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High School Football: Balanced attack helps Warriors hand 7th-ranked Storm first loss

In the season's first three games, the Brainerd Warriors averaged 93 yards passing compared to an average of 284 yards rushing. Warriors coach Ron Stolski sought better balance in their North Central Red Subdistrict game against the Sauk Rapids S...

Brainerd's Pat Gervenak (left) and Braden Kramer celebrate in the end zone after Kramer's touchdown catch against Sauk Rapids Friday, Sept. 21, in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video
Brainerd's Pat Gervenak (left) and Braden Kramer celebrate in the end zone after Kramer's touchdown catch against Sauk Rapids Friday, Sept. 21, in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video

 

In the season's first three games, the Brainerd Warriors averaged 93 yards passing compared to an average of 284 yards rushing.

Warriors coach Ron Stolski sought better balance in their North Central Red Subdistrict game against the Sauk Rapids Storm and Brainerd accomplished that in a 34-14 victory Friday, Sept. 21, at Adamson Field.

Quarterback Sam Miller passed for the majority of the Warriors' 223 yards while the running game remained constant by generating 275 yards for a 498-total yard night. Brainerd squared its record at 2-2 while dealing Class 5A's unbeaten and seventh-ranked Storm their first loss in four games.

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Warriors 34, Storm 14

  • The key: Brainerd scored 28 unanswered points
  • Subdistrict: Brd 2-1, SRR 2-1
  • Overall: Brd 2-2, SRR 3-1
  • Next: Brainerd at Bemidji 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.

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"I think coach (Chet) Stevenson and the offensive line just did a tremendous job tonight," Stolski said. "I thought we ended up being almost dominant.

"We said in the pregame interview what we wanted to do. We wanted to balance up. Frankly we ran better than I thought we might, but again hats off to the offensive line."

The defense turned in its second consecutive solid effort allowing no points in the second half, during which Brady Anderson and Owen Davis intercepted passes. Brainerd restricted the Storm to 103 yards rushing.

"And let's give the defense credit," Stolski said. "The defense played very well. To hold this team that's been scoring a lot of points to 14 it was really a good, solid Warrior football win. It's a sign we're growing."

Miller had as accurate a first half as any Warrior quarterback through the years. He completed 14 of 15 throws in the half for 200 yards and a TD. He finished with 211 yards passing. Running back Joe Klang added a 12-yard TD pass to cap the scoring.

Klang finished with his third 100-yard game of the season, running for 180 yards and two scores. He raced for 70 yards on one carry late in the final quarter.

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Wide receiver Pat Gervenak grabbed six passes for 120 yards-all in the first half.

Storm quarterback Cade Milton-Baumgardner passed for 200 yards-175 in the first half. Receiver Braden Tretter caught six passes for 165 yards and both Storm scores.

Trailing 14-6 in the second quarter, Brainerd scored the game's final 28 points.

Klang initiated the Warriors' offensive barrage with 5:29 remaining in the first half on a 1-yard run, shaving Brainerd's deficit to 14-12.

With 21 seconds left in the half, Miller threw a 4-yard score to Braden Kramer. Miller then passed to Klang for the 2-point conversion and Brainerd took a 20-14 edge to the locker room at intermission.

On the first play of the third quarter, the Storm thought they had scored on a 68-yard pass from Milton-Baumgardner to Tretter but holding nullified the TD.

Late in the third, Anderson's interception set up Klang's 29-yard scoring burst. Miller then passed to Gervenak for a 28-14 advantage with 45 seconds left in the third.

Klang's 70-yard gallop in the fourth led to his 24-yard TD pass to Gabe Smith with 1:56 remaining.

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Midway through the opening quarter, Ben Staehling's 1-yard TD run gave the Warriors a 6-0 lead.

The Storm responded on the subsequent possession when Milton-Baumgardner hit Tretter for a 64-yard score. Durham Welch's extra-point kick made it 7-6 Storm.

On their second-to-last series of the half, the Storm went up 14-6 on a 23-yard scoring toss from Milton-Baumgardner to Tretter. Welch's kick gave the Storm a short-lived 8-point edge.

 

Sauk Rapids 7 7 0 0-14

Brainerd 6 14 8 6-34

 

First quarter

Brd: Ben Staehling 1 run (kick fails) 6:14

SRR: Braden Tretter 64 pass from Cade Milton-Baumgardner (Durham Welch kick) 4:49

Second quarter

SRR: Tretter 23 pass from Milton-Baumgardner (Durham Welch kick) 7:49

Brd: Joe Klang 1 run (pass fails) 5:29

Brd: Braden Kramer 4 pass from Sam Miller (Klang pass from Miller) 0:21

Third quarter

Brd: Klang 29 run (Pat Gervenak pass from Miller) 0:45

Fourth quarter

Brd: Gabe Smith 24 pass from Klang (kick fails) 1:56

 

Team statistics

Rushing yards: Brd 275, SR 103

Passing yards: Brd 223, SR 230

Total offense: Brd 498, SR 333

 

Individual leaders

Rushing: Brd-Sam Miller 15-55, Joe Klang 18-180, Ben Staehling 10-22, Pat Gervenak 1-(-3), Devon Stuckey 1-(-3), Brady Anderson 3-24; SR-JD Bates 18-87

Passing: Brd-Miller 16-20-211, Klang 1-1-12; SR-Cade Milton-Baumgardner 11-22-200, Tucker Hendrickson 3-4-30

Receiving: Brd-Pat Gervenak 6-120, Owen Davis 4-35, Levi McDonald 1-17, Gabe Smith 3-39, Klang 1-4, Staehling 1-4, Braden Kramer 1-4; SR-Tretter 6-165

Related Topics: BRAINERD WARRIORS
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