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Chris Murphy, Published October 31 2013

Kittson Country Central claims 9-man, Section 8 title

FARGO – As Win-E-Mac quarterback Zac Tradewell’s pass flew to the corner of the end zone to running back Devin Faldet with 46 seconds in the game and his team up 28-21, Kittson County Central coach Cory Waling’s mind went back to Day 1 of practice. Good thing his linebacker’s mind did as well.

“Go back to Day 1 of football practice,” Waling said. “Fundamentals. That’s what it came down to. Read your steps. Our linebacker did that and was right in position.”

Dalton Klegstad was there to break up the pass and the Minnesota Class

9-man, Section 8 title was Kittson County Central’s. Waling wasn’t the only one thinking of Day 1 of practice when Tradewell’s pass flew through the Fargodome.

“I just had a flashback to everything we’ve done and everything we’ve been through,” Bearcats quarterback Drew Olsonawski said. “We worked so hard for this.”

The game showed everything that No. 2 versus No. 3-ranked teams should. Both teams were 10-0 entering Thursday.

“There’s a lot of good teams, and you have to play every week like it,” Olsonawski said. “If you trip up, other teams will come at you. Other teams have had their chance with us, but we’ve been able to hold them off.”

On the fourth play of the game, Kittson County Central running back Fernando Blanco went 70 yards for a touchdown to deliver the first big blow to Win-E-Mac less than two minutes into the game.

“I just knew where the hole was going to be and I trusted my blockers to get it for me,” said Blanco, who finished with 96 yards rushing and two touchdowns on eight carries. “After that, I just booked it.”

Win-E-Mac answered with a 14-play, 65-yard drive that took more than six minutes off the clock and had 12 running plays. The 12th running play was to Tradewell for the 1-yard touchdown run to tie up the game. On the first play of the second quarter, Klegstad intercepted a Tradewell pass and took it 24 yards to the Win-E-Mac 6-yard line. Blanco got to the end zone on the next play to put the Bearcats up 14-7.

“At the beginning of the season, we weren’t really noticed or thought to be that good,” Blanco said. “I think we showed everybody.”

Win-E-Mac came back with 13 running plays, accounting for 68 yards, with the final yard coming on a Keaton Stuhaug run to make it 14-13.

The third quarter proved to be the big blow to the Patriots. On Kittson County Central’s first drive, the Bearcats had fourth-and-12 from the Patriots’ 17-yard line. Olsonawski found Tucker Cosley for a touchdown on a play the Bearcats didn’t even have in their playbook.

“It really wasn’t one of our plays,” said Olsonawski, who finished with 184 yards and two touchdowns through the air. “We just kind of drew it up before we went out there. I saw the linebacker’s back, and I knew Tucker would catch it.”

After a Win-E-Mac punt on the ensuing drive, Olsonawski found Nick Kasprowicz on a slant route for a 78-yard score, and it was 28-13 Bearcats. The Patriots answered on a Devin Faldet 15-yard touchdown run and added a 2-point conversion to get within seven with 10 minutes, 14 seconds to go, but the Patriots fell short.

Kittson County Central will take on Ada-Borup at noon Nov. 9 at Bemidji State in the 9-man state quarterfinals.

K 7 7 14 0–28

W 7 6 0 8–21

K-Blanco 70 run (Blanco kick)

W-Tradewell 1 run (Lisoff kick)

K-Blanco 6 run (Blanco kick)

W-Keaton Stuhaug 1 run (kick failed)

K-Cosley 17 pass from Olsonawski (Blanco kick)

K-Kasprowicz 78 pass from Olsonawski (Blanco kick)

W-Faldet 15 run (run good)


RUSHING: K, Thorsteinson 6-21, Blanco 8-96, Olsonawski 5-(-19). W, Faldet 35-170, Keaton Stuhaug 16-67, Tradewell 12-52, Thompson 5-28.

PASSING: K, Olsonawski 12-21-0 184 yards. W, Tradewell 1-6-1 12 yards.

RECEIVING: K, Davis 2-22, Kasprowicz 6-122, Blanco 3-23, Cosley 1-17. W, Faldet 1-12.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548