GROVE CITY -- Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City came into its Section 5AA semifinal football game against MACCRAY wanting to run the ball. The Wolverines wanted to pass.
Only one team got its way Saturday.
The Falcons rumbled for 406 yards and held MACCRAY to 135 through the air en route to a 41-7 win. The Falcons will face Eden Valley-Watkins Thursday for the section championship at 5:30 p.m. at St. Cloud State University.
The Wolverines started the game chucking the ball, but misfiring. Caleb Hanson connected on his first three passes for 23 yards, but then completed only one of his next six. The drive ended in a missed field goal.
"We were fortunate early," said ACGC coach Terry Karlsgodt. "They had some open guys and just didn't connect."
ACGC didn't have many problems with its left-right combination of Kurtis Huisman and Deron Buboltz. Running on alternate plays, the duo ran all of the Falcons' plays in a nine-snap, 82-yard drive that culminated with Huisman diving in from three yards out.
The Wolverines didn't give up on the pass, and after Huisman scored on a one-yard plunge in the second quarter, MACCRAY drove down the field and finished the series with a Jay Hilbrands 26-yard scoring pass from Hanson. The extra point cut the Falcons' lead to 14-7.
But Huisman and Buboltz weren't done running. Each scored a touchdown in the second quarter as ACGC chewed up the clock and took a 27-7 halftime lead. The Falcons gained 220 yards rushing in the first half.
"(Our offensive line) did a terrific job. (MACCRAY) was blitzing," Karlsgodt said. "We did a nice job of angle blocking and our backs ran hard. I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage."
Though the scoring tailed off in the second half, the results were just the same. ACGC continued to run, run, run and take time off the clock while the defense shut down the Wolverines.
Buboltz paced the Falcons with 164 yards rushing on 27 carries, while Huisman added 159 on 23 carries and four TDs. Jordan Tanner completed 5-of-6 passes for 45 yards. Defensively, Huisman and Travis Frederiksen each picked off a MACCRAY pass and Dustin Ericson recovered a fumble.
For the Wolverines, Abe Winter rushed for 37 yards and Hanson threw for 135 yards on 9-of-26 passing. Hilbrands caught six passes for 100 yards.
ACGC 41, MACCRAY 7
MACCRAY................0 7 0 0 -- 7
ACGC......................7 20 7 7 -- 41
ACGC - Kurtis Huisman 3 run (Huisman kick)
ACGC - Huisman 1 run (Huisman kick)
MAC - Jay Hilbrands 26 pass from Caleb Hanson (Zach Price kick)
ACGC - Huisman 9 run (kick blocked)
ACGC - Deron Buboltz 3 run (Huisman kick)
ACGC - Brooks Maurer 5 pass from Jordan Tanner (Huisman kick)
ACGC - Huisman 14 run (Huisman kick)
First downs: 9 ... Rushing: 20-35 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 9-26-135-2 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: 6-50
Rushing: Abe Winter 13-37, Caleb Hanson 5-(-1), Darrin Caspers 1-3 ... Passing: Hanson 9-26-135-2 ... Receiving: Jay Hilbrands 6-100, Tyler Dammann 1-20, Brandon Madsen 1-6, Mitch Rosendahl 1-9 ... Punting: Hanson 3-31 ... Interceptions: none ... Fumble recoveries: Dominik Ammermann1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): not available ... QB sacks: not available
First downs: 26 ... Rushing: 67-406 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 5-6-45-0 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: 5-45
Rushing: Kurtis Huisman 23-159, Deron Buboltz 27-164, Travis Frederiksen 2-19, Mitch Tauer 2-31, Kurt Litzau 8-21, Eric Whitcomb 2-11, Tyler Whitcomb 1-5, Trevor Heining 1-2 ... Passing: Jordan Tanner 5-6-45-0 ... Receiving: Brooks Maurer 3-31, Justin Hanson 1-4, Huisman 1-10 ... Punting: Huisman 1-30 ... Interceptions: Huisman 1, Frederiksen 1 ... Fumble recoveries: Dustin Ericson 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): Joel Slinden 2-5, Nick Amor 3-6, Huisman 2-2, Micah Larson 0-4, Maurer 1-4, Hanson 2-0, Evan Blackwell 2-2, Buboltz 5 ... QB sacks: Larson 1