Awesome Blossoms beat Goodhue with late defensive stop

Published 11:47 pm Friday, November 6, 2009

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — On a night full of big plays, none stood bigger than a fourth down stand by the Blooming Prairie defense as the Awesome Blossoms beat Goodhue 21-20 to win the Section 1A title and earn a trip to the Class ‘A’ state tournament at McFarlin Field Friday.

The No. 2 seeded Wildcats (7-4 overall) couldn’t convert a fourth and two from the BP 47-yard line when Jared Dicke was stuffed by the top-seeded Blossoms (10-1 overall) on an off tackle run with 1:33 left in the game. The play was measured and was short by about a foot and Goodhue never got the ball back.

“They’re a good team and you know the game’s going to come down to something close, but to win on fourth and short, it’s what we dream for,” BP safety/wide receiver Justen Ingvalson said. “We finally got one for this town and every one here deserves it.”

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While the BP defense was big in the fourth quarter, the special teams were even bigger. Dan Willert blocked his second P.A.T. of the night after Goodhue quarterback Blayne Erie had run four yards for a score to pull Goodhue within 21-20 with 7:08 left in the game.

“It was just a bull rush. I didn’t realize how big it was until afterwards,” Willert said.

BP had a chance to put the game away after Erie’s score, but after Luc Zellmer hooked up with Luke Huemann for a 33-yard slant to the Goodhue 30-yard line, things went astray. Zellmer’s third down pass from inside the Goodhue 20-yard line was tipped at the line of scrimmage and picked off by Brady Vieths.

Zellmer missed on five of his first seven throws to open the game, but he recovered and threw a 48-yard TD strike down the middle of the field to Justen Ingvalson to make it 7-6 BP in the second quarter and he hit Ingvalson on a 30-yard strike down the left sideline late in the third quarter to put BP up for good at 21-14.

“I wasn’t worried at all,” said Ingvalson of his quarterback. “Luc would bounce back, we just had to make sure he wouldn’t get too riled up. He’s a good quarterback.”

Ingvalson had 80 receiving yards on the night while Cooper Nelson was held to 20 yards and Gabe Kartes didn’t catch a pass.

“They were in man-to-man and we have so many good guys at our skill positions that they couldn’t match up with us at all,” Ingvalson said.

Zellmer, a sophomore, made a big play on fourth down when BP was trailing 14-7 early in the second half. On fourth and four from the Goodhue nine-yard line, Zellmer dumped a perfect slip screen pass to Aaron Niles, who was forced out of bounds at the one-yard line, setting up a Zellmer score to make it 14-14 with 7:26 left in the second half.

“Our receivers did a great job all game. I’ve just got to get them the ball and let them make plays,” Zellmer said. “The offensive line gave me years to throw back there and they were amazing.”

BP trailed by a touchdown at the half after Goodhue closed the first half with an eight play, 80-yard drive. But the Blossoms quickly regained momentum to open the second half when Rudy Vasquez broke up a third down deep ball intended for Brandon Hadler, who had 169 yards and a score on the night, on the Wildcats’ opening possession.

“We decided we were going to play man to man (in the second half) and put five guys on the line to try to make them one dimensional and make them throw,” BP head coach Gimbel said. “They were finding the holes in our zone, so we figured we’d just match up one on one and lock them down and it worked just enough.”

The win was an emotional one for a BP team that had dropped the Section 1A title game two years in a row. Luc Zellmer’s older brother, Matt, who graduated last year, was a starter on both those teams.

“It feels real good and I gotta talk to Matt and see what he has to say,” Luc Zellmer said of the win. “It just feels amazing right now.”

BP will play New Ulm Cathedral (11-0 overall) at RCTC Stadium in Rochester at 3 p.m. next Saturday.

“This team never dies and we’re not going to be satisfied,” Gimbel said. “We’re on turf where we’ve been wanting to play for a long time with our speed and passing attack. We want to get to the dome, that’s our ultimate goal.”

BP stats

Rushing: Aaron Niles, 20-for-80; Luc Zellmer, 18-for-70, TD; Justen Ingvalson, 1-for-7; Passing: Zellmer, 9-for-19, 159, 2 TD, 2 INT; Ingvalson, 3-for-80, 2 TD; Luke Huemann, 2-for-40; Cooper Nelson, 2-for-20; Niles, 2-for-19; Sacks: Nelson, Jeff Hagstrom, Aaron Krejci

Goodhue stats

Rushing: Jared Dicke, 13-for-61, TD; Blayne Erie, 13-for-25, TD; Brady Bigalk, 4-for-16; Ross Schrimpf, 3-for-(-3); Passing: Erie, 15-for-28, 264, TD; Brandon Hadler, 8-for-169, TD; Ashton Eries, 3-for-41; Casey Buck, 1-for-19; Alan Dicke, 1-for-24; Bigalk, 1-for-11; Brent Bitzan, 1-for-10; Interceptions: Ashton Erie, Brady Vieths; Penalties: 3-for-16

Goodhue 0 14 0 6 — 20

BP 0 7 14 0 — 21

First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter

(G) 5:45 Hadler 66 pass from Erie (kick blocked) (4 plays, 90 yards)

(BP) 3:55 Ingvalson 48 pass from Zellmer (Niles kick) (four plays, 57 yards)

(G) 1:31 Jared Dicke 8 run (Dicke run) (8 plays, 80 yards)

Third quarter

(BP) 7:26 Zellmer 1 run (Niles kick) (8 plays, 40 yards)

(BP) :46 Ingvalson 30 pass from Zellmer (Niles kick) (11 plays, 80 yards)

Fourth quarter

(G) 7:08 Erie 4 run (kick blocked) (10 plays, 97 yards)