High scoring games flooded the North Central Red Subdistrict in Week Three.
Last week’s game of the week between Bemidji and Alexandria lived up to the hype. With both teams being ranked in The Associated Press top 10 in class 5A Bemidji went on the road and beat Alexandria 28-26.
The key play for the Lumberjacks was a stop on a two-point conversion which would have tied the game.
Another game that featured high scoring was Sartell-St. Cloud Tech. Tech won the game 50-34.
The Brainerd Warriors also made explosive offensive plays resulting in points in their 26-3 win against Sauk Rapids. After entering the game with no points scored on the season, the Warriors scored quickly in the first quarter and twice more in the second quarter to take a 20-3 halftime lead.
The Warriors now prepare to play the Moorhead Spuds who come off a 40-34 shootout loss to Delano. Last year, Brainerd topped Moorhead at Adamson Field 21-6. If the Warriors can hold the Spuds to six points Friday, they might have a good chance of repeating that result.
The defense proved to be a better unit against Sauk Rapids for the Warriors and they will need that to be the case Friday, Sept. 20, when they host Moorhead.
“The kids and the coaching staff need to be pleased with the resiliency of the defense,” Warrior coach Ron Stolski said. “We hold them inside the 20-yard line many times and forced many turnovers on downs. The plan was very good and the kids played better.”
A big point of emphasis for the defense this week in practice had to do with forcing turnovers. The Warriors have not forced many turnovers in 2019 and Stolski wants his team to create turnovers when possible.
However, Stolski has been surprised by the play of his defensive line as they approach the halfway point of the regular season.
“I think we are showing good growth,” Stolski said of the D-line. “Coach (Aron) Anderson handles that group and I think they have been battling.”
On offense, big plays were something the Warriors capitalized on in their win against Sauk Rapids. Senior wideout Owen Davis led the charge with all four of his catches being for over 30 yards, including his two touchdowns.
Senior running back Ben Staehling also made big plays on the ground and rushed for 167 yards.
“It’s been tough for us to sustain drives,” Stolski said. “But against Sauk we had big runs and big throws and we will take that. We are still working on getting first downs and sustaining drives.”
The offensive outburst included a two-minute drill to end the first half that kept the momentum in Brainerd’s favor. A three-play, 71-yard drive that ended in an Owen Davis 40-yard touchdown made Sauk Rapids’ chances of coming back slim before the second half even started.
Stolski believes his teams just have a knack for coming up with big drives at the end of halves to keep the opponent on their toes.
“Historically, we have been a really good five minute to go in the second quarter team,” Stolski said of his team’s two-minute drill. “I’d like to say it’s something we emphasize, but we really don’t. It’s just one of those crazy things.”
The Minnesota-Scores.net website came out with their first Quality Results Formula rankings this week for each class and section. Bemidji came in at No. 2 in the QRF in class 5A and claimed the top spot in section 8-5A. Brainerd ranks at No. 26 which puts them fourth in the section. Ranked just ahead of them at No. 23 is Moorhead. This week’s matchup for the Warriors is important for not only Red Subdistrict play, but also section play.
“The emphasis is on the good rivalry we have had with Moorhead,” Stolski said. “We have had some real classic games with them. They are a well-coached and athletic. Kind of like the rest of the teams we play.”
Brainerd Warriors (1-2)
QB: 16-Nate Staehling, 12-Isaiah Windorski
RB: 17-Jacob Drietz, 21-Brandt Patton, 22-Ben Staehling, 24-Jack Lundstrom, 26-Davon Stuckey.
WR: 7-Jacob Smith, 8-Brett Besenfelder, 10-Harry Carlson, 23-Owen Davis, 28-Josh McClain.
OL: 51-Ethan Strong, 55-Simon Nelson, 58-Aden Crabb, 60-Dominik Waytashek, 66-Jackson Jeremiah, 68-Nick Smith, 75-Luke Wilhelm.
DL: 5-Andrew Thielke, 74-Sevien Thompson-Fly, 78-Nick Moline, 79-Chandler DeRosier, 99-John Berry.
LB: 17-Jacob Drietz, 26-Davon Stuckey, 28-Jacob McLain, 40-Forrest Gibson.
CB: 2-Joey Wiskow, 10-Harry Carlson, 21-Brandt Patton.
SS: 20-Caden Schoppner, 22-Ben Staehling.
FS: 23-Owen Davis.
K: 88-Andrew Albright.
P: 23-Owen Davis.
Moorhead Spuds (1-2)
QB: 3-Trey Feeney
RB: 15-George Nyanforth, 44-Nathan Johnson
WR: 8-Brady Walthall, 9-Blake Walthall
TE: 80-Jack Teiken
T: 77-Tyler Martin, 52-Christian Thingvold
G: 63-Parker Buckner, 70-Alex Pahl
C: 59-Max Soeth
DE: 80-Jack Teiken, 66-Landon Berry
DT: 68-Christian Vega
LB: 20-John Lehrer, 40-Hayden Netland, 35-Jackson Gotta, 32-Austin Altepeter
CB: 2-Wyatt Gunkel, 1-Lee Karfear
S: 28-Kenan Wendt, 5-Jacqui Fitzpatrick
K/P: 92-Caden Triggs
Aug. 29, at Elk River -- Lost 57-0
Sept. 6, at Bemidji -- Lost 23-0
Sept. 13, hosts Sauk Rapids-Rice -- Won 26-3
Friday, Sept. 20, hosts Moorhead 7 p.m.
Sept. 27, at Alexandria 7 p.m.
Oct. 4, hosts Sartell 7 p.m.
Oct. 11, hosts Rocori 7 p.m.
Oct. 16, at St. Cloud Tech 7 p.m.
Section 8-5A Playoffs
Oct. 22: Quarterfinals.
Oct. 26: Semifinals.
Nov. 1: Finals.
North Central Red Subdistrict
Bemidji 3-0 (2-0), St. Cloud Tech 2-1 (1-0), Alexandria 2-1 (1-1), Brainerd 1-2 (1-1), Sauk Rapids 1-2 (1-1), Moorhead 1-2 (0-1), Sartell 0-3 (0-2)
Week Three Results
Brainerd 26, Sauk Rapids 3
Bemidji 28, Alexandria 26
St. Cloud Tech 50, Sartell 34
Delano 40, Moorhead 34
Week Four games
Moorhead at Brainerd
Sartell at Bemidji
Alexandria at Willmar
Sauk Rapids at St. Cloud Tech
Rushing: 507 yards.
Total Offense: 754 yards.
Rushing: 871 yards
Total Offense: 1,052 yards
Brainerd vs. Moorhead
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Don Adamson Field at Brainerd
2018 results: Brainerd won 21-6
The series: Brainerd leads 16-15
Radio: KLIZ-AM (1380)
Web Stream: www.kliz.com.