High School Football: Warriors hope to get back to winning ways for homecoming
For Warriors coach Ron Stolski, he wants to see improvement in the final weeks of the season.
“We have seen and we are seeing it,” Stolski said of his team, but he would like to see more of it. “We know we have four more games left, so it’s time to see that improvement.”
The Warriors enter Week Six 1-4 and find themselves at the bottom of the North Central Red Subdistrict standings and at the bottom of the Section 8-5A standings.
It’s not for a lack of scheduling that the Warriors find themselves having a rough year. Of their four losses, three have been to teams ranked in the top 10 of The Associated Press 5A poll.
Brainerd celebrates homecoming Week Six. It will culminate in a game against Sartell Friday, Oct. 4, at Don Adamson Field.
Brainerd vs. Sartell
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Don Adamson Field.
2018 results: Brainerd won 42-0.
The series: Brainerd leads 17-6.
Radio: KLIZ-AM (1380).
Web Stream: www.kliz.com.
Sartell comes into the game winless, so it could be a good opportunity for the Warriors to get back in the win column in front of the home fans.
Stolski and his staff will not overlook the Sabres who last week went on the road and lost a close 21-14 game against Moorhead.
“We are not going to take them lightly,” Stolski said. “They played Moorhead right to the wire. I thought they even looked better than Moorhead at times. Sartell is big and they have a couple running backs and we respect them.”
For Sabres coach Scott Hentges, he’s hoping to get his team in the win column for the first time in 2019 and ruin the Warriors’ homecoming.
“We know Brainerd is always a tough place to play,” Hentges said. “We know we will have to be at our best. Line of scrimmage is key. We have been close a couple of times, but we would love to get on the winning side at Brainerd.”
The Warriors come off a blowout loss to Alexandria in a game where they turned it over five times. A win over Sartell would be the Warriors first section victory of the season.
Bemidji remains the top team in Section 8-5A after winning a 53-34 track meet over St. Cloud Tech in Week Five. They play a non-district game this week against Big Lake and look to improve to 6-0.
The St. Cloud Tech Tigers gave all the Bemidji Lumberjacks could handle and racked up 34 points against a Bemidji defense that allows 18.6 points per game. The Tigers travel to play Alexandria, which allows 16 points per game.
The Warriors’ lone win of the year came in Week Three against Sauk Rapids. The Storm hosted the high powered offense of Hutchinson last week and lost 54-15. They travel to Moorhead this week and the Spuds will look to play better than they did last week against Sartell.
Despite the poor record, Stolski has been encouraged by his team’s attendance and morale as the season has progressed.
“In spite of the disappointment, the kids are practicing well and our attendance is wonderful,” Stolski said. “I’m really proud of the kids for that because it could be easy to quit.”
The Sabres feature two good running backs. Senior Cody Lantis highlights the group and Hentges thinks the running game will be key for Sartell against Brainerd.
“Lantis has been one of the best backs all season,” Hentges said. “He has been playing really well the last couple weeks so we will lean on him. We have guys that can be dynamic for us.”
Stolski knows homecoming can be a distraction to his players, but says in the past he has not noticed any dips in focus. He expects his players to be as prepared as they would any other week.
“We just want to make sure they do their homework and get their rest,” Stolski said. “We can’t characterize it as any other game because it’s not, especially with the way things have been going for us. This is a very important and big game for us.”
Brainerd Warriors (1-4)
QB: 16-Nate Staehling, 12-Isaiah Windorski
RB: 21-Brandt Patton, 22-Ben Staehling, 24-Jack Lundstrom, 26-Davon Stuckey.
WR: 7-Jacob Smith, 8-Brett Besenfelder, 10-Harry Carlson, 23-Owen Davis, 28-Josh McClain.
OL: 51-Ethan Strong, 55-Simon Nelson, 58-Aden Crabb, 60-Dominik Waytashek, 66-Jackson Jeremiah, 68-Nick Smith, 75-Luke Wilhelm.
DL: 5-Andrew Thielke, 74-Se'Vign Thompson-Fly, 78-Nick Moline, 79-Chandler DeRosier, 99-John Berry.
LB: 17-Jacob Drietz, 26-Davon Stuckey, 28-Jacob McLain, 40-Forrest Gibson.
CB: 2-Joey Wiskow, 10-Harry Carlson, 21-Brandt Patton.
SS: 20-Caden Schoppner, 22-Ben Staehling.
FS: 23-Owen Davis.
K: 88-Andrew Albright.
P: 23-Owen Davis.
Sartell Sabres (0-5)
QB: 9-Cole Hentges
RB: 27-Cody Lantis, 30-Dylan Gerdes, 29-Ethan Torgrimson
WR: 14-Dom Hagy
TE: 22-Jacob Bjelland
OL: 77-Blake Haus, 66-Ricky Emslander, 55-Carter Hemmesch, 52-Jack Engle, 75-Luke Wolfe
DL: 22-Jacob Bjelland, 75-Luke Wolfe, 55-Carter Hemmesch, 32-Carter Swenson
LB: 30-Dylan Gerdes, 29-Ethan Thogrimson, 52-Jack Engel
CB: 14-Dom Hagy, 21-Nick Greer
S: 2-Andrew Ambrosioure, 27-Cody Lantis
K: 9-Anna Lundeen
P: 29-Ethan Torgrimson
Aug. 29, at Elk River -- Lost 57-0
Sept. 6, at Bemidji -- Lost 23-0
Sept. 13, hosts Sauk Rapids-Rice -- Won 26-3
Sept. 20, hosts Moorhead -- Lost 14-13
Sept. 27, at Alexandria -- Lost 47-6
Friday, Oct. 4, hosts Sartell 7 p.m.
Oct. 11, hosts Rocori 7 p.m.
Oct. 16, at St. Cloud Tech 7 p.m.
Section 8-5A Playoffs
Oct. 22: Quarterfinals.
Oct. 26: Semifinals.
Nov. 1: Finals.
North Central Red Subdistrict
Bemidji 5-0 (4-0), Alexandria 4-1 (3-1), St. Cloud Tech 3-2 (2-1), Moorhead 3-2 (2-1), Brainerd 1-4 (1-3), Sauk Rapids 1-4 (1-2), Sartell 0-5 (0-3)
Week Five results
Alexandria 47, Brainerd 6
Bemidji 53, St. Cloud Tech 34
Moorhead 21, Sartell 14
Hutchinson 54, Sauk Rapids 15
Week Six games
Sartell at Brainerd
Sauk Rapids at Moorhead
St. Cloud Tech at Alexandria
Big Lake at Bemidji
Rushing: 811 yards.
Total Offense: 1,186 yards.
Rushing: 1038 yards
Total Offense: 1,599 yards