As the Brainerd Warriors enter their first game of the 2020 season they will have film on their opponent while their opponent, St. Cloud Apollo, won’t have film on them.
After the Minnesota State High School League announced there would be fall football, Brainerd jumped into a two-week no activity period due to COVID-19.
The hiatus caused them to miss out on their original Week One game against Cambridge-Isanti to get the necessary practice needed to play a football game.
The St. Cloud Apollo Eagles however lost to the Sartell Sabres 35-13 in a Section 8-5A matchup in Week One.
“We have just been watching the film from last year and preparing as much as we can,” Apollo head coach Michael Beehler said. “We have just been focusing on ourselves and what we can do better from our Week One game.”
With no scrimmage beforehand, Saturday, Oct. 17 will be first-year Warriors head coach Jason Freed and his staff’s first time coaching a game together.
“It’s a major step,” Freed said. “We are going to have to understand that when the game starts Saturday evening it’s going to go. We have to be ready to adjust and make adjustments on the fly. That’s where some of the growing pains might come. Even as a coaching staff we are going to have to work through some things.”
It’s the first Eagles-Warriors matchup since 2016 when Brainerd topped Apollo 48-35.
“Seeing how they played against Sartell it seems that they sort of have a revamped offensive system,” Freed said. “They are running some triple options out of the gun, so they look very similar to Bemidji. They have some real skill set players, some kids who can run with the ball and kids who can excel out in space.”
Defensively, Freed wants his Warriors to focus on the 11-men to the ball mentality that he has preached in the preseason.
“I was very impressed with their offensive line, so for our kids, it’s going to be important we come out ready to play,” Freed said.
Beehler thinks his Eagles showed some positives on both sides of the ball last week and he thinks he can attack the Warriors in the running game.
“We ran up front pretty well with our o-line,” Beehler said. “We just didn’t have enough plays (last week) and had two turnovers on offense and two on special teams. You just aren’t going to win having four turnovers. The plays we did run we had success with.”
Freed wants his team to start fast Saturday. He doesn’t want them settling in.
“Defensively. (Apollo) seems to be an odd front team and they bring pressure,” Freed said. “We are going to have to adjust to that with our offensive line. I’m excited to see how that chess match plays out.”
Overall, Freed is excited to get on the field. The Warriors will play a five-game regular season all against section opponents starting with Apollo Saturday.
Last season, the Warriors finished 3-7 and Apollo 1-8.
“It’s important for us to get out there and build some confidence,” Freed said. “We have a lot of inexperienced players and kids who haven’t played a ton on the varsity field. That first game is going to be a lot about getting experience and going against a section opponent. It’s a good way to start a season.”
In Week One North Central Red Subdistrict action, Alexandria topped St. Francis 49-14 and Moorhead defeated Buffalo 56-6. Moorhead hosts Alexandria in Week Two and Sartell will travel to Bemidji.
The Lumberjacks fell to Andover 17-7 at home in a non-conference Week One game.
Sauk Rapids hosts Willmar coming off a 34-14 loss to Monticello. St. Cloud Tech was supposed to host Monticello following a 40-6 loss to Hutchinson, but the game was canceled.
Brainerd Warriors (0-0)
QB: 16-Nathaniel Staehling, 12-Isaiah Windorski
RB: 20-Caden Schoppner, 45-Gabe Wagner, 38-Trevor Jechorak
WR: 7-Jacob Smith, 21-Brandt Patton, 14-Simon Foss, 2-Jed Klang, 8-Mike Huesmann, 15-Cole Beyer, 11-Ethan Windorski.
TE: 88-Andrew Albright, 84-Mitchell Degen, 18-RJ Campbell
OL: 51-Ethan Strong, 58-Aden Crabb, 60-Dominik Waytashek, 57-Carter Springer, 66-Caden Jager, 67-Jacob Borgstrom, 72-Nolan Reynolds, 76-Elijah Hanson, 77-Elijah Rock.
DL: 5-Andrew Thielke, 79-Chandler DeRosier, 74-Ryan Cook, 53-Grant Gardiepy, 54-Riley DeRosier, 42-Chase Bentler, 41-Eli Biggs, 55-Max Olson, 75-DeShawn Brown, 92-Delon Kosloski, 64-Dalton Barrett, 74-Cole Larkin.
LB: 40-Forrest Gibson, 50-Jacob Holm, 25-Cam Langerman, 30-Kouper Seidl, 52-Brady Toensing, 60-Dylan Wgeishofski, 44-Dante Bernal, 56-Jonas Ewald.
DB: 10-Harry Carlson, 21-Brandt Patton, 24-Jack Lundstrom, 22-Aden Extrand, 35-Aaron Stark, 82-Ethan Olson, 28-Zach Horn, 27-Dawon Piepho, 47-Alex Helmin, 26-Gavin Schwen, 23-Jaiden McLanahan, 31-Ethan Derosier.
K: 17-Aiden Brown, 86-Jeremy Duff.
P: 16-Nathaniel Staehling, 2-Jed Klang.
St. Cloud Apollo (0-1)
QB: 18-Jakob Corrow
RB: 5-Ilyas Sidow, 28-Oakley Louangsyahraj
WR/TE: 2-David Boyd, 11-Mach Ruot, 1-Erassy Antsino, 3-Thomas Diew
OL: 58-Kenneth Le, 52-Patrick Njoya, 78-Randi Nguyen, 51-Evan Coleman, 59-David Guzman
DL: 12-Ishmael Hall, 59-David Guzman, 55-Sam Wilkins, 3-Thoams Diew
LB: 52-Patrick Njoya, 6-Trevon Roering, 9-James Nyberg, 17-Zach Trushenski
CB: 11-Mach Ruot, 15-Tyler Kayfes, 7-Peter Zorn
SS: 23-Andres Karls
FS: 1-Erassy Antsino
K/P: 8-Hayden Schmitz
Oct. 9, at Cambridge-Isanti — canceled
Oct. 17, at St. Cloud Apollo 6 p.m.
Oct. 23, hosts Alexandria 7 p.m.
Oct. 30, hosts Bemidji 7 p.m.
Nov. 6, at Moorhead 7 p.m.
Nov. 12, hosts Sartell 7 p.m.
Section 8-5A Playoffs
Nov. 17, opening round 7 p.m.
Nov. 21, semifinals 2 p.m.
Nov. 27, finals 7 p.m.
North Central Red Subdistrict
Alexandria 1-0 (0-0), Moorhead 1-0 (0-0), Sartell 1-0 (0-0), Brainerd 0-0 (0-0), Bemidji 0-1 (0-0), Sauk Rapids 0-1 (0-0), St. Cloud Tech 0-1 (0-0)
Week One Results results
Sartell 35, St. Cloud Apollo 13
Alexandria 49, St. Francis 14
Moorhead 56, Buffalo 6
Andover 17, Bemidji 7
Hutchinson 40, St. Cloud Tech 6
Monticello 34, Sauk Rapids 14
Week Two games
Brainerd at St. Cloud Apollo
Alexandria at Moorhead
Sartell at Bemidji
Willmar at Sauk Rapids
Monticello at St. Cloud Tech — canceled
Brainerd at St. Cloud Apollo
When: 6 p.m.
Where: at St. Cloud Apollo High School
Last result: Brainerd won 48-35 in 2016.
The series: Brainerd leads 39-7
Radio: KLIZ-AM (1380)
Web Stream: www.kliz.com.