BUFFALO — It was a second half to remember for Brainerd Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The Warriors out scored Buffalo 21-0 in the second en route to a 42-13 win at Buffalo High School.

Brainerd used a balanced attack and scored four touchdowns through air with two touchdowns on the ground in the win.

The weather and wind were a factor Wednesday night and the Warriors started the second half with the wind to their backs and took full advantage.

Buffalo went 3-and-out on its first second-half drive. Brainerd scored three plays later after a short punt Jed Klang caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Marcello Getty to extend Brainerd’s lead 28-13.

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“We talked about how this has been a season of lessons,” Warriors head coach Jason Freed said. “We learned a lesson after our last game on how to play after the first half. I’m just proud of the kids and how they focused after that second quarter. We came out in the second half and played probably our best half of football all year.”

The Warriors forced another 3-and-out and scored its second touchdown of the second half on a 4th and 3 when Getty found Matthew Huesmann for his second touchdown of the game.

“I ran a slant and saw (Getty) scrambling so I just took off down the field and he just threw it because I was open,” Huesmann said.

Getty finished with 161 yards and four touchdowns on 7-for-12 passing and no interceptions in the rainy conditions. Huesmann caught three passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns while Klang caught three passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns to lead the air attack.

“Marcello played great tonight,” Freed said. “He just kept his eyes down the field and our receivers did a great job and our offensive line did a great job upfront of protecting and giving him time to throw the ball down the field and that opens things up for us.”

Nathaniel Staehling put the game out of reach with his 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Staehling finished with 123 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries to lead the Warriors ground attack.

“(The running game) really disciplines the defense,” Getty said.

The Warriors defense held the Bison to 62 yards of total offense in the second half.

“I thought the defense played well and really ratched things down,” Freed said. “We made some plays in the secondary and we found a way to get a pass rush tonight and get after things.”

It took three plays for Brainerd to get its first score. Huesmann caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Getty and the Warriors led 7-0 less than a minute in.

“That gave us a lot of confidence,” Huesmann said. “We scored on the first drive and then came back and scored again.”

The Warriors scored on their second drive capped off by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Getty to Jed Klang on a slant.

“To get separation from the corner feels really nice,” Klang said. “And to get the yardage after the catch is crucial.”

Brainerd went 3-for-3 on touchdown drives in its first three possessions when Staehling took it in from 23-yards out on the first play of the second quarter.

Staehling’s touchdown run capped off an 11-play, 85-yard drive by the Warriors that was setup by an Ethan DeRosier interception on the Bison’s second drive.

“I thought the O-line played well tonight,” Freed said. “Still some things we got to pick and clean. I thought Buffalo made some nice adjustments, but we were really getting on them in the running game in that first half.”

The Warriors led 21-0 until Buffalo scored two touchdowns in 17 seconds to make it 21-13.

Buffalo’s first touchdown came on a trick play where Bison running back Danny Phillips threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Evan Soeffker.

The Bison then caught Brainerd off guard on the ensuing kickoff with an onside kick that Buffalo recovered at Brainerd’s 49. Two plays later Noah Karels caught a 49-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-13 after the Warriors blocked the PAT.

Despite out gaining Buffalo 173-158, the Warriors only led by eight points headed into half.

Brainerd finishes the regular season 4-4 and will play in the Class 6A playoffs next Friday, Oct. 29. Seeding for the Class 6A playoffs is released Friday, Oct. 22.

“We got nothing to lose,” Freed said. “We got moved up to (Class) 6A football this year and Brainerd has a history of going down to the metro and representing ourselves well. That’s our message.”

Brainerd 14 7 14 7 — 42
Buffalo 0 13 0 0 — 13



First quarter
Brd-Matthew Huesmann 42-yard pass from Marcello Getty (Ryan Westerberg kick) 11:02
Brd-Jed Klang 21-yard pass from Getty (Westerberg kick) 6:55



Second quarter
Brd-Nathaniel Staehling 23-yard run (Westerberg kick) 11:54
Buf-Evan Soeffker 12-yard pass from Danny Phillips (Eastman Esson kick) 4:02
Buf-Noah Karels 49-yard pass from Soeffker (kick blocked) 3:45



Third quarter
Brd-Klang 31-yard pass from Getty (Westerberg kick) 8:31
Brd-Huesmann 36-yard pass from Getty (Westerberg kick) 5:05



Fourth quarter
Brd-Staehling 2-yard run (Westerberg kick) 8:16



Team statistics
Rushes-yards: Brd 45-155, Buf 34-80
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Brd 7-12-0-161, Buf 8-23-1-140
Total offense: Brd 57-316, Buf 57-220



Individual leaders
Rushing: Brd-Nathaniel Staehling 25-123, Jed Klang 4-18, Eli Hoelz 2-11, Damien Bentho 8-7; Buf-Danny Phillips 13-33, Evan Soeffker 10-33
Passing: Brd-Macello Getty 7-12-161; Buf-Evan Soeffker 4-16-71, Danny Phillips 2-2-48
Receiving: Brd-Matthew Huesmann 3-77, Jed Klang 3-63, Eli Hoelz 1-21; Buf-Noah Karels 1-49, Nick Munsterteiger 5-43, Carter Jackson 1-36, Evan Soeffker 1-12



Warriors 42, Buffalo 13

Key: Brainerd’s balanced offense and stout defense gets them an easy win in the rain

Overall: Brd 4-4, Buf 2-6.

Next: Brainerd in Class 6A playoffs TBA Friday, Oct. 29.



CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.