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By Ben Karkela, Published November 13 2010

MN Class 1A state football quarterfinals: Barnesville advances to semis

Barnesville utilized a bruising running game to upend Mahnomen 24-6 in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota Class 1A football playoffs on Friday at the Fargodome.

“We played with a lot of intensity,” Barnesville head coach Bryan Strand said. “We fought for every yard we could.”

With the win, Barnesville advances to the semifinals against Goodhue.

The Trojans nearly doubled the Indians rushing yards, gaining 217 yards compared to 109 for Mahnomen.

Junior fullback Colby Braton racked up 139 yards rushing on 31 attempts to lead the Trojans.

“We just took it at them,” Braton said. “They couldn’t stop us. We were too big and physical.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Barnesville jumped out to a 6-0 lead when sophomore running back Austin Martz took a handoff and swept to the left.

Martz’ speed allowed him to get to the outside and dive across the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Senior John Hagen made the extra point kick, which turned out to be the game-winning point.

Bryan Strand credited his teams’ success on speed on the offense and defense. Mahnomen head coach John Clark Jr. agreed.

“Their speed overwhelmed us,” Clark said.

In the third quarter, Hagen drilled a 21-yard field goal to give Barnesville a 10-0 lead.

Neither team could get its passing attack going until the fourth quarter.

Barnesville’s junior quarterback Robbie Strand threw a spectacular 42-yard touchdown pass to Hagen in the fourth quarter.

Robbie Strand tossed the ball to an open Hagen, who caught the ball mid-stride with his left hand. Hagen avoided a tackle and high-stepped into the end zone.

Robbie Strand finished the game with 104 yards passing while rushing for one touchdown.

The Indians scored their only points on the ensuing drive.

Senior quarterback Dylan Stevens completed 29-yard touchdown pass to senior Mike Johnson on fourth-and-15.

Johnson then faked out the safety by moving to the middle of the field and ran into the end zone, cutting the lead to 24-6.

Stevens’ pass for a two-point conversion was intercepted.

“Their defense really controlled the game, we couldn’t move the ball,” Clark said.

Barnesville finished the game with 321 yard of total offense while holding Mahnomen to 149 yards.

M 0 0 0 6– 6

B 0 7 3 14–24

B–Martz 15 run (Hagen kick)

B–Hagen 21 field goal

B–Strand 1 run (Hagen kick)

B–Hagen 42 pass from Strand (Hagen kick)

M–Johnson 29 pass from Stevens (pass failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: M, Stevens 15-73, LaVoy 11-36. Totals 26-109. B, Rice 5-14, Braton 31-139, Hochhalter 11-43, Martz 4-19, Strand 3-2. Totals 54-217.

PASSING: M, 3-10-0 40. B, Strand 5-9-0 104.

RECEIVING: Statistics unavailable.


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ben Karkela at (701) 241-5549