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High School Football: Warriors hold off Lumberjacks, advance to section final

Max Boran's interception with 2:34 remaining helped preserve the Brainerd Warriors' heart-throbbing 28-21 victory over the Bemidji Lumberjacks in the semifinals of the Section 8-5A tournament Saturday night at Adamson Field.

Brainerd’s Max Zimmerman runs the ball Saturday against Bemidji during the semifinals of the Section 8-5A tournament at Adamson Field. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video
Brainerd’s Max Zimmerman runs the ball Saturday against Bemidji during the semifinals of the Section 8-5A tournament at Adamson Field. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video

Max Boran's interception with 2:34 remaining helped preserve the Brainerd Warriors' heart-throbbing 28-21 victory over the Bemidji Lumberjacks in the semifinals of the Section 8-5A tournament Saturday night at Adamson Field.

Three plays after the interception, Bemidji forced Brainerd to go three and out and the Lumberjacks got the ball back at their 33.

Aided by a 15-yard penalty against the Warriors, and after making another first down, Bemidji scored what could have been the game-tying TD. On fourth and one from the Brainerd 32, the Lumberjacks' Calvin Faust swept around end to for a TD with 44 seconds left. But the Lumberjacks were penalized for holding, setting the ball back at the Bemidji 42. On fourth down, a pass by Lumberjacks quarterback Jake Beberg fell incomplete with 21 seconds left.

Bemidji had no timeouts left. Brainerd quarterback Joe Stolski knelt for the game's final play.

Brainerd's Charlie Geraets rushed 33 times for 156 yards and two TDs. He also returned a second-quarter kickoff 78 yards for a score.

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Beberg finished 9 of 20 passing for 167 yards and two scores, both to wide receiver Ryan Bieberdorf who ended with seven catches for 138 yards.

The Lumberjacks finished with 359 total yards to Brainerd's 340.

Brainerd (7-2) hosts the No. 3-seeded Alexandria Cardinals for the Section 8-5A championship 7 p.m. Friday at Adamson Field. The Cardinals bumped off No. 2-seeded Moorhead 27-20 with five seconds remaining in their semifinal Saturday night.

Complete game story and photos in Sports Monday.

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