Blossoms ready for tough test at state football tournament

Published 8:33 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Blooming Prairie offense has been tough all season long, but it’s about to face its biggest test when it takes on New Ulm Cathedral in the quarterfinals of the Class ‘A’ state football tournament at RCTC Stadium in Rochester Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Greyhounds (11-0 overall) are ranked No. 1 in Class ‘A’ and they have allowed just 6.3 points per game, while scoring 38.1 per game. Their strength is up the middle in the form of two of two defensive tackles and they usually win the turnover battle.

The Awesome Blossoms (10-1 overall), who are ranked No. 5 in Class ‘A’ had three turnovers against Goodhue last week.

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“Ball security is always a priority of ours so we won’t do anything differently,” BP head coach Chad Gimbel said. “The one fumble (against Goodhue) was on a really good defensive play by their linebacker putting the helmet right on the ball, and the two interceptions were both tipped balls.”

BP has scored 36.7 points per game and allowed just 13.7 points per game this season and it has won 10 straight contests.

Gimbel expects to see the Greyhounds run the ball a lot to keep the Blossoms’ offense of the field.

“They are a very good running team with the focus being on running the ball with the fullback and once he is established using the outside run game. Then they’ll try to beat us with play action passing,” Gimbel said.

It is the fifth state tournament appearance for the Blossoms, but their first since 1983.

“It is huge for the program,” Gimbel said. “As a coaching staff and football program we have been striving for this for many years. The players are really excited but they also seem really down to earth and focused on winning this next game. I am really proud of them for that.”

BP is coming off a very emotional 21-20 win over the Wildcats, while the Greyhounds beat Springfield 27-14 to get to state.

“It should be a great football game and hopefully it will be as much fun as the section championship, that was a great game with an unbelievable atmosphere,” Gimbel said.

New Ulm Cathedral was ranked No. 1 in Class ‘A’ last season and they lost in the first round in the state quarterfinals.