High School Football: Warriors hope to rebound vs. Apollo

Warriors at Apollo When: 7 p.m. Friday Where: Michie Field, St. Cloud Last meeting: Brainerd won 35-6 in 2015 The series: Brainerd leads 37-7 Twitter: @bertsballpark Radio: KLIZ-AM (1380) Web stream: Justin Skaalerud is hop...

Warriors at Apollo

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Michie Field, St. Cloud

Last meeting: Brainerd won 35-6 in 2015

The series: Brainerd leads 37-7


Twitter: @bertsballpark

Radio: KLIZ-AM (1380)

Web stream: .

Justin Skaalerud is hoping his St. Cloud Apollo team can accomplish what few Eagles teams have done through the years-beat Brainerd.

The Eagles enter Friday's North Central Red District game having lost 12 straight to the Warriors dating back to 2003. Apollo has built early momentum this fall with a 38-20 season-opening victory over Cambridge-Isanti. The Warriors are attempting to rebound from a 42-0 beating administered by Elk River.

"We told the kids it's a similar scenario to last year," Skaalerud said. "We went to Brainerd and they handed it to us pretty good (35-6). We know they're coming down here expecting to right the ship. With the great coaches they have and talented players, we have to be prepared to go into a battle. They don't want to go 0-2 just as much as we don't want to lose to them."

The Warriors totaled 333 yards of offense against Elk River, ran 35 more plays from scrimmage and punted only once. But they turned over the ball three times and Elk River converted the turnovers into 12 points.

"They were just a bigger, stronger, faster team than we were and more experienced," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said, "so when you have a game like that you just let it go.


"I was disappointed in two things-we didn't finish offensively and we tackled poorly. Other than that, our effort was fine. Nobody on our team quit.

"We had three turnovers in the first half, which is probably typical of an opening game, but certainly atypical of a team of ours, but it doesn't matter much who you play. If you turn it over three times, that's three less possessions that you have."

Against Cambridge, Apollo received big games from senior quarterback Joey Atkinson and senior wide receiver Peter Nelson. Atkinson completed 13 of 15 passes with one interception for 314 yards and three TDs. Nelson caught six balls for 149 yards and two scores. Nelson was a state wrestling runner-up last year.

Apollo's Nick Gill added 83 yards rushing and Schannon Spears Jr. 36 yards and one touchdown.

"We've got some weapons," Skaalerud said. "We have two running backs that can carry the ball. That gives us a run-pass option. Last year, we struggled to get our ground game going.

"(Last week) we hit both of our offensive goals-150-plus yards rushing and passing. To have that balanced attack definitely will help Joey in the passing game."

Defensively, Skaalerud thought his linebacking corps, including sophomore Chris Hance and senior Logan Ford, stepped up. Up front, the Eagles rotated a number of players.

"We have a little more size and strength up front than we have in the past, which is huge going against teams like Cambridge and against running teams like Brainerd," Skaalerud said.


The Eagles opened with a victory over C-I last season, but lost their last eight. Skaalerud is hoping to avoid a similar fate this fall.

"We're in a little bit of a rebuilding mode," he said. "To be able to come out and have our seniors step up like we thought they would was huge for us. Our quarterback played very well and everything fell into place.

"Defensively we started out a little slow. Cambridge was able to move the ball early, but then we buckled down and held them to seven points the second half. I was pleased with the adjustments and growth we showed throughout the game."

Bright spots for Brainerd included Charlie Geraets rushing 24 times for 160 yards. Defensively, safety Luke Wiskow and linebacker Luke Johnson led the Warriors with with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively. Jeff Spieker intercepted a pass and Devan Liebeg blocked an extra point.

"We know there's going to be growing pains with us," Stolski said. "We're playing or starting two or three sophomores and several juniors. That's not an excuse. It's high school football. I fully expect us to play much better this week."

Brainerd Warriors


WR: 8-Pat Gervenak, 82-Brandon Burgraff, 12-Cade Pikula, 87-Mike Bostrom


T: 75-Michael Bieganek, 74-Hunter Erickson, 71-Ryan Powers

G: 55-Seth Desrocher, 71-Ryan Powers, 52-David Olson, 50-Ryan Peterson

C: 62-Will Schneider, 53-Brett Hague

TE: 91-Greg Rider, 80-Sam Olson

QB: 15-Will Peabody, 7-Sam Miller, 16-Joe Stolski, 14-Abe Schlegel

RB: 28-Charlie Geraets, 34-Max Zimmerman, 27-McCale Peterson, 25-Jacob Ebinger, 21-Tanner Stenglein

FB: 47-Evan Schreifels



Line: 91-Greg Rider, 95-Isaak Hines, 54-Josh Rushmeyer, 74-Hunter Erickson, 32-Ryan Miller

OLB: 35-Brandon Justin, 48-Taylor Ludwig, 46-Nate King, 44-James Loveless

ILB: 42-Luke Johnson, 55-Seth Desrocher, 54-Josh Rushmeyer, 41-Devan Liebeg

CB: 36-Jeff Spieker, 21-Tanner Stenglein, 38-Chris Karels, 33-Cody Christiansen, 17-Tanner Clink, 22-KJ Jackson

S: 25-Jacob Ebinger, 20-Luke Wiskow, 40-Jake Hodge, 38-Chris Karels


P: 41-Devan Liebeg, 82-Brandon Burgraff

K: 81-Zach Henke


Holder: 15-Will Peabody

Long snapper: 35-Brandon Justin

Punt return: 25-Jakob Ebinger, 20-Luke Wiskow

Kick return: 28-Charlie Geraets, 27-McCale Peterson

St. Cloud Apollo Eagles


QB: 10-Joey Atkinson

RB: 28-Schanonn Spears Jr.

RB: 40-Nick Gill

TE: 14-Blake Louangsyharaj

WR: 11-Peter Nelson

WR: 23-James Blommel

WR: 13-Jayden Lister

WR: 36-Jonh Sithamat

OL: 55-Luke Dunsmoor

OL: 71-Eddie Brown-Donald

OL: 51-Alex Alvord

OL: 59-Isaac Erickson-Thoemke

OL: 62-Jordon Minks


DE: 35-Max Korte

DT: 56-Trent Baird

DT: 14-Blake Louangsyharaj

DE: 55-Luke Dunsmoor

DT: 79-Mitch Alvord

DE: 74-Zach Willard

LB: 30-Chris Hance

LB: 45-Logan Ford

LB: 88-Clifton Patterson

CB: 28-Schanonn Spears Jr.

CB: 23-James Blommel

S: 7-Ashton Ward

S: 11-Peter Nelson

CB: 36-Jonh Sithamat


Punter : 36-Jonh Sithamat

Kicker: 24-John Blommel

Kick return: 11-Peter Nelson, 36-Jonh Sithamat

Punt return: 11-Peter Nelson

Warriors schedule

Sept 1, at Elk River - Lost 42-0

Sept 9, at St. Cloud Apollo 7 p.m.

Sept 16, Willmar 7 p.m.

Sept 23, at Sauk Rapids 7 p.m.

Sept 30, Moorhead 7 p.m.

Oct 8, Alexandria 2 p.m. Homecoming

Oct 14, at Sartell 7 p.m.

Oct 19, Bemidji 7 p.m.

North Central Red District

School Dist All PF PA

Alexandria 0-0 1-0 51.0 39.0

Rocori 0-0 1-0 28.0 7.0

Sauk Rapids 0-0 1-0 16.0 14.0

Apollo 0-0 1-0 38.0 20.0

Tech 0-0 1-0 48.0 13.0

Bemidji 0-0 0-1 13.0 16.0

Brainerd 0-0 0-1 0.0 42.0

Moorhead 0-0 0-1 6.0 16.0

Sartell 0-0 0-1 14.0 17.0

Willmar 0-0 0-1 20.0 47.0

Sept. 2 Results

Elk River 42, Brainerd 0

Apollo 38, Cambridge-Isanti 20

Alexandria 51, Monticello 39

Rocori 28, Big Lake 7

Rogers 17, Sartell 14

Sauk Rapids 16, Princeton 14

Tech 48, Chisago Lakes 13

St. Francis 16, Bemidji 13

St. Michael-Albertville 16, Moorhead 6

Buffalo 47, Willmar 20

Section 8-5A

School Sect All PF PA

Alexandria 0-0 1-0 51.0 39.0

St. Cloud Apollo 0-0 1-0 38.0 20.0

Bemidji 0-0 0-1 13.0 16.0

Brainerd 0-0 0-1 0.0 42.0

Moorhead 0-0 0-1 6.0 16.0

Sartell-St. Stephen 0-0 0-1 14.0 17.0

Section 8-5A Playoffs

Oct 25, QF, high seed, 7 pm

Oct 29, SF, high seed, time TBA

Nov 4, final, 7 p.m. at Alexandria, Brainerd or St. John's

Warriors statistics



Will Peabody 3 7 36 00

Abe Schlagel 0 1 0 0

Sam Miller 2 2 35 0


Charlie Geraets 24 160 6.7 0

McCale Peterson 12 59 4.9 0

Will Peabody 19 46 2.4 0

Sam Miller 1 4 4.0 0

Jacob Ebinger 1 1 1.0 0

Max Zimmerman 3 0 0.0 0

Abe Schlagel 1 0 0.0 0

Tanner Stenglein 1 -8 -8 0


Max Zimmerman 2 35 17.5 0

Brandon Burgraff 2 19 9.5 0

Pat Gervenak 1 17 17.0 0


vs. Elk River

Tackles: Wiskow 11, Johnson 10, Justin 7, Ebinger 6, Stenglein 5

Interception: Spieker 1

Blocked extra point: Liebeg 1

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