven straight wins for Brainerd over the Tigers.

"It's homecoming. It's a big crowd. This feels great," said Howieson

St. Cloud 7 0 7 7 - 21

Brainerd 14 7 14 7 - 42


First quarter

T-Brennan Paulson 5 run (Kaleb Woodman kick) 7:59

B-Chris Pederson 70 punt return (David Saxum kick) 3:45

B-Evan Brecht 39 run (Saxum kick) 1:19

Second quarter

B-Quinn McElfresh 20 pass from Hanson Devine (Saxum kick) 6:22

Third quarter

T-Jake Martig 72 pass from Chris Backes (Woodman kick) 11:42


B-Cole Spieker 22 pass from Devine (Saxum kick) 9:01

B-Spieker 20 pass from Devine (Saxum kick) 3:52

Fourth quarter

B-Jaquon Cogshell 34 interception return (Saxum kick) 7:51

T-Devin Vouk 4 run (Woodman kick) 5:43

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: Brd 31-114 , Tech 39-124

Pass comp-att-int-yds: Brd 11-17-0-124, Tech 15-28-2-193


Total offense: Bred 48-238 Tech 54-317

Individual leaders

Rushing: Brd-Evan Brecht 6-49, Allen Jevning 8-25, Paul Augustinack 11-27, Chris Pederson 1-1, Cole Spieker 1-7, Cole Harmer 1-3, , Zach Winger 1-1, Cooper Tollefson 1-2, Chris Veith 1-(-1) ; Tech-Devin Vouk 15-69, Brennan Paulson 12-33, Andrew Pierskalla 5-19

Passing: Brd-Hanson Devine 9-15-118; Brecht 2-2-6; Tech-Chris Backes 14-26-183

Receiving: Brd-Quinn McElfresh 5-56, Spieker 3-47, Jevning 1-14, Pederson 1-2, Steven Severson 1-5 ; Tech-Jake Martig 7-140, Paulson 6-28

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or . Follow on Twitter at .

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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