State Football: Pierz ends perfect season with Prep Bowl win
MINNEAPOLIS - Noah Boser didn't have to be a quarterback Saturday. So the Pierz Pioneers senior did everything else. Boser rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns and caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Pionee...
MINNEAPOLIS - Noah Boser didn't have to be a quarterback Saturday.
So the Pierz Pioneers senior did everything else.
Boser rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns and caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Pioneers a 36-8 Class 3A Prep Bowl victory over Jackson County Central Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
Pierz 36, Jackson County Central 8
Highlight: Three JCC turnovers and three Noah Boser touchdowns helped the Pioneers
Final records: Prz 13-0, JCC 10-3
Boser, a fullback, was called upon to run the wildcat offense in the state quarterfinals and semifinals because of injuries to starting quarterback Aaron Weber and backup QB Preston Rocheleau. Weber gutted out Saturday's Prep Bowl, which freed Boser to focus on his normal position.
"It made everything a lot easier," said Boser. "Playing fullback is way easier than playing quarterback. I know that now. I didn't think it was at first. I just thought playing quarterback was take the snap and hand the ball off. Not having to play it helped me think about running more and my defense more. I didn't have to worry about throwing the ball."
After JCC scored the first first-quarter touchdown the Pioneers allowed all season to claim an 8-7 lead, Weber hit Boser on a 49-yard dart down the middle to regain the lead for good.
"With Aaron back, we weren't sure if we were going to get him back, but our offense is so much more explosive," said Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp. "Not that Noah can't do the wildcat, but Aaron is the man at the quarterback. He's got a great arm and he'll give you a chance to make the catch. We felt going in with him that we had so much confidence that he would be able to loosen (Jackson County) up a little bit because they're so stout up front."
Weber was 2-5 for 124 yards and two TDs in the first half. His first touchdown pass came on a unique formation for the Pioneers.
With three receivers bunched together on the left, Weber took the shotgun snap, looked to the big group and then fired to Michael Meyer, who was by himself on the right side of the formation. Meyer split between the cornerback and linebacker, caught the pass and sprinted 75 yards to the end zone.
"Usually in the last couple of games, teams have been putting a free safety over Michael," said Weber. "They didn't really have a safety over there. They had a linebacker. I knew (Michael) was running the post and I just had to put one over the linebacker's head."
Boser's second touchdown, a 3-yard run, capped off a three-play, 14-yard drive that was set up by Michael Meyer's ninth interception of the season. Pierz forced three JCC turnovers and suffered only one.
Boser led the Pioneers with eight tackles and added a sack. Kolton Eischens forced a fumble that was recovered by Matt Kummet and Jonny Kasper had two pass breakups.
Boser opened the fourth quarter with a 26-yard touchdown run to highlight a seven-play, 76-yard drive. Pierz rushed for 283 yards on 45 carries and held the high-scoring Huskies to 191 yards rushing on 47 carries.
JCC entered Saturday's game averaging 44.8 points a game. After the first-quarter touchdown, JCC pushed into Pierz's 20-yard line just once and fumbled the ball away.
"Three times it wasn't good enough and this was one of them," said JCC head coach Tom Schuller. "I thought we were in decent shape going into the locker room only down a score. We knew if we got into too many passing situations that's not what we do well. Give Pierz credit. They put us in a lot of those situations and we had trouble converting them. Defensively they did a great job."
Lane Girtz added 119 yards rushing on 14 carries and Jonny Kasper, who finished with 40 yards, capped off the scoring with a 1-yard TD run with 36 seconds left.
Jackson CC 8 0 0 0 - 8
Pierz 7 8 7 14 - 36
Prz-Michael Meyer 75 pass from Aaron Weber (Lane Girtz kick) 10:33
JCC-Ryan Salzwedel 37 pass from Easton Bahr (Keegan Moore run) 1:04
Prz-Noah Boser 49 pass from Weber (Jonny Kasper run) 4:57
Prz-Boser 3 run (Girtz kick) 10:35
Prz-Boser 26 run (Girtz kick) 7:12
Prz-Jonny Kasper 1 run (Girtz kick) 0:36
Rushes-yards: Prz 45-301; JCC 47-224
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Prz 3-7-0-143; JCC 5-12-1-90
Total offense: Prz 426; JCC 281
First downs: Prz 17; JCC 16
Fumbles-lost: Prz 2-1; JCC 3-2
Penalties-yards: Prz 4-44; JCC 5-35
Time of possession: Prz 21:05; JCC 26:55
Third-down conversion: Prz 5-9; JCC 4-11
Fourth-down conversion: Prz 0-1; JCC 1-2
Red-Zone conversions: Prz 2-3; JCC 0-2
Rushing: Prz-Noah Boser 13-107, Lane Girtz 14-119, Jonny Kasper 9-40, Derick Hall 5-27, Nick Herold 1-(-2), Aaron Weber 3-(-8); JCC-Avery Henderson 14-89, Keegan Moore 21-85, Ryan Salzwedel 2-11, Dalton Wagner 1-5, Zachary Poelaert 1-4, Easton Bahr 8-(-2)
Passing: Prz-Aaron Weber3-7-143 ; JCC-Bahr 5-12-90
Receiving: Prz-Michael Meyer 1-75, Boser 1-49, Kolton Eischens 1-19; JCC-Salzwedel 2-43, Chris Gumto 1-39, Matt Ringkob 1-6 Henderson 1-2
Punting: Prz-Eric Stuckmayer 3-88 (29.3); JCC-Keegan Klontz 4-114 (28.5)
Kickoffs: Girtz 6-294 (49.0); JCC-2-99 (49.5)
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .