State Football: Pierz runs past Jordan into Prep Bowl
Pierz 55, Jordan 26 Key: Pierz rushed for 421 yards and held Jordan to just 117 yards passing Overall: Prz 12-0, J 9-4 Next: Pierz vs. St. Croix Lutheran/Pequot Lakes winner for Class 3A State Championship at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis 1 p....
Pierz 55, Jordan 26
Key: Pierz rushed for 421 yards and held Jordan to just 117 yards passing
Overall: Prz 12-0, J 9-4
Next: Pierz vs. St. Croix Lutheran/Pequot Lakes winner for Class 3A State Championship at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis 1 p.m. Saturday
MINNEAPOLIS-They begged them to run.
The No. 2-ranked Pierz Pioneers pleaded and tempted the Jordan Hubmen to run the ball and by the time Jordan found rushing success it was already trailing 34-0 in Saturday's Class 3A State Semifinal at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Pioneers, meanwhile, ran the ball for 421 yards and seven touchdowns to advance to the Prep Bowl with a 55-26 victory.
Reese Kapsner rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Funk rushed for 73 yards and two scores. Jalen Jansen scored twice and rushed for 72 yards as the Pioneers averaged 6.0 yards-per-carry.
"A lot of teams have had success running against them, but stopping them was the big thing," said Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp. "Dave (Rocheleau, Pierz offensive coordinator) felt that we could run the ball and I think other than one series where we bogged down we did. And we capitalized on a few of their mistakes, too."
Pierz did complete one pass-a 24-yard TD strike from Preston Rocheleau to Cohlton Boser. It was a Boser interception that started the drive.
"It all starts out with the way we set it up," Boser said. "We ran three plays and then we came back with one play out of the blue and caught the guy coming up and that's how you play football.
"As for the interception, I was just in the right place at the right time. That's what happens."
The Boser pick was one of three Jordan turnovers. The other two came on Pierz kickoffs. Both resulted in Pioneers' touchdowns.
After Carson Huls scored from 4 yards out to give Pierz a 7-0 lead on its first drive, Matthias Algarin recovered a fumble on the kickoff to give Pierz first and goal from the Jordan 8. One play later, Jansen scored his first touchdown.
Pierz's next possession ended on a Reese Kapsner 30-yard TD run. That was followed by Jansen's second touchdown from 9 yards out and the Boser TD catch for a 34-0 lead.
Jordan answered that score with a seven-play, 83-yard drive that lasted just 1:51 for a 34-6 halftime score. Jordan's quick scoring ability was evident as Pierz held a 34:32 to 13:28 time of possession advantage.
"The looks we got (from their defense) were what we fully expected," Jordan head coach Bo Wasurick said. "Once we settled in we ran the ball well and we completed drives. We were just doing some boneheaded things and not really executing. "Defensively, you have to be willing tacklers at all 11 positions on the field and if one person is not a willing tackler on any given play you are not going to be successful. We had that here and there where the back was hit within five yards of the line of scrimmage by a pretty clean tackle and we didn't finish the tackles."
Kapsner opened up the third quarter with a 34-yard touchdown run and the two teams traded touchdowns with Pierz's score coming from a 1-yard Funk run. On the ensuing kickoff, Carter Moulzolf recovered Jordan's second fumbled kick return to give Pierz the ball back on the Jordan 17. Seven plays later Funk scored again from a yard out for a 55-12 edge.
"Momentum is key and those were huge plays by our special teams," said Boser. "That's one thing about our team, we're great all the way around. We have great special teams, great offense and a great defense. Those special teams plays, where the momentum switched, that was big for us."
The Pioneers held Jordan's quick-scoring passing game to just 117 yards, but the Hubman's Tariq Smith rushed for 235 yards on 30 carries and two scores. That was fine with the Pioneers who lined up with six defensive backs and three defensive lineman the entire game.
Boser led the Pioneers with 10 tackles. Carson Huls added a sack and Algarin forced both fumbles on the kickoffs.
"We knew they pass a lot and we knew that was our main priority to defend the pass," said Kapsner "And that's what we did."
Jordan 0 6 6 14-26
Pierz 14 20 21 0-55
Prz-Carson Huls 4 run (Preston Rocheleau kick) 7:12
Prz-Jalen Jansen 8 run (Rocheleau kick) 7:01
Prz-Reese Kapsner 30 run (kick blocked) 11:50
Prz-Jansen 9 run (Rocheleau kick) 6:42
Prz-Cohlton Boser 24 pass from Rocheleau (Rocheleau kick) 3:22
J-Adam Kreuser 52 pass from Jonathan Draheim (pass failed) 1:31
Prz-Kapsner 34 run (Rocheleau kick) 8:12
J-Kreuser 30 pass from Draheim (pass failed) 6:33
Prz-Alex Funk 1 run (Rocheleau kick) 4:41
Prz-Alex Funk 1 run (Rocheleau kick) 0:54
J-Tariq Smith 2 run (Ryan Samuelson pass from Draheim) 11:00
J-Smith 5 run (run failed) 6:51
First downs: Prz 26, J 18
Rushes-yards: Prz 70-421, J 32-246
Pass comp-att-int-yds: Prz 1-3-0-24, J 7-17-1-117
Total offense: Prz 73-445, J 49-363
Fumbles-lost: Prz 1-0, J 3-2
Penalties: Prz 2-16, J 3-10
Possession time: Prz 34:32, J 13:28
Rushing: Prz-Reese Kapsner 16-161, Jalen Jansen 11-73, Carson Huls 10-46 , Matthias Algarin 6-31, Carter Moulzolf 7-28, Luke Girtz 1-18, Alex Funk 17-73; J-Tariq Smith 30-235, Jonathan Draheim 1-(-9), Cody Fossen 0-6, Marlon Wiley 1-14
Passing: Prz-Preston Rocheleau 1-3-24; J-Draheim 7-11-117
Receiving: Prz-Cohlton Boser 1-24; J-Marlon Wiley 2-3, Adam Kreuser 3-93, Ryan Friedges 2-21