Blossoms rally past Medford
Published 12:40 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011
BLOOMING PRAIRIE — The Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms overcame a slow start Tuesday night on the way to a 41-13 win over Medford in the first round of the Section 1A Tournament.
The No. 1 seeded Blossoms (8-1 overall) were forced to make changes to their planned offensive attack when the Tigers found success early in stopping the Blooming Prairie running attack.
BP quarterback Isaiah Toquam attacked a driving north wind, passing the Blossoms into an offensive rhythm and control of the game.
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He was spot on, throwing tight spirals all night,” head coach Chad Gimbel said. “He’s done a whale of a job since stepping in for (Luc) Zellmer.”
Toquam, 10-for-18 with 158 yards on the night, threw for one touchdown and ran for two more including picking up a muffed hand-off and scoring from two yards out to give BP a 6-0 with under two minutes left in the first.
The Toquam run was the end of an 80-yard drive that saw the quarterback hit multiple times for big gains despite the strong wind. It was an about-face from the two run-heavy drives previous that both stalled and ended with punts.
“We changed some blocking schemes and changed some play calling,” Toquam said. “We just tried to get comfortable in this wind. It definitely affected the play calling and the throwing.”
BP made it 13-0 at the 9:41 mark of the second when Jonny Kraling ran the ball in from two yards out, the culmination of a drive that started after Medford’s Joshua De La Rosa tried to recover a bad snap on a punt and was called for illegal forward pass when trying to get rid of the ball, setting BP up on the Tigers’ 35-yard line.
Kraling accounted for the lion’s share of BP’s 179 yards on the ground with 95 yards total.
But Medford stepped up on their very next drive when quarterback Kade Cronin hooked up with Luke VanZuilen for a 76-yard touchdown strike that would cut the Blossoms’ lead to 13-7.
The Tigers wouldn’t get any closer though. Kraling added a second running touchdown from a yard out at the 5:45 mark and Toquam kept it himself and ran it in for six with 3:29 remaining in the half.
Toquam hit Luke Hueman for six yards at the 7:20 mark of the third quarter and Brett Wacek fell on a Medford fumble in the endzone late in the third for BP’s final score of the night, giving the Blossoms a 41-7 cushion.
Medford’s only other score came from running back Kiel Larsen who ran for a 69 yard touchdown.
The Blossoms are still dealing with injuries as they held out scoring threat Gabe Kartes along with starting quarterback Luc Zellmer who is still recovering from a broken thumb he sustained in the fourth game of the regular season against Le Center.
But this is nothing new.
“We’ve been doing that all year,” Gimbel said. “Some sits out and then somebody steps up.”
The win sets up a rematch of the last year’s section title game with Goodhue on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Blooming Prairie. Goodhue ran over Kingsland 48-22 to set up the meeting.
“We’re going in with a lot of confidence,” Toquam said. “We’re excited to play them again on our turf.”
Medford 0 7 6 0 — 13
BP 6 21 14 0 — 41
BP — Isaiah Toquam two-yard run (extra point no good), 1:42.
BP — Jonny Kraling two-yard run (Pat Jones kick), 9:41.
M — Kade Cronin 76-yard pass to Luke VanZuilen, (extra point good), 8:55.
BP — Kraling one-yard run, (Jones kick), 5:45.
BP — Toquam 14-yard run, (Jones kick), 3:29.
BP — Toquam, six-yard pass to Luke Hueman, (extra point no good), 7:20.
BP — Brett Wacek fumble recovery (two-point conversion good), 3:20.
Rushing: 179 yards: Jonny Kraling, 95; Scott Romeo, 39; Toquam, 32; Passing: 172 yards: Toquam, 10-for-18, 158 yards; Receiving: Michael Thomas, 2-for-59; Hueman, 4-for-35; Tackles: Ryan McCabe, 5; Alex Fiebiger, 4 1/2; Hueman, 4 (1/2 sack); Jared Schewe, 4; Blake Arett, 3 1/2 (sack).