MARSHALL — Having the success of the offense in Gavin Vosika’s hands isn’t that uncommon for BOLD.
But the way it was done in Friday’s Section 5A championship game was much different than the senior running back/wide receiver was used to.
With quarterback Jordan Sagedahl ailing with a sprained ankle, the Warriors unveiled a look they’ve been working on for years: Vosika as the QB in a wildcat formation.
“It was a big change,” Vosika admitted. “We never ran it in-game before. … I got to give credit to my offensive line for making the holes and giving me what I can.”
The wildcat proved to be effective as all three of BOLD’s touchdowns — courtesy of Vosika — came out of that formation. As a result, the top-seeded Warriors are headed back to the state tournament with a 21-0 win over third-seeded Canby.
This is the 12th state appearance in school history for BOLD.
“We’ve got what we feel is one of the best athletes that’s going to be out on the field,” Warriors first-year head coach Derek Flann said of Vosika.
Flann continued, “I thought our will was pretty good today. They really had to grind.”
With Canby’s game-opening drive ending with a Matt Moorse interception, BOLD had two fourth-down conversions in its first drive, a 12-play, 57-yard effort that culminated in an 8-yard touchdown run by Vosika.
That proved to be the only score in the first half in a showcase of two of the section’s stingiest defenses.
“We played physical. And when we play physical, they can’t do things to us,” said senior defensive lineman/linebacker Anthony Maher. “We had our scheme up and we followed our scheme and we played hard.”
The Lancers’ power run game was thwarted by the Warriors as running back Ty Stoks was held to 53 yards on 18 carries. Stoks also gave up a third-quarter fumble that was recovered by defensive lineman Peyton Riley.
“I was filling my gap and I was going down and saw everyone going to the ball,” Riley said. “So I went around to see what happened and the ball popped out. I went for it, grabbed it and held on.”
With the ball placed at Canby’s 26-yard line, Vosika broke through the line for a 17-yard touchdown at the 7-minute, 12-second mark of the third to make it 14-0.
Vosika had 26 rushes for 126 yards, leading a BOLD running game that took a hit in the first half when fullback Tim Peppel left the game with an injury.
After another stop on defense, Vosika had the ball in his hands for a third-and-12 play. Instead of tucking and running, he lobbed the ball in the air. It fluttered in the wind but ended up in the hands of Blake Plass, who crossed the goal line for a 59-yard touchdown and a 21-0 BOLD lead.
“That was my first-ever pass as a quarterback,” Vosika said with a smirk. “It was ugly but it got there.”
Lancers quarterback Parker Viessman completed 12 of 29 passes for 122 yards, he was sacked five times, with two from Anthony Maher and one apiece by Riley, Andrew Sheehan and Joey McMath.
“It was a game where we knew our defense was going to have to play well,” Flann said. “I told coach (Darren) Sagedahl that if we get three scores, we can hold them and win. We wanted to get up to 21 points and that’s what we got to. I thought we did a really good job adjusting throughout the game.”
The Warriors will open the Class A state playoffs at noon on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Brainerd High School against Section 7A champion Deer River. Deer River, the top seed in the 7A, qualified for state with a 36-0 victory over second-seeded Braham on Friday night.
“We’re not satisfied. We’re not satisfied until the end,” Maher said. “We’re going to keep on pushing.”
BOLD 21, Canby 0
Canby (8-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
BOLD (10-0) 7 0 14 0 — 21
B – Gavin Vosika 8 run (Braeden Tersteeg kick)
B – Vosika 17 run (Tersteeg kick)
B – Blake Plass 59 pass from Vosika (Tersteeg kick)
First downs: N/A … Penalties: N/A … Rushing (Individual and team): Ty Stoks 18-53, Cameron Anderson 1-9, Parker Viessman 7-(-31). 21-31 … Passing (Individual and team): Viessman 12-29-122-1 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Kalib Greenman 3-32, Tyler Sayre 2-15, Hunter Cleveland 1-9, Tanner Drietz 4-46, Cameron Anderson 1-24, Will Varcoe 1-(-4) … Interceptions: None … Fumble recoveries: None … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: None
First downs: 11 … Penalties: 4-30 … Rushing (Individual and team): Tim Peppel 9-39, Gavin Vosika 26-126, Blake Plass 7-20. 51-184 … Passing (Individual and team): Jordan Sagedahl 3-6-31-0, Gavin Vosika 1-1-59-0, Drew Sagedahl 1-1-26-0. 5-8-116-0 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Vosika 1-29, Plass 2-80, Anthony Maher 1-4, Matt Moorse 1-3 … Interceptions: Moorse 1 … Fumble recoveries: Peyton Riley 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): Andrew Sheehan 6-4, Moorse 2-4, Joey McMath 3-2, Anthony Maher 2-2 … QB sacks: Maher 2, McMath 1, Sheehan 1, Riley 1