Football: Boser brilliant for Pierz Pioneers

Noah Boser Year: Senior School: Pierz Sport: Football Position: Fullback, linebacker, quarterback Highlights: The All-Mid-State District selection rushed for 587 yards and 15 touchdowns on 129 carries (4.6 yards-per-carry average). He caught four...

Pierz Pioneer Noah Boser scores a touchdown in the Class 3A Prep Bowl state football championship at TCF Stadium. (Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls)
Pierz Pioneer Noah Boser scores a touchdown in the Class 3A Prep Bowl state football championship at TCF Stadium. (Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls)

Noah Boser

Year: Senior

School: Pierz

Sport: Football

Position: Fullback, linebacker, quarterback


Highlights: The All-Mid-State District selection rushed for 587 yards and 15 touchdowns on 129 carries (4.6 yards-per-carry average). He caught four passes for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Defensively he finished with 62 tackles (29 solo, 33 assists), 5 sacks, 2 QB hurries, 2 fumble recoveries and three pass breakups.

Pierz senior captain Noah Boser deflecting any credit for helping Pierz win the Class 3A state championship: "I would hate to be one of you guys (media) picking the player of the year because you could have picked seven, eight, nine different players from our team to be player of the year. And you could have 100 reasons to back up why you picked them. It was just a great group of kids and a great group of football players."

Noah Boser should play hockey.

Goalie might be the perfect position for the Pierz Pioneers senior captain. The way the three-year starter deflected credit and praise to his teammates after learning he was named Brainerd Dispatch Player of the Year was commendable and Patrick Roy like.

"It was just a fun ride and we had so many guys step in and play huge," Boser said. "Brett (Kapsner) and Logan (Stangl) at guard. Those two did an absolute phenomenal job. Those two deserve a lot of credit. You go from getting some credit at fullback scoring some touchdowns and gaining some yards to getting absolutely no credit at offensive line. Our offensive line did a great job all year just taking control. Those guys are the heart of our team and they're the reason why we were so successful."

The Pierz Pioneers were more than successful. They were dominant. Pierz finished the regular season 8-0 with a 19-point victory over Paynesville during Week Six, its smallest margin of victory.

Pierz eliminated Foley in the Section 5-3A semifinals 42-6 and won the section with a hard-fought 18-12 win over Annandale.


Then came state and with it injuries. On display, however, was the versatility of Pierz's captain Noah Boser. Prior to the season, Boser switched from halfback to fullback. He wasn't the only player to move to a new position.

"Last year, I played with Jonny Kasper and Robbie (Skiba) and those guys helped me become a better runner, but coach (Leo) Pohlkamp moved me to fullback and he said we needed to make the move because we needed to have me, Brett (Kapsner) and Logan (Stangl) on the field at all times," said Boser. "He said we were three great football players and he needed us on the field at all times. For me it was just a little more blocking than usual.

"I played fullback in seventh and eighth grade so I kind of knew what I was doing. It took me a couple of games to get used to all the blocking I had to do. My teammates were really confident in me that I could do it."

Boser finished the season third on the team with 587 yards rushing on 129 carries for a 4.6 yards-per-carry average. His longest run covered 36 yards, but the 5-foot-10, 190-pound back led Pierz with 15 rushing touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 139 yards and two more touchdowns.

The two halfbacks Boser blocked for - Lane Girtz and Kasper - rushed for 1,046 yards and 873 yards respectively.

But come state tournament time, Boser was asked to do even more. With junior quarterback Aaron Weber nursing an ankle injury and backup quarterback Preston Rocheleau, a sophomore, struggling in his varsity debut, Boser played quarterback in a wildcat formation. The result a 9-0 state quarterfinal victory over third-ranked Albany.

In the state semifinals against another third-ranked Tri-City United, Boser was called upon again to play both fullback and quarterback when Weber re-injuried his ankle and Rocheleau suffered an injury.

Pierz didn't lose a beat and increased its 13-0 halftime lead for a 29-6 victory. Boser rushed for 34 yards and completed a 13-yard pass.


"He played cornerback for us and outside linebacker for us and then when we played a four-man front he would have to slide in and play more of an inside linebacker spot for us," said Pohlkamp. "I just call him Mr. Utility because you have that guy in baseball that can play every position. We were very fortunate to have Noah through the last couple of years. It's nice to have a player on your team that can play so many different spots. You don't think about putting your fullback at quarterback too much."

Pierz clipped Jackson County Central 36-8 to win the Class 3A Prep Bowl title - its second in school history. A healthy Weber allowed Boser to concentrate on running the ball, which he did to the tune of 107 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. The 8.2 yards-per-carry average was only eclipsed in effectiveness by his 49-yard touchdown reception.

"Michael Meyer and Kolton (Eischens) always draw a lot of double and triple teams on play action because as soon as Michael scored that first touchdown all you heard from the defense was there is No. 40. There's No. 40. Three guys were always going with him and Kolton had a safety over him so he was doubled and nobody was left. Everyone was gone and that left the middle of the field wide open and Aaron threw just an absolute amazing ball."

Boser's touchdown catch handed Pierz a 15-8 halftime lead. His next two touchdown runs pushed Pierz to a 29-8 lead and the celebrating was already starting.

"It was an absolute blast seeing all those Pierz fans down there enjoying themselves," said Boser. "It was an awesome experience running across TCF Bank Stadium. It was just crazy. It was just unbelievable."

Boser added a team-high eight tackles and a sack in the championship victory. From his linebacker position he finished the season with 62 total tackles, five sacks, two quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and three pass breakups.

Those numbers were helped by the fact Boser was able to play just one position. Last year, he switched from linebacker to cornerback for a few games because of injuries. Just more evidence of Boser's versatility, football savviness and value to the 13-0 Pioneers.

"It was a lot easier than what I had to do before," Boser said. "The thing that made me better this year was our defensive line. David Skiba and Teddy Dehler would draw so many double teams. Another thing that helped was Brett Kapsner and Lane Girtz. They're juniors so they're younger than me, but they play incredible football. They made Kolton and I rise up because they were playing football and if we weren't they made us look bad."


In Boser's three years as a varsity player, Pierz finished 32-5 with three Section 5-3A titles and three state appearances. He'll likely remember his last game as a Pioneer the most. And if he forgets he recorded it and has already watched it 15 times. His dad has watched it 20 times.

"This team has been awesome and the thing about us - everything we do is together," said Boser. "We eat lunch together. After every game, we watch film at someone's house together. When we have class together we sit by each other. We always try sticking with each other. It's not because we have to. We actually like being with one another. That's one of the biggest things.

"Our whole team was focused every single week. We just did not want to have our last game be a loss. We played every game like it was our last. That was my mentality and that was one of the reasons why we all played so well, including me, was because I just wanted to keep playing football. We just kept playing and playing and then finally we won a state championship."

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or . Follow on Twitter at .

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