Blooming Prairie running back Jake Decker runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against Goodhue in the Section 1A semifinals Saturday night in Blooming Prairie. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Thomas’s big plays lift Blossoms

Published 12:30am Sunday, October 28, 2012

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Blooming Prairie senior Michael Thomas doesn’t like to drop the ball. But when he does drop a pass, it doesn’t mean it will get to him.

Blooming Prairie's Michael Thomas converts on a fake punt in the first quarter Saturday night against Goodhue in the Section 1A semifinals in Blooming Prairie.

The 6-foot, 4-inch Blooming Prairie speedster shook off an early dropped pass and ran rampant on the Goodhue secondary all night as the top-seeded Awesome Blossoms beat No. 5 seeded Goodhue (4-6 overall) 41-26 in the Section 1A semifinals in BP Saturday.

After dropping a pass that would’ve been a long TD on BP’s first possession, Thomas hauled in scores of 58, 68 and 59-yards in BP’s win. When the smoke cleared, he had seven catches for 226 yards.

“I was really mad after (the drop), but I got over it and just kept doing what I needed to do,” Thomas said.

BP sophomore quarterback John Rumpza, who threw for 362 yards and five TDs while going 15-for-22, knew Thomas would be an option as the Wildcats played man-to-man defense, while often blitzing six defenders.

“We expected them to play man-to-man defense and we thought we could do well against it. We expect Michael to do well against a man-to-man defense,” Rumpza said.

BP’s offensive line gave Rumpza all of the time he needed to throw as it allowed just two sacks and very few pressures.

“The protection was great tonight,” Rumpza said. “We were picking up the blitzes well and the running backs stepped up on the blocks. I had a whole bunch of time to throw tonight.”

Blooming Prairie quarterback John Rumpza drops back to pass during the first quarter against Goodhue in the Section 1A semifinals Saturday night in Blooming Prairie.

Thomas gave BP a boost in another way as he ran for 20 yards on a fake punt on fourth and 11 on BP’s opening drive. The Awesome Blossoms scored on that drive and their next three possessions to take a 27-0 lead into halftime.

“I roll out and I get to decide if I can run it or punt it on that play,” Thomas said. “There was no one there so I just ran it. When we go from having to punt to getting the ball right back, that’s nice.”

BP (9-1 overall) will play in its sixth straight Section 1A title game when it hosts No. 2 Faribault Bethlehem Academy (8-2 overall) with a trip to state on the line Friday at 7 p.m. in BP.

The Blossoms beat FBA 12-7 Oct. 13.

“It’s my first time (in a title game) and it’s great,” Rumpza said. “It’ll be tough to beat FBA, but we know we can do it. We’ll have confidence going into it.”

BP STATS

Rushing: Jake Decker, 11-for-82; Michael Thomas, 1-for-20; Scott Romeo, 3-for-17; Cole Sunde, 2-for-8; Sam Swenson, 2-for-6; Kameron Holmes, 3-for-8; John Rumpza, 5-for-(-1); Anthony Nelson, 1-for-(-6); Passing: Rumpza, 15-for-22, 363, 5 TD; Receiving: Thomas, 7-for-226, 3 TD; Sunde, 3-for-66; Decker, 2-for-30; Hunter Rudlong, 2-for-21, 2 TD; Weston Fiebiger, 1-for-20; Penalties: 5-for-31

SCORING SUMMARY

Goodhue 0 0 8 18 — 26

BP 0 27 7 7 — 41

First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter

(BP) Decker 23 run (Wacek kick) (15 plays, 99 yards) 11:51

(BP) Thomas 58 pass from Rumpza (Wacek kick) (5 plays, 69 yards) 8:46

(BP) Thomas 68 pass from Rumpza (Wacek kick) (3 plays, 72 yards) 5:27

(BP) Rudlong 18 pass from Rumpza (kick failed) (kick failed) (5 plays, 94 yards) :10

Third quarter

(G) Drehmel 5 run (Weckerling from Schumacher) (13 plays, 60 yards) 5:57

(BP) Rudlong 3 pass from Rumpza (Wacek kick) (7 plays, 47 yards) :37

Fourth quarter

(G) Hinsch 15 fumble return (Weckerling from Schumacher) (1 play, 15 yards) 7:27

(BP) Thomas 59 pass from Rumpza (Strunk kick) 7:11

(G) Safety

(G) Drehmel 33 run (Huemann run) 1:54


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