Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Bemidji begins section tourney

sports Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/all/themes/bemidjipioneer_theme/images/social_default_image.png
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji begins section tourney
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The ultimate goal of the Bemidji High School football players is winning the Class 4-A state championship and the first step in that process will be taken 7 p.m. today when the Lumberjacks entertain Grand Rapids in the Section 7-4A semifinals.

BHS, 8-0, had a bye in Tuesday's first round while the Thunderhawks topped Duluth Denfeld 40-12. Grand Rapids improved to 4-5 with the victory and also gained momentum for the post-season.

"The Grand Rapids players do their jobs well and we will have to do our jobs well," said Lumberjacks inside linebacker James Bofferding. "In no way are we overlooking Grand Rapids."

Bemidji was seldom tested during the regular season as the Jacks averaged 37 points per game and allowed an average of eight.

The lone game that held any suspense after three quarters was the 21-7 victory at Brainerd on Sept. 23.

"But we haven't played a perfect game yet," Bofferding, who is second on the team with 124 total tackles, said. "At some point we will need to play a perfect game and this would be a good time for that."

Andrew Street, who came to Bemidji when his family moved here from Iowa last year, is another anchor on the BHS defense. As the nose tackle Street's job is to draw the attention of the offensive blockers and provide opportunity for the rest of the defense to make the plays.

"Grand Rapids has a big line, bigger than we've seen so far this year and that will be our greatest challenge," Street said. "But we're a very fast defense and we'll try to use our speed and quickness as an advantage."

Leading the Thunderhawks is quarterback Austin Pohlen who, according to Jacks coach Troy Hendricks, is the key to the team's attack.

"Everything revolves around him," Hendricks said. "Pohlen makes the running game and the passing game click."

A year ago the teams met at Chet Anderson Stadium in the section championship game and the Lumberjacks posted a decisive 33-18 win.

"We stopped Grand Rapids last year by putting pressure on Pohlen," Hendricks said. "We tried to contain him in the pocket with constant pressure and the tactic worked.

"Our goal (tonight) will be to do that again. Pressure the quarterback to the point where he feels uncomfortable in the pocket."

To accomplish that goal everyone on Bemidji's defensive side of the ball will have to contribute.

"Our rushers will have to stay in their lanes and our secondary is going to have to cover the receivers for an extended period of time," Hendricks said. "We better have a strong pass rush and our secondary better be locked onto the Grand Rapids receivers."

Bemidji has been off since blanking Sartell 22-0 in the regular-season finale on Oct. 19 and Street is eager to hit the field.

"We are beginning the playoffs but we're looking at this as just another game," Street said. "We'll play our game and we'll try to stop their game. If that happens we should advance in the playoffs."

Section 7-4A Playoffs

Tuesday's Quarterfinals

Grand Rapids 40, Duluth Denfeld 12

Detroit Lakes 34, Hibbing 0

Today's Semifinals

Grand Rapids at Bemidji, 7 p.m.

Detroit Lakes at Hermantown, 2 p.m.

Section Championship

November 4

Bemidji-Grand Rapids winner vs. Detroit Lakes-Hermantown winner, 7 p.m. at higher seed

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

The ultimate goal of the Bemidji High School football players is winning the Class 4-A state championship and the first step in that process will be taken 7 p.m. today when the Lumberjacks entertain Grand Rapids in the Section 7-4A semifinals.

BHS, 8-0, had a bye in Tuesday's first round while the Thunderhawks topped Duluth Denfeld 40-12. Grand Rapids improved to 4-5 with the victory and also gained momentum for the post-season.

"The Grand Rapids players do their jobs well and we will have to do our jobs well," said Lumberjacks inside linebacker James Bofferding. "In no way are we overlooking Grand Rapids."

Bemidji was seldom tested during the regular season as the Jacks averaged 37 points per game and allowed an average of eight.

The lone game that held any suspense after three quarters was the 21-7 victory at Brainerd on Sept. 23.

"But we haven't played a perfect game yet," Bofferding, who is second on the team with 124 total tackles, said. "At some point we will need to play a perfect game and this would be a good time for that."

Andrew Street, who came to Bemidji when his family moved here from Iowa last year, is another anchor on the BHS defense. As the nose tackle Street's job is to draw the attention of the offensive blockers and provide opportunity for the rest of the defense to make the plays.

"Grand Rapids has a big line, bigger than we've seen so far this year and that will be our greatest challenge," Street said. "But we're a very fast defense and we'll try to use our speed and quickness as an advantage."

Leading the Thunderhawks is quarterback Austin Pohlen who, according to Jacks coach Troy Hendricks, is the key to the team's attack.

"Everything revolves around him," Hendricks said. "Pohlen makes the running game and the passing game click."

A year ago the teams met at Chet Anderson Stadium in the section championship game and the Lumberjacks posted a decisive 33-18 win.

"We stopped Grand Rapids last year by putting pressure on Pohlen," Hendricks said. "We tried to contain him in the pocket with constant pressure and the tactic worked.

"Our goal (tonight) will be to do that again. Pressure the quarterback to the point where he feels uncomfortable in the pocket."

To accomplish that goal everyone on Bemidji's defensive side of the ball will have to contribute.

"Our rushers will have to stay in their lanes and our secondary is going to have to cover the receivers for an extended period of time," Hendricks said. "We better have a strong pass rush and our secondary better be locked onto the Grand Rapids receivers."

Bemidji has been off since blanking Sartell 22-0 in the regular-season finale on Oct. 19 and Street is eager to hit the field.

"We are beginning the playoffs but we're looking at this as just another game," Street said. "We'll play our game and we'll try to stop their game. If that happens we should advance in the playoffs."

Section 7-4A Playoffs

Tuesday's Quarterfinals

Grand Rapids 40, Duluth Denfeld 12

Detroit Lakes 34, Hibbing 0

Today's Semifinals

Grand Rapids at Bemidji, 7 p.m.

Detroit Lakes at Hermantown, 2 p.m.

Section Championship

November 4

Bemidji-Grand Rapids winner vs. Detroit Lakes-Hermantown winner, 7 p.m. at higher seed

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
Advertisement
randomness