Gallery: Blossoms air it out in home win

Published 1:02 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blooming Prairie's Gabe Kartes heads up the sidelines on a pass reception in the third quarter Friday night against Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity in Blooming Prairie. - Eric Johnson/

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Luc Zellmer threw for 270 yards and six touchdowns as the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms defeated Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Friday night 49-28.

Zellmer, who hooked up with receiver Gabe Kartes for four of his touchdowns, helped lead the Blossoms through a slow start in the first quarter to take a commanding lead over the Bulldogs into the second half.

“I tell them, the biggest thing is we stop ourselves,” head coach Chad Gimble said. “We make mistakes that put us in the hole.”

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Initially, it looked like BP would take the game and run. BP needed just four plays on the game’s opening to drive, capped by Zellmer hitting Kartes on a 45-yard strike to take a 7-0 lead.

However, for the rest of the first, BP’s offense stalled as the Bulldogs (2-1 overall) went to work, scoring first on a three-yard keeper by quarterback Alex Heigl with just over two minutes left in the first and then again on a option play to running back Sam Scoblic to make it 14-7 early in the second quarter.

“They had a couple plays go against our reads,” linebacker Ryan McCabe said. “That’s what hurt us right away.”

Gimble saw it too as the LP/HT running game found holes again and again in the BP line.

“We had to get our backs stepping up,” Gimble said. “That was killing us.”

Things began swinging again to the Blossoms when Jonny Kraling recovered a Bulldogs fumble with 8:23 remaining in the half.

BP kept the ball on the ground, running the ball inside the five-yard line before Zellmer hit Kartes on the run to his left, tying the game at 14-14.

Blooming Prairie quarterback Luc Zellmer throws on the run in the fourth quarter Friday night against Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity in Blooming Prairie. - Eric Johnson/

With 1:25 left Zellmer found Kartes again on a 26-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-14.

And BP wasn’t done.

The defense held LP/HT and got the ball back with 18 seconds remaining. Zellmer promptly found Michael Thomas for 27 yards and together with a 15-yard face-mask call on the Bulldogs put the on the 10-yard line.

Zellmer followed that with a strike to McCabe, who had to snag the ball out and away from him, in the back of the endzone leading to a 28-14 lead going into the half.

“Luc threw a great ball,” McCabe said. “He put it where I could catch it.”

“That was outstanding,” Zellmer said. “Once I threw it, I knew he would have to make a great play.”

Throughout the second half, BP’s air attack was complimented by a running game that started to find its own success.

“Once we started showing we could run inside, they really didn’t have an answer for our passing game,” Kartes said. “It was all passing and catching, just like the backyard.”

The Bulldogs made it a game again briefly in the third when Heigl hit Tanner Mork for a 41-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 28-20, but other than a safety late in the third, the Bulldogs wouldn’t threaten again.

Thomas returned a punt 74 yards for a score after LP/HT’s ensuing possession to make it 35-20 and with 7:24 left Zellmer found Kartes one last time for 55 yards to make it 42-20.

BP’s final score came at 4:31 of the fourth with Zellmer throwing 11 yards to Isaiah Toquam to make it 49-22.

After Friday’s six-touchdown performance Zellmer is just 12 away from tying the state career touchdown record.

“All I do is try to get the ball to the receivers and they do the best they can,” Zellmer.

Kartes lead a strong receiving core with 150 yards on the night.

“Our receivers can catch the ball,” Gimble said. “Luc puts it in their hands and they are expected to cat the ball.”

BP (3-0, 2-0 Gopher Valley) will play Le Center next Friday.

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