Awesome Blossoms are ready for a showdown with Goodhue

Published 7:42 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — It’s been three years since the Blooming Prairie football team played in a Section 1A title game and the Awesome Blossoms are hoping to make it count when they take on top-seeded Goodhue (10-0 overall) with a trip to the Minnesota Class A State Football Tournament on the line in RCTC Saturday at 5 p.m.

No. 3 seeded BP advanced to the finals by beating Rushford-Peterson 21-20 after the Trojans had beaten the Blossoms 39-35 on Oct. 18. Now BP is hoping to avenge another regular season loss as the Wildcats beat BP 35-13 Sept. 29.

“We told them they need to be excited, intense and focused this week,” BP head coach Chad Gimbel said. “They’re one game from the state tournament and not everybody gets this opportunity. We need to amp it up and play more physical and more intense than we did against Rushford. In each game, you need to bring a little bit more than you did in the last game.”

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After the regular season loss to RP, the Blossoms sat down and took a look in the mirror. They made a commitment to be more physical and show better leadership and it seems to have paid off so far in the postseason.

“We played with a lot of intensity [against RP] and we came out with our hair on fire. It’s really emotional and we’re all pushing each other right now,” BP senior Max Romeo said. “It’s really exciting [being in the title game], considering we haven’t had a chance in awhile. Hopefully we can bring it back for the town.”

The last time Goodhue and BP met, the Blossoms had the ball with a chance to pull within one score late in the game, but that drive ended up short and the Wildcats went down and scored to put the game away. To win the game this time around, BP will have to contain Goodhue running back Michael Huemann and wide receiver Ryan Schoenfelder.

“We need to know our assignments and alignments and be aggressive. We played passive [the first time] and I think a lot of that was confusion that we had on defense, just not knowing where to be,” Gimbel said. “You can’t put all your focus just on the run, but obviously Goodhue is a run-first team. When they want to throw it, they can throw it.”

The Blossoms are outscoring opponents 28.7-18.9 per game this season and the Wildcats are outscoring opponents 38.6-6.8 per game. BP senior lineman Mitchell Oswald said the Blossoms are looking to plug up the running lanes on defense and move the ball on offense.

“It’s high stakes, and we’re looking to push through and get a good win,” Oswald said. “We’re probably going to see a lot of outside and inside running. We’re hoping to shut their run game down and hopefully stop them on defense and then drive down the field on offense.”

Although its been a few years since they have faced off in the Section 1A tournament, BP and Goodhue have quite the history in the postseason. Over the years 2007 to 2014, the Blossoms and Wildcats met seven times with BP winning five of those games.

Gimbel was a part of all of those game, but he doesn’t expect this year’s team to be aware of all of that history.

“It probably means more to us coaches than it does to the kids,” Gimbel said. “We know that rivalry, but this is about this team and their team. We’re really just focused on this game and the magnitude of it. To beat a good team, everybody has to perform. Eleven guys doing their job is what we need to do in order to win.”