Football: Warriors rally for first victory of season
Warriors 28, Apollo 21 The key: Brainerd's Luke Wiskow intercepted the Eagles' final drive with 1:15 left to preserve the victory Subdistrict: Brd 1-0, SC 0-1 Overall: Brd 1-1, SC 1-1 Next: Willmar at Brainerd 7 p.m. Friday. ST. CLOUD--Two crucia...
Warriors 28, Apollo 21
The key: Brainerd's Luke Wiskow intercepted the Eagles' final drive with 1:15 left to preserve the victory
Subdistrict: Brd 1-0, SC 0-1
Overall: Brd 1-1, SC 1-1
Next: Willmar at Brainerd 7 p.m. Friday.
ST. CLOUD-Two crucial defensive stands and prolific running by Charlie Geraets enabled the Brainerd Warriors to rally for a 28-21 victory over the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles Friday at Michie Field.
With two minutes remaining and trailing 21-20, Brainerd rose to its biggest defensive challenge. Apollo started from its 24 and moved to midfield where on first and 10 Warriors' defensive back Luke Wiskow intercepted quarterback Joey Atkinson with 1:15 left to preserve the North Central Red Subdistrict and Section 8-5A victory.
Brainerd's first defensive stand came on Apollo's second possession. Apollo marched from its 35 to the Warriors' 2 where four plays netted 1 yard. On fourth and goal from the 1, the Warriors stonewalled Apollo running back Brice Schaefer and regained possession.
"The first one was incredible," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said of his team's defensive stands. "I think it was first and goal on about the 3. That was pretty good for an inexperienced outfit. They've got a big offensive line and a pretty good ballclub.
"I'm pleased. I did not want them to have the ball again, I'll tell you that, but we made some plays."
A few of them were generated by Geraets who rambled for 243 yards on 35 attempts and scored three touchdowns. His most clutch TD was a 16-yard run with 8:11 left and preceded his 2-point conversion run that put Brainerd ahead by the final score.
"For how much we're overwhelmed up front (weight-wise) I think a lot of credit goes to Charlie," Stolski said.
"But I thought it was a team effort all the way," Stolski added. "Our kids played pretty well. I thought (quarterback) Will Peabody had a decent game. Our offensive line hung in there. I think we grew up a lot tonight because that Apollo team is pretty good."
Wiskow provided considerable defensive spark, recovering a fumble to go with his interception.
"He's a heck of a player," Stolski said.
Apollo quarterback Joey Atkinson had a heck of a game, throwing for 238 yards and two TDs. He completed 14 of 26 passes.
Brainerd opened the scoring on its first possession, driving 63 yards in four plays capped by Peabody's 15-yard keeper. He finished with 16 rushes for 74 yards.
Wiskow set the stage for the Warriors' next TD when he recovered a fumble and returned it 39 yards to the Apollo 21. Four plays later Geraets jammed into the end zone from a yard out. Peabody passed to Max Zimmerman for the 2-point conversion and it was 14-0 Brainerd.
On the ensuing kickoff, Apollo's Peter Nelson scooped up the ball at his 16 and bolted 84 yards along the sideline for a score. The first of three John Blommel extra-point kicks brought the Eagles to within seven points.
With 2:46 left in the first half, the Eagles tied it as they covered 80 yards in six plays culminating with a 53-yard pass from Atkinson to Jonh Sithamat.
Geraets enabled Brainerd to regain the lead 24 seconds before halftime as he rammed in for a score from 2 yards out.
On the last play of the third quarter, Apollo surged in front 21-20 as Atkinson connected with Nelson for an 11-yard TD pass.
That Apollo score set the stage for Geraets' third touchdown run and Wiskow's interception.
Brainerd 14 6 0 8-28
Apollo 7 7 7 0-21
Brd-Will Peabody 22 run (kick fails) 9:37
Brd-Charlie Geraets 1 run (Max Zimmerman pass from Peabody) 0:16
SC-Peter Nelson 84 kickoff return (John Blommel kick) 3.4
SC-Jonh Sithamat 53 pass from Joey Atkinson (John Blommel kick) 2:46
Brd-Geraets 2 run (kick fails) 0:24
SC-Nelson 8 pass from Atkinson (John Blommel kick) 0:00
Brd-Geraets 16 run (Geraets run) 8:11
Rushes-yards: Brd 57-320, SC 31-147
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Brd 2-7-0-10, SC 14-26-1-238
Total offense: Brd 330, SC 385
Rushing: Brd-Will Peabody 16-74, Charlie Geraets 35-243, Max Zimmerman 1-7, McCale Peterson 3-12; SC-Joey Atkinson 7-44, Schannon Spears 9-72, Nick Gill 11-33
Passing: Brd-Will Peabody 2-7-0-10; SC-Joey Atkinson 14-26-1-238
Receiving: Brd-Max Zimmerman 2-10; SC-Peter Nelson 5-71, James Blommel 4-47, Jayden Lister 2-36, John Sithamat 2-79