KMS champs again in 5A football

MARSHALL -- There must be something about last-second Section 5A victories and the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg football team. A few days short of one year since the Fighting Saints beat Dawson-Boyd 26-24 to earn a state tournament berth, KMS gave f...

MARSHALL -- There must be something about last-second Section 5A victories and the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg football team.

A few days short of one year since the Fighting Saints beat Dawson-Boyd 26-24 to earn a state tournament berth, KMS gave fans another near-heart attack with a 42-35 victory over Minneota Friday, earning a second straight state trip.

Joel Bauman scored from 16 yards out with 11.7 seconds remaining to give the Fighting Saints the win. It capped a seven-play, 58-yard drive that started with 1:35 left.

The Vikings had done a fairly good job of bottling up the KMS rushing attack, even though the Fighting Saints put up 303 yards on 56 carries, but Bauman knew he had to get the ball in the end zone.

"I told myself, 'I know I can do this.' I had to do it for my team. It was all mental," said Bauman, who grounded out 269 yards in 47 carries.


After Andres Rojas' sixth extra-point kick, the Fighting Saints sealed the win on an interception by Kevin Steinhaus.

KMS will face Fosston in the state quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Fargodome.

The game contained everything a football fan would enjoy. Lots of scoring, big plays and tons of drama. The teams scored 29 points in the first quarter to set a frantic pace.

KMS pulled off the first big play with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Steinhaus to Taylor Freetly, tying the game at 7. After forcing a three-and-out, the Fighting Saints reached into their bag of tricks -- no treats on this Halloween -- and came up with a halfback pass from Bauman to Aaron Zimmer, who stretched out to reach the end zone and put his team up 14-7.

"We saw they were coming up on the quick pitch," Bauman said. "We've been working (on the play) for a while and we decided to pull it off because they came so hard the first time. It was amazing."

Minneota scored on two consecutive drives, then KMS once again pulled off a big play. The play-action fake to Bauman opened up a passing lane, but not until Steinhaus countered his bootleg to his right and turned left.

"We knew they would play Joel up on the run," said Freetly, who caught the 16-yard pass for a touchdown to tie the game at 21. "We do that counter bootleg and I found myself open on those play fakes."

The Vikings, however, connected on a 32-yard scoring combination to take a 27-21 halftime lead.


Two more big plays remained to seal KMS' fate. In the middle of the third quarter, the Fighting Saints punted, but recovered the ball at their own 40-yard line to keep the drive alive. Bauman ran 20 yards for a TD eight plays later and KMS led 28-27.

Then the Fighting Saints' defense held on two straight pass plays with under two minutes left, including a near sack on third down to force a punt.

KMS' defense tightened up on Minneota in the second half.

"We made some adjustments at halftime," KMS coach James Cortez said. "They weren't huge, it was just more of a confidence thing."

"We were playing more physical with them and getting a better rush," added Freetly. "That was key."

KMS 42, Minneota 35

KMS 14 7 7 14 -- 42

Minneota15 12 0 7 -- 35


Min - Jacob Cheadle 9 run (kick good)

KMS - Taylor Freetly 38 pass from Kevin Steinhaus (Andres Rojas kick)

KMS - Aaron Zimmer 36 pass from Joel Bauman (Rojas kick)

Min - Tony Noyes 23 pass from Sam Dernyck (Christian Skillings pass from Dernyck)

KMS - Skillings 11 pass from Dernyck (kick failed)

KMS - Taylor Freetly 13 pass from Steinhaus (Rojas kick)

Min - Brandon Anderson 32 pass from Dernyck (kick failed)

KMS - Bauman 20 run (Rojas kick)


KMS - Freetly 18 pass from Steinhaus (Rojas kick)

Min - Cheadle 16 pass from Dernyck (8 kick good)

KMS - Bauman 16 run (Rojas kick)


Team statistics

First downs: 19 ... Rushing: 56-303 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 11-16-212-0 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: 6-41

Individual statistics

Rushing: Joel Bauman 47-269, Mitch Hagen 4-13, Kevin Steinhaus 5-21 ... Passing: Steinhaus 10-15-176-0, Bauman 1-1-36-0 ... Receiving: Taylor Freetly 7-146, Aaron Zimmer 1-36, Mitch Hagen 3-30 ... Punting: Freetly 2-40 ... Interceptions: Steinhaus 1 ... Fumble recoveries: Adam Wentzel 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): Joey Bauman 4-3, Mitch Weflen 2-5, Brad Kneisl 2-3, Adam Wentzel 2-3, Hagen 4-9, Zimmer 4-5, Freetly 2-5, Chris DiSanto 0-2, Jordan Helms 2-4, Jake Armstrong 6-1 ... QB sacks: none



Team statistics

First downs: 13 ... Rushing: 23-130 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 14-26-236-1 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: none

Individual statistics

Rushing: Brandon Anderson 9-29, Tony Noyes 3-17, Jacob Cheadle 9-49, Sam Dernyck 3-20 ... Passing: Dernyck 14-26-236-1 ... Receiving: Cheadle 4-68, Anderson 2-31, Noyes 6-66, Christian Skillings 1-11, Tavin Sonnenburg 2-30 ... Punting: Jesus Macias 3-37.3 ... Interceptions: none ... Fumble recoveries: 1

What To Read Next
Get Local