Football: Dramatic TD pass enables Warriors to beat Spuds
Warriors 27, Spuds 22 The key: Brainerd benefited from six Moorhead turnovers Subdistrict: Brd 4-0, M 2-2 Overall: Brd 4-1, M 2-3 Next: Alexandria at Brainerd 2 p.m. Oct. 8. In a game in which they caused numerous turnovers and recorded a safety,...
Warriors 27, Spuds 22
The key: Brainerd benefited from six Moorhead turnovers
Subdistrict: Brd 4-0, M 2-2
Overall: Brd 4-1, M 2-3
Next: Alexandria at Brainerd 2 p.m. Oct. 8.
In a game in which they caused numerous turnovers and recorded a safety, the Brainerd Warriors needed a frantic finish to defeat the Moorhead Spuds 27-22 at Adamson Field Friday.
Trailing 22-21 with 1:59 to play, Brainerd started from its 17 and made a first down on a 12-yard completion from quarterback Will Peabody to Max Boran. Peabody was hurt on the play, thrusting sophomore quarterback Sam Miller into the game.
Miller's first pass was incomplete, but his next one went for 14 yards to Boran which set up one of the most dramatic plays in Warrior football history.
On first and 10 from the Moorhead 43, Miller dropped back to pass and fired deep down the middle of the field. The pass appeared to be long but it ricocheted off the helmet of a Moorhead player and into the hands of Pat Gervenak who streaked to the end zone for a 57-yard score with 1:17 remaining.
"I didn't really see it at first," Gervenak said. "I saw it drop, I caught it, and I just went."
Moorhead had one final possession and under duress from the Warrior defense threw four incomplete passes and the Warriors secured their fourth straight victory.
Brainerd improved to 4-0 in the North Central Red Subdistrict and 4-1 in Section 8-5A.
"What a great effort by the kids," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said. "We certainly could have quit. What a debut by Sam Miller. (Moorhead was) obviously really focused on our running game with Charlie Geraets so Will Peabody had a heck of night.
"I'm just just really proud of this team. I think this is going to go down as another one of our (great) ballgames."
The Warrior defense was outstanding for the fourth straight week. Tanner Stenglein and Luke Wiskow intercepted passes, Wiskow and Taylor Ludwig recovered fumbles and Devan Liebeg delivered a sack.
"I thought our defense played outstanding," Stolski said. "(Moorhead is) a really good club."
Brainerd scored on the game's first possession, a 1-yard run by Geraets who had a 19-yard rush during the series. Peabody, who finished with 128 yards on 17 carries, darted 24 yards for another first down.
The Spuds tied it 7-7 on their opening possession which culminated with Sam Grove's 1-yard TD dive.
On the second play of the second quarter, Moorhead surged in front 14-7 on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Bailey Life to Carter Howell who hauled in a 27-yard reception during the drive.
On their next possession, the ball was snapped over the head of Spuds' punter Brady Leach who managed to get off a short punt that Brainerd recovered at the Spuds' 9. On fourth and goal from the 9, the Warriors pulled a little trickery. Peabody pitched to Geraets who rolled right and threw back to his left to a wide open Peabody for the score and Brainerd trailed 14-13 at the half.
Stenglein's interception and 31-yard return gave Brainerd the ball at the Moorhead 34. Four plays later, Peabody hit Max Zimmerman for a 7-yard TD and the Warriors vaulted ahead 19-14.
Leach attempted a 32-yard field goal on the Spuds' next possession but the ball tailed wide right with 3:12 left in the third quarter.
Another errant snap over Leach's head on the Spuds' next drive resulted in a safety and a 21-14 Warrior advantage.
But the Spuds didn't roll over. With 3:45 left to play, Brainerd fumbled a punt and the Spuds recovered at the Warriors' 38. Seven plays later, Howell caught a 12-yard TD pass from Life. The Spuds gambled and Life passed to Howell for the 2-point conversion and a 1-point Moorhead lead.
Then the boys in blue went on to record another of the most memorable comebacks in program history.
Moorhead 7 7 0 8-22
Brainerd 7 6 6 8-27
Brd-Charlie Geraets 1 run (Zach Henke kick) 7:40
M-Sam Grove 1 run (Brady Leach kick) 4:50
M-Carter Howell 5 pass from Bailey Life (Leach kick) 11:19
Brd-Will Peabody 9 pass from Geraets (kick fails) 6:37
Brd-Max Zimmerman 7 pass from Peabody (run fails) 7:59
Brd-Safety, punt snapped out of end zone 11:08
M-Howell 12 pass from Life (Howell pass from Life) 1:59
Brd-Pat Gervenak 57 pass from Sam Miller (pass fails) 1:17
Rushing yards: Brd 183, M 177
Passing yards: Brd 106, M 83
Total offense: Brd 289, M 260
Rushing: Brd-Will Peabody 17-128, Charlie Geraets 23-42, Max Zimmerman 1-1, Jacob Ebinger 1-20; Moor-Otis Weah 19-72, Cole O'Connell 6-43, Sam Grove 12-39
Passing: Brd-Will Peabody 5-13-35, Sam Miller 2-3-71; Moor-Bailey Life 8-20-83
Receiving: Brd-Max Zimmerman 2-17, Pat Gervenak 1-57, Max Boran 2-23, Brandon Burggraff 1-9, Will Peabody 1-9; Moor-Carter Howell 6-57