Making History: BP locks down BOLD in powerful championship statement

Published 2:28 pm Friday, November 29, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS – The Awesome Blossoms were simply on a different level as they turned the tables on the team that ended their season last year to win their first Minnesota Class A state football title in program history.

After losing to BOLD 37-7 in last year’s state semifinals, Blooming Prairie played the role of the juggernaut this time around as it won the Prep Bowl 41-15 in U.S. Bank Stadium Friday.

Blooming Prairie’s Gabe Hagen pulls down a contested catch in the Class A Prep Bowl Friday at US Bank Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The Blossoms (13-0 overall) led 21-15 at the half, but immediately showed that it was going to be their day when Gabe Hagen leaped up and ripped a ball away from a defender before corralling it with one hand from his back for a 10-yard TD catch on a jump ball to but BP up 28-15. Hagen, a Minnesota

State University commit, also burned the BOLD secondary for a 25-yard TD catch from Kaden Thomas to put BP up 21-8 with 4:02 left in the second quarter.

Thomas finished with 298 yards passing and four TDs and 125 of his yards went to Hagen.

Blooming Prairie’s Matthew Pryor finds the endzone against BOLD in the Class A Prep Bowl Friday at US Bank Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“He’s a really easy target to throw to,” Thomas said of Hagen. “He’s a 6-5 guy that can run a 4.7-40 and that’s really hard to guard. (BOLD) came out with no safeties to start the game and it’s hard to run when they have no safeties. I knew we’d have to pass the ball.”

BOLD’s Gavin Vosika was charged with the task of covering Hagen and he found it to be a daunting role.

“What do you want me to say?” Vosika said of Hagen. “He’s just a dude.”

While BP struggled to run the ball throughout the day, the Blossoms protected Thomas to perfection as he was sacked zero times and rarely pressured. Dylan Nirk, an anchor on the offensive and defensive line, said BP wanted to take the fight to the Warriors early on.

Blooming Prairie’s Luke Rennie wraps up the tackle in the Class A Prep Bowl Friday at US Bank Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“These coaches really preach on how a game is won through the trenches. We really wanted to step up and take this one from them,” Nirk said. “We played with high intensity and we just kept it going.”

BP racked up six sacks in the first half, however, it committed a roughing the passer penalty on third and 25 late in the second quarter. That penalty led to a 14-yard TD pass from Jordan Sagedahl to Blake Plass with 27 seconds left to pull BOLD (13-1 overall) within 21-15 at the half.

That was the last time Sagedahl would hurt BP with his arm as he was forced to throw earlier than he wanted to throughout the second half.

“Our goal headed into the game was to get pressure and make him uncomfortable, because if he had time, he was going to pick us apart,” Gimbel said. “The (line has) been awesome all year and again today, they came up huge.”

Blooming Prairie’s Jarrett Larson rushes the edge against BOLD in the Class A Prep Bowl Friday at US Bank Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

BOLD came into the game averaging 43.5 points per game, but it was BP’s defense, which has been stellar all year, which came out swinging on BOLD’s first possession. Karson Vigeland broke up a deep ball on first down, Dylan Nirk recorded a sack on second down and Luke Larkoski forced pressure that led to an 18-yard interception for a TD by Hagen that made it 7-0 BP early on. The pick was just the second thrown by Sagedahl all season.

“We talk all the time about how returns, interceptions and defensive touch downs can affect a game,” Gimbel said. “That play really set the tone.”

BP’s final TD drive of the game went 8 minutes and 50 seconds, which was just under a minute shorter than the longest drive in Prep Bowl history. It went 59 yards and 11 plays and it was capped by a six-yard TD run by Matthew Pryor in his final carry as a Blossom.

The state title was a special one for a group of BP players who have been knocking on the door for years.

“When we’re playing for each other, we play a little bit harder,” BP senior lineman Jarrett Larson said. “I think we all played for each other this year.”

Blooming Prairie’s Luke Larkoski is lifeted up by coach Matt Kittelson after a stop against BOLD in the Class A Prep Bowl Friday at US Bank Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

SCORING SUMMARY
BOLD      8   7  0  0  –  15
BP           14  7  7 13  –  41

First quarter
(BP) Gabe Hagen 18 interception return (Carson Brennecke) (1 play, 18 yards) 9:52
(BOLD) Drew Sagedahl 15 pass from Drew Sagedahl (Jordan Sagedhal from Drew Sagedahl) (10 plays, 84 yards) 4:35
(BP) Matthew Pryor 9 pass from Thomas (Brennecke kick) (8 plays, 66 yards) 1:04

Second quarter
(BP) Hagen 25 pass from Thomas (Brennecke kick) (9 plays, 80 yards) 4:02
(BOLD) Blake Plass 14 pass from Jordan Sagedahl (Braeden Tersteeg kick) (7 plays, 60 yards) :27
Third quarter
(BP) Hagen 12 pass from Thomas (Brennecke kick) (12 plays, 69 yards) 5:44

Fourth quarter
(BP) Karson Vigeland 11 pass from Thomas (run failed) (6 plays, 82 yards) 10:04
(BP) Matthew Pryor 6 run (Bennecke kick) (13 plays, 59 yards) :45

BP STATS
Rushing: Matthew Pryor, 29-for-68, TD; Alex Baldwin, 3-for-21; Kaden Thomas, 1-for-13; Bradley Simon, 1-for-0
Passing: Kaden Thomas, 23-for-30, 298, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Receiving: Gabe Hagen, 8-for-125, 2 TDs; Alex Baldwin, 5-for-35; Bradley Simon, 3-for-41; Karson Vigeland, 3-for-24, TD; Mitchell Fiebiger, 2-for-60; Pryor, 2-for-13
Defense: Gabe Hagen, 1 interception, .5 sack; Jarret Larson, 2.5 sacks; Dylan Nirk, 2 sacks; Luke Larkoski, 1 sack
Penalties: 5-for-75

BOLD
Rushing: Jordan Sagedhal, 15-for-10; Tim Peppel, 3-for-9
Passing: Jordan Sagedahl, 15-for-37, 219, 2 TDs, INT
Receiving: Gavin Vosika, 7-for-77; Blake Plass, 5-for-59; Drew Sagedahl, 2-for-45, TD; Matthew Moorse, 1-for-38
Penalties: 3-for-24