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Eric Peterson, Published October 25 2011

Barnesville tops Pelican Rapids in Minnesota football playoff game

BARNESVILLE, Minn. – The Barnesville Trojans blocked a punt, had an interception and rushed for four touchdowns Tuesday night – and that all happened in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Barnesville exploded for 26 points in the first quarter en route to a 44-3 home victory against Pelican Rapids in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 football quarterfinals.

“You come in as a No. 7 seed, you need good, positive things to happen early for yourself, and instead it’s completely opposite,” Pelican Rapids head coach Dave Haugen said. “We never found anything really that we could go to the whole game.”

No. 2-seeded Barnesville (9-0) hosts Warroad (7-2) on Saturday in the section semifinals.

“I’ve personally never beat Pelican,” said Trojans head coach Bryan Strand, in his seventh season. “This wasn’t the normal 2-7 (seeded) game; this was more like a 2-3 game. Pelican is a very good team. To come out and get that win was important.”

The Trojans showed they meant business early. On the fourth play from scrimmage, junior running back Austin Martz ripped off a 72-yard touchdown run to give Barnesville a 6-0 lead with 10 minutes, 38 seconds to play in the first quarter.

“It just came around the corner and the hole was open,” said Martz, who rushed for 111 yards on eight attempts and also added a TD catch. “There was no one there, and I just kept running. … It sets the tone for the night and makes you want to just keep going, making plays.”

The plays kept coming in the first quarter.

Senior running back Adam Rice capped the Trojans second drive with a 23-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead with 6:27 to play in the quarter.

Senior linebacker Josh Harris blocked a punt that gave Barnesville the ball at the Vikings’ 10-yard line. Two plays later, senior fullback Colby Braton scored on a 4-yard run.

Moments later, Harris intercepted a pass that gave Barnesville the ball at the Pelican Rapids’ 21. Four plays later, Braton scored on a 2-yard run.

That score capped the opening flurry and staked the Trojans to a 26-0 lead with 2:35 to play in the first quarter.

“We were juiced and ready to go,” Martz said. “We just had to come out and not be too jumpy.”

Pelican Rapids 0 0 3 0–3

Barnesville 26 6 6 6–44

B–A. Martz 72 run (run failed)

B–Rice 23 run (A. Martz run)

B–Braton 4 run (run failed)

B–Braton 2 run (run failed)

B–Rice 75 pass from R. Strand (pass failed)

B–A. Martz 31 pass from R. Strand (run failed)

PR–Molina 25 FG

B–M. Strand 48 run (pass failed)


RUSHING: PR, Grahn 6-21, Gutierrez 5-1, Budke 10-15, Hanson 3-(minus-7), Schell 3-8, Sorum 1-1, Halbakken 1-1, Coleman 1-3. B, Rice 6-49, Braton 8-50, A. Martz 8-111, M. Strand 8-65, R. Strand 2-(minus-9), Brandt 1-9, K. Martz 2-1, Nosal 3-13, Ishaug 1-(minus-1).

PASSING: PR, Hensch 7-18-2 56 yards. B, R. Strand 9-15-1 187.

RECEIVING: PR, Forsgren 3-14, Halbakken 3-37, Sorum 1-5. B, Rice 3-127, A. Martz 3-44, M. Strand 2-13, Braton 1-9.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com