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Published October 18 2011

Bachmeier's interception return for TD as time expires leads Kindred past Central Cass

CASSELTON, N.D. – Kindred sophomore Eric Bachmeier pounded his chest with a fist, signifying that it took heart for the Vikings to pull off a stunning victory Tuesday night against Central Cass.

He was only partially right. It took heart, hands, fast-twitch leg muscles and

101 yards of dodging, weaving and last-ditch grasping for postseason resuscitation.

Bachmeier’s 101-yard interception return for a touchdown as time expired erased a 22-point halftime deficit and vaulted Kindred into the North Dakota Class 2A playoffs with a 42-36 victory against the rival Squirrels before a raucous crowd.

“I blew some assignments in the first half and I had to make it up in the second half, that’s for sure,” Bachmeier said. “I let my team down and I had to step up. I was trying to take it all the way, trying to win it.”

Central Cass and Kindred each entered the game fighting for their postseason lives. The Squirrels needed to defeat the Vikings by at least 17 points, and a Wahpeton victory against Lisbon to extend the season.

The Vikings (5-4) needed a win to get in.

The stakes were high, and every play was magnified to end the game.

It appeared as if Central Cass was driving to win the game in the closing moments when Bachmeier pulled off his miracle run to the end zone to snatch the win away.

After taking chances all night – and hitting on many of those opportunities – the Squirrels took the ball to the Vikings 8-yard line with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game.

Bachmeier stepped in front of a Kyle Schultz pass a yard deep in the end zone, and nearly stepped out of bounds near the sideline as he sidestepped an opponent.

He then weaved, cut and raced the length of the field and dove in the end zone after shaking several tackles to set off an explosion of cheers from the visiting bleachers.

“When we had a minute and a half left we could have very well have run the ball and come away with the win. But we would have been sitting in the same boat here, turning in equipment next week anyway,” Central Cass coach Patrick Metzger said. “If we would have pulled the guys aside and asked what they wanted to do, go for the playoffs or get out of here with a win, every single one of them would have said let’s go for it. (Kindred) has some players and man did they make plays.”

Central Cass (4-5) looked like it could run away with the game after a dominant first half.

The Squirrels were near flawless as they racked up 298 total yards en route to a 36-14 halftime lead.

Schultz and shifty junior running back Ellery Bresnahan stole the show for much of the game.

Schultz had 170 passing yards in the first half. Bresnahan piled up 122 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries.

Bresnahan did a little of everything for the Squirrels. He finished with 148 rushing yards, 52 receiving yards, a fumble recovery and an interception.

However, Bachmeier was the star in the end.

The sophomore played a role in each of the Vikings’ six touchdowns.

A pair of late fourth-quarter touchdown passes tied the game at 36-36 with 1:26 remaining.

The perfect ending to Bachmeier’s standout night was the unbelievable interception return for a score as time expired.

It looked as if he would be tackled several times during his magnificent run to the end zone. But he always managed to sidestep an oncoming player.

“We knew if we lost this game it would be a slim chance that we made the playoffs,” Bachmeier said. “We pulled together and we pushed through and got a win. I had to win it. It was all adrenaline.”

Kindred 6 8 8 20 – 42

Central Cass 22 14 0 0 – 36

CC-Radermacher 63 pass from Schultz (run failed)

CC-Bresnahan 2 run (Bresnahan pass from Schultz)

CC-Bresnahan 5 run (Radermacher pass from Schultz)

K-Bachmeier 35 run (pass failed)

CC-Nelson 1 run (Radermacher pass from Schultz)

K-Dahlgren 61 pass from Bachmeier (Bachmeier run)

CC-Radermacher 43 pass from Schultz (pass failed)

K-Bachmeier 3 run (Bachmeier run)

K-Ness 23 pass from Bachmeier (run failed)

K-Cose 35 pass from Bachmeier (Miller pass from Bachmeier)

K-Bachmeier 101 interception return

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: K, Dahlgren 11-119, Bachmeier 14-115, Cose 1-8, Heitkamp 2-3. CC, Bresnahan 27-148, Nelson 5-18, Sundquist 1-(-2), Schultz 2-(-15).

PASSING: K, Bachmeier 12-24-1 212. CC, Schultz 10-21-2 250. Bresnahan 1-2-0 20.

RECEIVING: Talley 4-50, Cose 4-68, Nelson 1-0, Dahlgren 1-61, Ness 1-23, Miller 1-10. CC, Radermacher 2-107, Zimmerman 2-25, Bresnahan 3-52, Sundquist 1-8, Lubbers 2-48, Schultz 1-20.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com