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Prep football: BOLD boots Huskers out of tourney

Tribune photo by Tom Larson BOLD sophomore kicker Nick Kubesh kicks the game-winning field goal in overtime to beat Holdingford in the in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota Class AA state tournament Thursday at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud. The Warriors won 23-20.

ST. CLOUD -- Nick Kubesh returned to the BOLD football team's sideline, head down, feeling like he might have just cost his team a shot at the Class AA state semifinals.

The Warriors' kicker had just missed a conversion kick in overtime after a BOLD touchdown, meaning that if Holdingford was able to score in its possession and add the kick, it would be game over, season over, for the Warriors.

"I was really down," Kubesh said. "(BOLD head coach Steve) Solem came up to me and told me to keep my head up and believe in myself because they were going to need me to do it again."

And they did. This time, Kubesh delievered with dead aim, nailing an 18-yard field goal in BOLD's second overtime possession to lift the Warriors to a 23-20 win over Holdingford on Thursday at St. Cloud State University.

Like BOLD, the Huskers were able to score a touchdown in their first overtime possession but Holdingford kicker Kyle Kolstad suffered the same fate as Kubesh, missing the PAT kick to send the teams into a second OT. BOLD held the Huskers on downs, then drove to the one yard line before sending Kubesh for the deciding field goal attempt.

"After the first kick, I just told him he was going to get another chance," Solem said. "If we don't get it in there (the end zone), you're going to get a chance to win it, and danged if he didn't."

It was the second time Kubesh has won a BOLD playoff game with his toe. He hit a short field goal as time expired to beat Benson in the opening game of the Section 5AA playoffs.

"I have mixed feelings," Kubesh said. "To get in there after missing the first one and then have the opportunity to kick another one. It was same story as Benson. It's great but I don't ever want to be in that situation again."

BOLD hopes to keep Kubesh out of the hot seat, too, and it appeared the Warriors wouldn't need to rely on him.

The Huskers scored first on a 61-yard pass play from Mitch Messman to Cody Schwinghammer late in the first quarter, but the Warriors answered on an 11-yard TD pass from Tyler Rock to Trevor Nissen. BOLD then took the lead on Chaz Roush's 17-yard scoring run to put the Warriors ahead 14-7 at half.

BOLD held off Huskers threats in the second half, with Rock intercepting Messman in the end zone and the defense holding on a fourth-down play inside the 20 yard line. Holdingford did break through on Jon Skwira's punishing 9-yard touchdown run in the third.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter, and BOLD's Tyler Seehusen scored from a yard out on the first overtime possession for a 20-14 lead. Holdingford answered on Messman's 1-yard plunge. One or the other would have walked off with the win were it not for the two failed PAT attempts.

BOLD's defensive backs twice stripped Holdingford receievers on Messman throws into the end zone. The Huskers hurt their cause with a 15-yard personal foul penalty and a fourth-and-goal pass play from the 20 yard line fell incomplete.

"We kept fighting (on defense) and didn't get down," Seehusen said. "If they got a first down on us, we just got back up and went back to it. We kept our heads up."

Seehusen carried twice in the second OT possession, getting inside the five on third down to set up Kubesh's redemption.

"Our defensive backs really stepped up, knocking the ball out of (receivers') hands and our ends were containing," Solem said. "We live to see another week. I love that."

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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