Dawson-Boyd falls to Minneota rush

MINNEAPOLIS -- Well, at least one Vikings team has won at TCF Bank Stadium this weekend. In the Class A Prep Bowl final matching members of the Little Sioux Conference, the Minneota Vikings stampeded the Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks 28-14 early Saturda...

Touchdown! Hunter Olson nabs a scoring 10-yard pass from quarterback Jess Hansen on the first play of the fourth quarter at TCF Bank Stadium to pull the Blackjacks within a touchdown of the lead, 20-13. The Minneota defender is linebacker Cole Hennen (23).
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MINNEAPOLIS - Well, at least one Vikings team has won at TCF Bank Stadium this weekend.
In the Class A Prep Bowl final matching members of the Little Sioux Conference, the Minneota Vikings stampeded the Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks 28-14 early Saturday afternoon.
With 205-pound fullback Garrett Hennen leading the charge (29 carries for 179 yards), the Vikings piled up 283 yards on the heated, spinach-green turf of the Minnesota Gophers.
“We saw we had some success running the first time we played Dawson-Boyd and that’s really what we wanted to do,” said Minneota coach Chad Johnson. “We ran it really well with the exception of [five fumbles, two lost]. We don’t ordinarily do that. We fumbled more today than I think we did all year.”
Those miscues helped keep the score close until the final two minutes, but the Vikings’ ownership of the line of scrimmage kept the Blackjacks off balance on the mild 36-degree day.
The 2013 Class AA runners-up led 20-7 at halftime and secured the victory as senior running back Cole Hennen rambled 51 yards with 2:34 left in the fourth quarter for the final bulge.
The Blackjacks had little room for error against the Vikings, who dealt them their only previous loss, 33-21, on Sept. 26. Nor could they afford to lose their top rusher.
Dalton Palmer (1,830 yards, 20 TDs) re-injured his right knee, sprained in the section semifinal, and was helped off after carrying for no yardage on the Jacks’ first play from scrimmage. He came back to carry seven times for 25 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game, this time for good, in the second quarter when he popped his left shoulder while blocking.
“It wasn’t part of our game plan to pass 30 times,” said Blackjacks’ head coach Cory Larson in the stadium corridor later.
Junior quarterback Jess Hansen actually threw 39 times for 170 yards on 23 completions with one late interception. The Vikings’ defense sacked him seven times and recorded two other tackles for loss.
“Some of that was on us,” said Larson. “There were times we had six blocking three and we still didn’t execute.”
While injury nullified much of the Jacks’ rushing game, the Vikings kept the Jacks’ other six-shooter in the holster with double coverage. Michael Lee did have nine catches for 70 yards but in the red zone the Vikings’ blanket attention really paid off.
The Blackjacks were outmanned on the line of scrimmage where Minneota returned all its linemen from last year’s team that went 13-1 and lost to Chatfield 17-7 in the Class AA championship game at the Metrodome.
Zach Stratmoen was the lone lineman back for Dawson-Boyd, which lost to Mahnomen in the 20-13 Class A final.
“We knew we had to stop the [Vikings] run and make them pass,” said Stratmoen, adding “It was pretty cool playing here.”
The Vikings asserted themselves on the game’s first possession, driving 69 yards on land for a 6-0 lead. Cousins Garrett and Cole got the ball on eight of the 10 snaps.
By halftime, the Vikings had rushed for 177 yards compared to 24 net yards in 15 attempts by the Jacks.
Minneota deployed a freshman quarterback, Alex Pohlen, who would throw just six times, completing four for 43 yards, including seven yards to Nicholas Esping for a 12-0 lead as the first quarter ended.
Palmer’s sweep around his left end from three yards made it 12-7 on Easton Popma’s conversion kick, but the Vikings posted another score when Esping recovered Garrett Hennen’s fumble in the Blackjacks’ end zone for a 20-7 halftime lead.
Dawson-Boyd made it 20-14 when Hansen threw a spot-on pass to Hunter Olson (eight catches, 64 yards) at the goal-line corner on fourth and six on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Dawson-Boyd had one more possession with only a TD separating the teams but was forced to punt with 6:62 left. A minute later, Cole Hennen sailed around his right end and down the sideline for a 51-yard score and a 26-14 margin.
“The Vikings are an excellent football team,” Larson said. “I couldn’t say this before the season, but I can now. After they finished runner-up in AA a year ago and had so many players back, I thought they’d be the Class A champs.”
Larson pointed out to his troops in the postgame locker room that they are a huge part of a great run by the Blackjacks.
“You can only play a maximum of 56 games in four years and Dawson-Boyd has played 55,” he told them. “You can look back and feel pretty proud.”
Through 2010, the Blackjacks had never advanced a football team to the state tournament. Since then they have won a state championship (2011) and taken home two runner-up trophies while also reaching the final four in 2012.
“It’s bittersweet,” said senior co-captain Karson Lindblad, who rushed six times for 11 yards and made five solo tackles. “It’s great to be in the state championship game. I’m proud of my teammates and glad to be part of this team.”
Top tacklers for the Jacks (12-2) were Wyatt Ireland, Dalton Kostad, Eli Weber and Noah Stelter.


Minneota 28, Dawson-Boyd 14
Dawson-Boyd (12-2) 0 7 0 7 - 14
Minneota (13-0) 12 8 0 8 - 28
Minn – Garrett Hennen 6 run (kick fail)
Minn – Nicholas Esping 7 pass from Alex Pohlen (run fail)
DB – Dalton Palmer 3 run (Easton Popma kick)
Minn – Esping fumble recovery in DB end zone of Garrett Hennen fumble (Cole Hennen run)
DB – Hunter Olson 10 pass from Jess Hansen (Popma kick)
Minn – Cole Hennen 51 run (Esping pass from Pohlen)
First downs: 16 … Rushing: 25-20 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 23-41-170-1 … Fumbles lost: 1 … Penalties: 2-10
Rushing: Dalton Palmer 8-25, Christian Thoen 2-23, Karson Lindblad 6-12, Michael Lee 1-9, Jess Hansen 8-8 … Passing: Jess Hansen 23-39-170-1 ... Receiving: Lee 9-70, Hunter Olson 8-64, Noah Stelter 3-20, Karson Lindblad 1-12, Eli Weber 1-4 … Punting: Thoen 3-33.0 … Fumble recoveries: Dalton Kostad 1, Lee 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): Wyatt Ireland 8-0, Kostad 7-0, Weber 6-0, Stelter 6-0, Lindblad 5-0, Thoen 4-0, Donny Bothun 4-0, Lee 1-0,
First downs: 19 … Rushing: 44-283 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 4-6-43-0 … Fumbles lost: 2 … Penalties: 4-25
Rushing: Garrett Hennen 29-181, Cole Hennen 9-91, Alec Engler 2-18, Bryce Bruner 2-8 … Passing: Alex Pohlen 4-6-423-0 ... Receiving: Nich Esping 2-14, G. Hennen 1-15, C. Hennen 1-14 … Punting: Engler 1-51.0 … Interceptions: Engler … Fumble recoveries: Dan Harrison … Tackles (solo-assist): Bruner 7-0, C. Hennen 6-0, Andrew Behnke 5-0



Dawson-Boyd linebacker Karson Lindblad dives to tackle Minneota running back Garrett Hennen who would rush for 179 net yards in 29 carries.

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