Football: Willmar's offense too much for Warriors
Willmar 39, Warriors 20 The key: The Cardinals had 461 total yards to Brainerd's 249 Conference: Brd 1-1, W 2-0 Overall: Brd 1-1, W 2-0 Next: Brainerd at Alexandria 7 p.m. Friday. Willmar running back Michael Heitzman, quarterback Auggie Hahn and...
Willmar 39, Warriors 20
The key: The Cardinals had 461 total yards to Brainerd's 249
Conference: Brd 1-1, W 2-0
Overall: Brd 1-1, W 2-0
Next: Brainerd at Alexandria 7 p.m. Friday.
Willmar running back Michael Heitzman, quarterback Auggie Hahn and veteran linemen in the trenches were too much for the Brainerd Warriors to handle Friday night at Adamson Field.
Heitzman carried 30 times for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Hahn rushed 20 times for 136 yards and a score and passed for two more as the Cardinals defeated Class 5A's second-ranked Brainerd 39-20.
"They're a great 1-2 punch," Willmar coach Jon Konold said. "My coaches keep telling me let's go 2-back with Vaughn (Johnson) and Michael and I say we have two backs in the backfield.
"They're a good-counter action. They had their ups and downs tonight. They could have folded but the big pass down the sideline and the last drive, with Michael running the football and staying in bounds when he could have run out of bounds but he was being smart and being tough."
The Cardinals scored the game's first 19 points but Brainerd stormed back, scoring 20 in a row to seize the lead with 3:30 left in the third. Willmar retaliated by scoring the game's final 20 points and stifled Brainerd's comeback by intercepting the Warriors three times in the second half.
"They're a very good team," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said. "They were a better team than we were tonight, but again our kids played very, very hard. ... They just outplayed us.
"It looked like we came back hard, we never quit obviously. We got some momentum there, but they're a veteran team and we're a very young team and our youth was exposed at a lot of positions."
After Brainerd had seized its first lead, 20-19, on a 2-yard Mitch Rahn run with 3:30 left in the third, Hahn and Max Doering hooked up on a 69-yard bomb and Willmar was back in front 25-20.
Following a Willmar interception, Hahn ran 29 yards for a first down. He capped the drive by hitting Doering again, this time for a 12-yard score. Heitzman's 2-point conversion run gave the Cardinals a 33-20 edge with 10:11 remaining.
Hahn put the game out of reach with a 15-yard TD run with 1:34 left and the Cardinals left Brainerd with their first win over the Warriors since 2000.
Heitzman scored on a 3-yard run on the game's first possession, capping a 66-yard, 13-play march, the only score of the opening quarter.
On the fourth play of the second quarter, Hahn threw a 16-yard TD pass to a falling down Colten Carlson in the end zone and it was 12-0.
Heitzman's 61-yard TD burst along the far sideline with 4:40 left put Willmar in front 19-0 at the half.
Rahn's 5-yard TD run 83 seconds before the half enabled the Warriors to close the deficit to 19-7.
Defensive lineman Josh Howieson almost single-handedly swung the game in Brainerd's favor early in the second half. On Willmar's first play of the half, Howieson leaped and deflected a Hahn pass into his hands and returned it 10 yards to the Willmar 15. On fourth and 14, and needing a spark, the Warriors used a little trickeration as Paul Augustinack threw a halfback pass to Steve Severson for a 19-yard TD and Brainerd trailed just 19-14.
Later in the third, Howieson recovered a Willmar fumble at the Cardinals' 11. Three plays later Rahn scored on a 2-yard run for a 20-19 Warrior lead.
Willmar 6 13 6 14 - 39
Brainerd 0 7 13 0 - 20
W-Michael Heitzman 3 run (run fails) 7:29
W-Colten Carlson 16 pass from Auggie Hahn (pass fails) 10:42
W-Heitzman 61 run (Max Trochlil kick) 4:40
B-Mitch Rahn 5 run (David Saxum kick) 1:23
B-Steve Severson 19 pass from Paul Augustinack (Saxum kick) 11:04
B-Rahn 2 run (pass fails) 3:30
W-Max Doering 69 pass from Hahn (kick fails) 2:52
W-Doering 12 pass from Hahn (Heitzman run) 10:11
W-Hahn 15 run (run fails) 1:34
Rushes-yards: Brd 35-111, W 58-344
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Brd 14-32-3-138, W 5-12-1-117
Total offense: Brd 249, W 461
Rushing: Brd-Paul Augustinack 4-5, Allen Jevning 3-25, Mitch Rahn 17-72, Evan Brecht 6-19, Hanson Devine 3-(-1), Chris Pederson 2-(-2); W-Michael Heitzman 30-211, Auggie Hahn 20-136, Vaughn Johnson 5-45
Passing: Brd-Evan Brecht 8-21-3-91, Hanson Devine 5-10-0-28, Augustinack 1-1-0-19; W-Hahn 5-12-1-117
Receiving: Brd-Quinn McElfresh 3-44, Cole Spieker 6-59, Steve Severson 1-19, Chris Pederson 3-11, Augustinack 1-5; W-Max Trochlil 1-8, Austin Grove 1-12, Colten Carlson 1-16, Doering 2-81
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