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Published November 07 2010

High school football: Spuds’ season ends at hands of Brainerd

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Give a team short field position and it’s going to make for a long day.

Moorhead football coach Kevin Feeney said the sign of a good team is when they can take advantage of another opponent’s mistakes.

That’s why Brainerd is returning to the Minnesota State football tournament. The Warriors took advantage of the Spuds’ miscues en route to picking up a

35-12 win Saturday in the Minnesota Class 5A Section 8 championships at Clemens Stadium at St. John’s University.

“There were times where I felt we had our chances,” Feeney said. “But we couldn’t do much with those chances.”

No. 3 Brainerd (10-0) opens the state tournament against Eden Prairie while Moorhead (6-5) is still searching for its first state tournament berth since 2003 and first title since 1987.

Missing out on a trip to state obviously stings, but it was not like all was lost.

Running back Chase Morlock, who led Moorhead with 50 rushing yards, said he realized Moorhead can compete and challenge with a team like Brainerd next year.

“We just didn’t make the plays,” said Morlock, one of 12 returning starters for next season. “But we’ll be back. Next time we’ll win.”

Brainerd wasted no time taking advantage of Moorhead’s mistakes. Cornerback Jack Luke picked off a Jesse Doschadis pass and a play later, Matt Pohlkamp broke off a 71-yard touchdown run. That gave Brainerd a 6-0 lead after it missed the extra point.

A pooch punt put Brainerd on the Spuds’ 33 and five players later, Brainerd quarterback Mitchell Mclain scored on a one-yard run for a 12-0 lead following a failed two-point conversion.

Brainerd got the two points it was looking for after it blocked a Moorhead punt giving it a safety for a 14-0 lead.

The Warriors took a 21-6 lead at half time with the lone Moorhead touchdown coming with Doschadis throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to Travis Hand before the end of the half.

“We just tried to take advantage of the spots our defense put us in,” said Mclain, who had three touchdowns, two of them on the ground. “That helped us with getting short field position.”

Brainerd’s defense was frustrating to say the least.

Moorhead, which relied heavily on the run game this season, had its most frustrating day on the ground.

The Spuds didn’t reach the 100-yard rushing mark until 1:38 in the fourth when Levi Tompkins scored on a 23-yard run.

Tompkins’ run was also Moorhead’s longest of the day.

Moorhead scored again on a Dylan Shipman 4-yard touchdown run but by that point, the touchdown was merely a formality as the extra point was not even kicked.

That’s when in front of their fans, the Spuds woefully accepted the second-place trophy and jogged off the field.

“They jogged off the field with their heads up,” Feeney said. “That took pride. I’m proud of them for that. Jogging off might not seem like much, but it’s a small step in the direction we want to head in.”

M 0 6 0 6–12

B 6 15 7 7–35

B - Pohlkamp 71 run (kick failed)

B - Mclain 1 run (pass failed)

B – Safety

B – Pohlkamp 1 run (Caldwell)

M – Hand 4 pass from Dochadis (kick failed)

B – Mclain 10 run (Caldwell)

B – Luke 15 pass from Mclain (Caldwell)

M – Shipman 4 run (no extra point attempted)


RUSHING: B, Pohlkamp 10-133, Hayes 18-107, Lauer 2-7, Mclain 5-27. M, Duginski 6-34, Doschadis 4-6, Morlock 13-50, Uglem 2-3, Lien 1-2, Day 1-1, Tompkins 1-23, Wolford 1-13, Shipman 1-4

PASSING: B, Mclain 4-6-1 43 yards. M, Doschadis 5-16-2 63 yards, Lien 3-6-0 24 yards, Burns 0-1-0 0 yards

RECEIVING: B, Fussy 1-15, Luke 2-23, Hayes 2-5. M, Burns 4-38, Uglem 2-33, Hand 1-4, Ness 1-3, Morlock 1-8

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