MINNEAPOLIS — When playing in an NFL stadium, why not air it out like an NFL team?
Facing a physical, run-heavy Browerville/Eagle Valley squad in the Class A state semifinals Saturday, BOLD went aerial in the perfect conditions inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
The result: quarterback Jordan Sagedahl was 20-for-25 for 355 yards and six touchdowns in the air. And the Warriors punched their ticket to a second straight Prep Bowl with a 56-7 victory.
“They played really soft (coverage),” Jordan said. “They played back so we hit a bunch of underneath (passes), then we had play action and hit a few deep. I think they were more rattled over anything (with us) hitting almost every pass.”
In total, BOLD outgained Browerville/Eagle Valley in total offense 490-110.
“We try to go by what the defense will allow us to do,” said Warriors head coach Derek Flann. “We felt like when Jordan’s healthy, we’re pretty versatile: we can throw it, we can run it.”
Flann continued, “Watching Browerville on film, we could tell they were going to be aggressive in the middle. They were going to put a lot of guys at the line of scrimmage and make it tough to run the ball. There’s not a lot of athletes in Class A or the state of Minnesota like the guys sitting up here (Sagedahl, Gavin Vosika and Peyton Riley). When you got those kids, you can make teams pay for putting too much in the middle or spreading it out too much and that’s what we’ve tried to do.”
At 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, BOLD will face Blooming Prairie for the state championship. The Awesome Blossoms advanced after a 41-0 victory against Ada-Borup on Saturday.
Looking to grind out an upset win, the Tigers were on the mark on the opening drive, going 64 yards on 17 plays. The 9-minute, 6-second drive resulted in a 1-yard rushing score by Landon Gode.
That did not sit well with Flann, who heads the Warriors’ defense.
“My voice started to get a little quieter because my throat was sore from screaming at that point,” Flann said. “Our linebackers were just moving too far in that really tight system and we were getting outside of where the ball was coming. (We had) a few missed reads and our pad level was a little high. … We made some minor adjustments and the kids got ‘er done.”
After that opening drive, Browerville/Eagle Valley had just 29 yards the rest of the way.
“We've seen just about every kind of defense you can to stop the power T,” said Tigers head coach Wayne Petermeier. “We’ve seen a seven-man front, we’ve seen a six-man front, we’ve seen a five-man front and a four-man front. For the most part, the kids have figured out on their own how to block and how to block down and kick out.
“At certain positions, they were bigger, faster, stronger than us. They just came and they were the better team.”
While Browerville/Eagle Valley’s first drive went over nine minutes, BOLD’s first drive took just 35 seconds as Jordan connected with Vosika for a 49-yard touchdown pass on a go route up the middle of the field.
The Warriors’ defense forced a turnover on downs on the next drive to put the ball at the Tigers’ 38-yard line. That led to a 1-yard Tim Peppel touchdown run that made it a 13-7 game.
Averaging 283.5 rushing yards per game heading into Saturday, Browerville/Eagle Valley was held to 101 yards on the ground.
“Everybody just had to do their job, fill their gap and keep them at the line of scrimmage,” said senior defensive end/linebacker Peyton Riley, who had two tackles for loss along with a fumble recovery in the second half.
With the defense locked in, Jordan kept the ball flying, with TD passes to Vosika from 43 yards and Anthony Maher from 12 yards in the second quarter to build a 28-7 halftime lead. The opening drive of the third quarter resulted in an 8-yard touchdown reception by Drew Sagedahl.
“Everyone on the outside made me look good today,” Jordan said about his aerial success.
Jordan was pressured only once, something he admits was his fault over the offensive line’s.
“Everyone just had to step up, get a guy, head up on ‘em, take ‘em and stay low and keep good stances,” said Riley, the team’s center.
Vosika was Jordan’s main target with 232 yards and four touchdowns on 10 receptions.
“As the game went on, you can see them getting tired of us shoving it down their throats,” said Vosika, who had TD catches of 11 and 33 yards in the second half. “You see them backing off.”
Matt Moorse had five grabs for 74 yards while Drew Sagedahl hauled in four balls for 89 yards.
“The way (Vosika) caught the ball and the way it was thrown today, hey, hats off to ‘em,” Petermeier said. “There were three (passes) where you couldn’t put the ball in a better position. They caught it and we were right there. There’s not much more that you can do.”
BOLD will head to its seventh Prep Bowl and will try to win its first championship since back-to-back titles in 1990 and 1991. The Warriors and Awesome Blossoms last played in the 2018 Class A state semifinals, which saw BOLD emerge a 37-7 winner.
BOLD (12-0) 7 21 20 8 — 56
B/EV (10-1) 7 0 0 0 — 7
B/EV – Landon Gode 1 run (Trey Lancaster kick)
BOLD – Gavin Vosika 49 pass from Jordan Sagedahl (Braeden Tersteeg kick)
BOLD – Tim Peppel 1 run (pass failed)
BOLD – Vosika 44 pass from J. Sagedahl (Vosika pass from J. Sagedahl)
BOLD – Anthony Maher 12 pass from J. Sagedahl (Tersteeg kick)
BOLD – Drew Sagedahl 8 pass from J. Sagedahl (Tersteeg kick)
BOLD – Vosika 11 pass from J. Sagedahl (Tersteeg kick)
BOLD – Vosika 33 pass from Sagedahl (kick failed)
BOLD – David Garcia 5 run (Connor Plumley run)
First downs: 21 … Penalties: 2-23 … Rushing (Individual and team): David Garcia 2-50, Connor Plumley 10-34, Hunter Borer 1-25, Blake Plass 4-20, Braeden Tersteeg 1-4, Tim Peppel 1-1, Gavin Vosika 1-1, Jordan Sagedahl 1-0. 23-135 … Passing (Individual and team): J. Sagedahl 20-25-355-0 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Vosika 10-232, Matt Moorse 5-74, Drew Sagedahl 4-37, Anthony Maher 1-12 … Interceptions: None … Fumble recoveries: Peyton Riley 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): Andrew Sheehan 8-1, Plass 5-1, Joey McMath 4-1, Peppel 3-0, Maher 3-0, Tersteeg 3-0 … QB sacks: None
First downs: 8 … Penalties: 3-32 … Rushing (Individual and team): Mason Gode 12-47, Landon Gode 10-30, Cory Meyer 3-15, Carter Meiners 4-8, Marshall Murch 3-5, Aiden Eckel 3-4, Brock Hayes 2-2, Nye Becker 2-1, Joe Nederoscik 1-(-1), Austin Carr 2-(-4), Reis Irsfeld 2-(-6). 44-101 … Passing (Individual and team): Meyer 1-3-9-0 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Meiners 1-9 … Interceptions: None … Fumble recoveries: None … Tackles (solo-assist): Carr 3-0, Ian Gould 3-0, Meyer 3-0, Eckel 3-0 … QB sacks: None