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Published October 31 2010

Barnesville builds on forfeit victory with shutout football win against Royalton

BARNESVILLE, Minn. – No first-round opponent. Not a problem.

The Barnesville football team was idle in the first round because of a forfeit by Parkers Prairie. But when the chance came to face Royalton, Barnesville showed they used its extra time wisely by having four 6:45 a.m. practices and watching seven games worth of Royalton film. It showed with Barnesville dismantling Royalton 42-0 on Saturday in the Section 6A semifinal round.

Barnesville (10-0), the No. 2 team in the state, advances to the finals at the Fargodome next Saturday where it will face Browerville, which was ranked No. 3 in the last AP poll.

“We have to prepare for every game like it could be our last,” said junior fullback Colby Braton. “You never know. Anyone could beat you on any Friday night.”

Except this was a Saturday. And by the end of the first quarter, it was clear Barnesville had this game won.

Braton scored on the game’s opening drive and after the Trojans recovered a fumble on defense, they scored again for a 14-0 lead with 5:46 left in the first.

Trojans coach Bryan Strand’s game plan was pretty simple: Run. Run. Run.

Braton along with Zach Hochhalter and Austin Martz each ran for at least 66 yards.

The Trojans rushed for 202 yards en route to holding a 28-0 halftime lead.

“We have great backs where we know between any one of us we can get the job done,” said Martz, who also rushed for a touchdown.

Quarterback Robbie Strand also chipped in by rushing for a touchdown and throwing for two more in the third quarter.

The same could be said on defense. Martz helped lead a stingy Barnesville defense that had two interceptions, two sacks and held Royalton to 123 yards on offense.

Martz, who had one of the interceptions, said the defense was strong because they studied their assignments and flew to whoever had the ball.

Getting a shutout had been a priority. Keep in mind this is a team that had given up eight touchdowns this year.

Bryan Strand joked with his team in the postgame talk by saying beating Royalton gave Barnesville its second straight postseason shutout. That’s because the Trojans were awarded a 2-0 win for the Parkers Prairie first-round forfeit.

Royalton’s best scoring chance came with 3:28 left in the fourth and Barnesville already had its subs in with a 42-0 lead.

Royals quarterback Andy Poster reached the 1-yard line before sophomore defensive back Tracy Jerald hit him and forced a fumble giving Barnesville possession.

“What was great about the defense was everyone wanted it including Tracy, who is a third-string player,” Strand said. “What’s great about him was he had a staph infection the whole year, where they had to take a six-inch by two-inch gash out of his leg from the infection. It’s gross to think about, but it was great to see him come back and get that hit.”

R 0 0 0 0– 0

B 14 14 14 0–42

B–6 run Braton (Hagen kick)

B–5 run Rice (Hagen kick)

B– 1 run Strand (Hagen kick)

B– 34 run Martz (Hagen kick)

B– John 44 pass from Strand (Hagen kick)

B– Mahar 4 pass from Strand (Hagen kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: R, Schlichting 20-79, Zimmerman 12-29, Wntland 2-10, Poster 4-15. B, Hochhalter 10-75, Braton 14-85, Rice 8-45, Martz 6-66, Hagen 1-5, Paul 1-5

PASSING: R, Poster 3-5-2 20 yards. B, Strand 3-5-0 66 yards.

RECEIVING: R, Zimmerman 1-5, Silbernick 1-15. B, Hochhalter 1-31, John 1-31, Mahar 1-4


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548