High School Football: Warriors secure 1st victory of season with dominant effort on stormy night
A punishing running game and swarming defense led the Brainerd Warriors to their first win of the season, 36-7, over the Alexandria Cardinals in a Section 8-5A and North Central Red Subdistrict game Friday, Sept. 14, at stormy Adamson Field. Runn...
A punishing running game and swarming defense led the Brainerd Warriors to their first win of the season, 36-7, over the Alexandria Cardinals in a Section 8-5A and North Central Red Subdistrict game Friday, Sept. 14, at stormy Adamson Field.
Running backs Ben Staehling and Joe Klang combined to rush for 230 yards and four scores. The Warriors ran for 391 of their 402 total yards.
Brainerd's defense was equally effective, limiting the Cardinals to 105 yards rushing, 281 total yards and no points in the second half. The Warriors sacked Alexandria quarterback Matthew Carlsen three times and Brady Anderson intercepted a pass.
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Warriors 36, Alexandria 7
- The key: After a 7-7 tie, Brainerd scored 29 unanswered points.
- Subdistrict: Brd 1-1, Alx 1-1
- Overall: Brd 1-2, Alx 1-2
- Next: Sauk Rapids at Brainerd 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21.
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Klang's punting was one of Brainerd's best defensive weapons. His first two punts pinned the Cardinals at their 1-yard line in the opening quarter. In all, Klang averaged 43.3 yards on three punts and did not punt in the second half.
The contest was delayed 67 minutes by numerous flashes of lightning in the second quarter. The teams left the field at 7:44 p.m. with 7:16 remaining in the half and Brainerd leading 14-7. The game resumed at 8:51 p.m. and finished without further weather issues.
When the game was halted, light rain was falling in Brainerd and lightning lit up the sky at a near constant rate, although the storm itself stayed to the north. Just before 8 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for northern Crow Wing County. At 8:30 p.m., the same warning was issued for east-central Crow Wing County and southwestern Aitkin County. A thunderstorm was located over Crosby, and trained spotters reported golf ball-sized hail in Ironton.
Entering the third quarter with a 22-7 lead, Brainerd scored on its first possession of the third quarter on Ben Staehling's 15-yard run.
On the Warriors' next possession, Klang ran 5 yards for a TD. The last of four Zach Henke extra-point kicks accounted for the final score.
Before the dicey weather rolled in, Brainerd opened the scoring on a 5-yard run by Klang. Henke kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 2:46 left in the first quarter.
The lead survived through the remainder of the first quarter and part of the second, but Alexandria tied it on a 14-yard pass from Carlsen to Andrew Revering.
The Warriors marched down the field and responded, with quarterback Sam Miller scoring on a 2-yard run with 8 minutes remaining in the first half. Just 44 seconds later, Mother Nature stepped in and the athletes and coaches exited the playing field.
After the lightning delay, the Cardinals and Warriors returned to the field and play resumed.
Brainerd put more points on the board before halftime on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ben Staehling followed by a two-point conversion pass from Miller to Owen Davis, which extended the Warriors' lead to 22-7.
At the half, Brainerd had 198 total yards of offense to Alexandria's 160.
Alexandria 0 7 0 0-7
Brainerd 7 15 14 0-36
Brd-Joe Klang 5 run (Zach Henke kick) 2:46
A-Andrew Revering 14 pass from Matthew Carlsen (Zach Wosepka kick) 10:13
Brd-Sam Miller 2 run (Henke kick) 8:00
Brd-Ben Staehling 1 run (Owen Davis pass from Miller) 3:46
Brd-Ben Staehling 15 run (Henke kick) 7:04
Brd-Klang 5 run (Henke kick) 4:45
Rushing yards: Brd 391, A 105
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Brd 2-5-1-11, A 17-35-1-176
Total offense: Brd 402, A 281
Rushing: Brd-Sam Miller 12-54, Joe Klang 13-100, Ben Staehling 16-130, Pat Gervenak 2-14, Davon Stuckey 6-59, Bryson Bassett 6-20, Nathaniel Staehling 1-2, Caden Schoeppner 2-14; A-Matthew Carlsen 9-12, Nolan Morical 13-53, Blake Hoelscher 1-8, Trapper Botz 8-32
Passing: Brd-Miller 2-5-11; A-Carlsen 17-35-176
Receiving: Brd-Davis 1-4, Levi McDonald 1-7 ; A-Revering 7-39, Cody Branson 5-97, Taylor Jendro 1-12, Morical 2-4, Hoelscher 2-18, Evan Lattimer 1-6