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BOLD Football: Wounded Warriors fall in Class 1A championship

BOLD goes down hard to Blooming Prairie in Prep Bowl, 41-15

113019.S.WCT.BOLD FB Matthew Moorse 2.JPG
Blooming Prairie senior wide receiver Alex Baldwin makes a catch with BOLD senior cornerback Matthew Moorse in coverage during Friday's Prep Bowl from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Patrick Bernadeau/West Central Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — BOLD wanted to stop Blooming Prairie from running the ball. And, the Warriors were successful in that.

But the Awesome Blossoms’ passing game proved to be, well, awesome.

With quarterback Kaden Thomas completing 77 percent of his passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns, Blooming Prairie won its first state football title with a 41-15 victory over BOLD in the Class A championship of Prep Bowl XXXVIII Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

For the second straight year, the Warriors finish as state runner-up.

“Our focus had been to stop the run and for the majority of the game, we did that effectively,” said Warriors head coach Derek Flann. “We thought we could match up with them outside and we lost a bunch of battles. We were going to pick our poison of trying to make them throw the ball.”

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BOLD wanted to air it out as well, but the Blossoms came prepared with a plethora of pass rushers. In the Warriors’ first drive, defensive tackle Dylan Nirk tallied the first of six first-half sacks for Blooming Prairie.

Said BOLD guard Andrew Sheehan: “We prepared for them not to blitz as many times. (Nirk) is a good defensive tackle and our center (Peyton Riley) would slide over and was going to help me. We weren’t prepared for the blitzes.”

Blooming Prairie head coach Chad Gimbel added: “Our goal coming into the game was to get pressure on the quarterback, make him uncomfortable and make him miss throws. If he had time, he was going to pick us apart.”

That pressure paid off on the next play when under duress, Warriors QB Jordan Sagedahl floated a ball in the air into the hands of Gabe Hagen for an 18-yard pick-six for the game’s first score.

“(Sagedahl) was falling down and threw it. It went slow motion for me,” Hagen said of the interception.

Photo Gallery: BOLD vs Blooming Prairie Class A Championship Here are scenes Prep Bowl XXXVIII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
That was just the beginning for the future Minnesota State-Mankato Maverick as he also came up with 125 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions.

“He’s such a mismatch for everyone,” Thomas said of Hagen. “He’s a 6-foot-5 guy that runs a 4.7 40 (yard dash) and that’s hard to guard.”

Even with the constant pressure, BOLD stayed with the pass and took a lead in the first quarter when Jordan hit little brother Drew Sagedahl for a 15-yard TD pass. The two reversed roles on the two-point conversion as Drew found Jordan on the wideout pass for an 8-6 Warriors lead.

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While Blossoms running back Matthew Pryor was held in check on the ground, he found paydirt on a middle screen in the red zone, scoring from 9 yards out to give Blooming Prairie a 14-8 lead with 1 minute, 4 seconds left in the opening quarter.

“The first couple drives, I realized they had no safeties,” Thomas said. “It’s hard to run when they have no safeties. I knew it might have to turn into a passing attack.”

That aerial assault struck again before halftime as Hagen hauled in a 25-yard score.

Using some of the Blossoms’ aggressiveness to its advantage, the Warriors scored in the final minute of the first half with Jordan finding Blake Plass on a shovel pass for a 14-yard touchdown.

“We had about three of those (shovel passes) we got yards on,” Flann said. “That slowed them down a little bit.”

But when BOLD got the ball to start the second half, the drive ended up stalling out at Blooming Prairie’s 31-yard line. Dipping and dunking their way down the field, the Blossoms went up two scores thanks to a fortunate bounce. Thomas threw to Hagen in the end zone and the pass appeared to be broken up while the wideout was down on the ground. But, the ball bounced off Hagen’s leg and ended up in his mitts for a 12-yard score to make it 28-15.

Not only did BOLD try to mount a comeback, but they had to do it as Sagedahl re-aggravated his sprained right ankle that he hurt back in the Section 5A semifinals.

Sagedahl said he was up to 90 percent heading into the game but, “When I reinjured it again, it just set me back one more step.”

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Blooming Prairie’s offense picked up 400 yards of total offense compared to 238 for BOLD.

“There was a lot of weapons we had to control,” said Sheehan, who had a Warrior-best 12 tackles at linebacker.

BOLD concludes the 2019 season with a 13-1 record and will graduate 11 seniors.

Blooming Prairie 41,
BOLD 15

BOLD (13-1) 8 7 0 0 — 15
BP (13-0) 14 7 7 13 — 41
Scoring Plays
BP – Gabe Hagen 19 interception return (Carson Brennecke kick)
Key play: A play before the interception, Blooming Prairie put BOLD in a 3rd-and-16 after a sack by Dylan Nirk.
BOLD – Drew Sagedahl 15 pass from Jordan Sagedahl (J. Sagedahl pass from D. Sagedahl)
10 plays, 80 yards. TOP: 2:41
Key play: On 4th-and-5 at BP’s 33-yard-line, BOLD went for it. Jordan flicked a shovel pass to Blake Plass, who broke a tackle to get the first down on an 8-yard reception.
BP – Matthew Pryor 9 pass from Kaden Thomas (Brennecke kick)
8 plays, 66 yards. TOP: 3:27
Key plays: Facing 3rd-and-7, BP converted the first down on an 11-yard pass to Karson Vigeland. The next play, Thomas hit Mitchell Fiebiger for 34 yards to put the ball at the BOLD 5-yard line.
BP – Hagen 25 pass from Thomas (Brennecke kick)
9 plays, 80 yards. TOP: 3:11
Key play: BP got into BOLD territory with a 26-yard pass to Fiebiger
BOLD – Blake Plass 14 pass from J. Sagedahl (Braeden Tersteeg kick)
7 plays, 60 yards. TOP: 3:30
Key play: Following BP’s sixth sack of the first half, Jordan bought time with his legs and hit Moorse with a 38-yard pass to put the ball at the Blossoms’ 14.
BP – Hagen 12 pass from Thomas (Brennecke kick)
9 plays, 69 yards. TOP: 3:26
Key play: At 3rd-and-8, Bradley Simon broke a Matt Moorse tackle and went 36 yards to put BP at BOLD’s 12-yard line. Hagen followed up three plays later with a bobbling catch in the end zone.
BP – Karson Vigeland 11 pass from Thomas (pass failed)
6 plays, 82 yards. TOP: 1:42.
Key plays: Thomas hit Hagen for a pair of big passes from 23 and 27 yards to get BP in the red zone.
BP – Matthew Pryor 6 run (Brennecke kick)
13 plays, 59 yards. TOP: 8:54.
Key plays: Pryor had a hand in 12 of the drive’s 13 plays. Thomas also came up with a 13-yard run for a first down.

BOLD

First downs: 16 … Penalties: 3-24 … Rushing (Individual and team): Jordan Sagedahl 15-10, Tim Peppel 3-9. 19-19 … Passing (Individual and team): J. Sagedahl 15-37-219-1, Drew Sagedahl 0-2-0-0. 15-39-219-1 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Gavin Vosika 7-77, Blake Plass 5-59, D. Sagedahl 2-45, Matt Moorse 1-38 … Interceptions: None … Fumble recoveries: None … Tackles (solo-assist): Andrew Sheehan 3-9, Joey McMath 3-6, Plass 4-4, Vosika 6-1, Brady Ridler 4-1 … QB sacks: None

Blooming Prairie

First downs: 21 … Penalties: 5-75 … Rushing (Individual and team): Matthew Pryor 29-68, Alex Baldwin 3-21, Kaden Thomas 1-13, Bradley Simon 1-0. 34-102 … Passing (Individual and team): Thomas 23-30-298-0 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Gabe Hagen 8-125, Baldwin 5-35, Simon 3-41, Karson Vigeland 3-24, Mitchell Fiebiger 2-60, Pryor 2-13 … Interceptions: Hagen 1 … Fumble recoveries: None … Tackles (solo-assist): Zach Weber 5-1, Jarrett Larson 4-1, Colton Krell 4-0, Dylan Nirk 3-0, Simon 3-0 … QB sacks: Dylan Nirk 2, Jarrett Larson 2-1/2, Hagen 1/2, Luke Larkoski 1

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