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Pierz Pioneers Head to State Semifinal

Pierz 42, Proctor 13 Key: Pierz rushed for 296 yards and 5 touchdowns Overall: Prz 11-0, Proc 8-3 Next: Pierz vs. Jordan in Class 3A State Semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis 2 p.m. Saturday. Pierz’s defense came to play Saturday. And so did its offense as the second-ranked and unbeaten Pioneers ran past the ninth-ranked Proctor Rails 42-13 in the Class 3A State Quarterfinals at Brainerd High School. Pierz rushed for 296 yards against a team that only allowed 811 rushing yards in its first 10 games. Junior halfback Reese Kapsner ignited the Pioneers’ attack as he gained 152 yards and scored the game’s first three touchdowns. “We knew Proctor had a really good line coming in and our line just was prepared,” Kapsner said. “We were a little bit quicker. We said all week that we were quicker because they were a pretty big line, but our line did a great job of making holes. “We just knew we were quick and we knew we were going to run like we always do. We knew they were going to run at us and it would be a battle and our line did a good job of winning the battle.” Pierz marched the game’s opening drive 61 yards on eight plays with Kapsner’s 3-yard run capping it off. The play before Jalen Jansan helped Pierz convert on fourth and 1. After forcing Proctor to punt away its opening possession, Pierz marched 75 yards on 10 plays with Kapsner scoring from 22 yards out. The drive was kept alive thanks to a 19-yard pass from Preston Rocheleau to Ben Herold on third and nine. Rocheleau was an efficient 4-for-5 for 65 yards. Kapsner caught two of those passes for 38 yards. “That was different,” Kapsner said. “I think that was one of my first times getting a ball through the air all year. I was just trying to find some open space and Preston is a really good quarterback, too.” Pierz’s third drive needed just one play as Kapsner scored from 25 yards out for a 20-0 lead. Pierz fumbled away its next possession and Proctor capitalized with a 9-yard scoring strike from John Pioro to Cody Hampton for a 20-7 halftime score.