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High School Football: Warriors can’t recover from mistakes in a 28-12 loss

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Ben Staehling

ST. CLOUD -- Turnovers plagued the Brainerd Warriors as they dropped the regular season finale to the St. Cloud Tech Tigers 28-12 Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Tech Tigers Stadium.

The Warriors threw four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and the Tigers capitalized on the short fields Brainerd gave them.

Brainerd’s opening drive went well. They marched down the field and into Tigers’ territory with ease. On a fourth-and-goal, a Nate Staehling pass to tight end Josh McLain was caught for what seemed like a touchdown. However, the ref spotted the ball at the half yard line giving the ball to the Tigers.

“We thought he was in,” Warrior head coach Ron Stolski said. “When the ball is spotted one and a half inches from the goal line, we thought we caught it in the end zone.”

On Brainerd’s next drive, Staehling threw one of his three interceptions in the end zone, which denied the Warriors another scoring opportunity.

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Troy Feddema capped off the longest drive of the game for the Tigers with his 19-yard touchdown run to put Tech up 6-0.

Staehling ran the ball in from 3 yards out to tie the game 6-6. The Warriors touchdown was setup by a trick play where wideout Owen Davis threw to McLain for a 20-yard gain.

Staehling looked for a screen play on Brainerd’s next drive, but threw it right in the hands of Tigers’ defensive tackle Aaron Voigt who ran it back 53 yards for a touchdown.

“The pick six by the biggest human on the field was a big boost of momentum,” Tiger head coach Benson said. “A nice pump for our kids. We try to tell our kids to do the basics well and the little things well. And we came up with four picks. I can’t remember the last time we did that.”

Despite trailing at halftime the Warriors outgained the Tigers by more than 100 yards.

Brainerd kicked off to start the second half and Feddema broke loose and ran it back 80 yards for a touchdown.

The Warriors found themselves in a 20-6 hole, but responded with a 10-play, 78-yard drive which ended with an Owen Davis 35-yard touchdown catch and run from a Staehling pass.

Staehling’s third interception was followed by a 21-yard touchdown run by Kedrik Osuorah helping Tech to their fifth win of the season.

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“The last couple of weeks we have become a little better defensively which helps our team,” Benson said. “Kedrik had a good game tonight.”

Osuorah finished with 146 yards rushing on 27 carries to lead the Tigers.

The Warriors still outgained the Tigers 411-287, and it marks the second game in a row in which the Warriors outgained their opponent and still lost.

“I thought we played pretty well tonight,” Stolski said. “I mean, you moved the ball up and down the field and the turnovers hurt us.”

Ben Staehling rushed for 122 yards on 27 carries to lead the Warriors. Davon Stuckey followed him with 53 yards on 13 carries.

“I’m very proud of our offensive line,” Stolski said. “We had a ground game tonight and a passing game. We had good balance just a few mistakes at critical times.”

Nate Staehling went 9-25 and threw for 175 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

Davis led Brainerd in receiving with five catches for 108 yards and a touchdown, followed by Josh McLain who caught four passes for 60 yards.

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Stolski hopes the Warriors can cut down on the turnovers as they head into Section 8-5A Playoffs Tuesday, Oct. 22.

“We are improving and really looking forward to the section run,” Stolski said.

Brainerd 0 6 6 0 -- 12
St. Cloud Tech 6 6 8 8 -- 28

First quarter
SCT-Troy Feddema 19 run (run failed) 2:01

Second quarter
Brd-Nate Staehling 3 run (run failed) 9:13
SCT-Aaron Voigt 53 interception return (pass failed) 4:09

Third quarter
SCT-Feddema 80 kickoff return (Nick Trewick run) 11:50
Brd-Owen Davis 35 pass from Staehling (pass failed) 7:44

Fourth quarter
SCT-Kendrick Osuorah 21 run (Osuorah run) 1:34

Team statistics
Rushes-yards: Brd 53-188, SCT 41-207
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Brd 12-33-4-223, SCT 7-18-0-80
Total offense: Brd 86-411, SCT 59-287

Individual leaders
Rushing: Brd-Ben Staehling 27-122, Davon Stuckey 13-53, Owen Davis 1-17, Nate Staehling 9-9, Caden Schoeppner 1-1, Isaiah Windorski 1-(-17); SCT-Kedrik Osuorah 27-146, Troy Feddema 5-27, Nate Trewick 5-15
Passing: Brd-Nate Staehling 9-25-3-175, Isaiah Windorski 2-5-1-27, Owen Davis 1-2-0-21; SCT-Nate Trewick 7-17-0-80
Receiving: Brd-Owen Davis 5-108, Josh McLain 4-60, Jacob Smith 2-31, Brandt Patton 1-24; SCT-Isaiah Green 1-35, Troy Feddema 3-15, Kedrik Osuorah 1-13, Sam Oster 1-11, Chris Schmidt 1-6

Warriors 12, St. Cloud Tech 28

Key: Four turnovers helped the Tigers get short field, and despite the Warriors gaining over 400 yards they fall again.

Sub: Brd 2-4, SCT 4-2.

Overall: Brd 2-6, SCT 5-3.

Next: Section Quarterfinals TBA Tuesday, Oct. 22.

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Owen Davis

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