KELLIHER -- Kittson County Central put an end to Kelliher-Northome’s undefeated season Friday night with a 19-12 upset win in the Section 8 9-man semifinals.
The No. 1 seed Mustangs opened the scoring in the first quarter on a Cal Roosdett touchdown, but missed the two-point conversion. The Bearcats came back with two straight touchdowns before Kelliher-Northome’s Giizhik Wagner scored with 31 seconds left in the second quarter to cut KCC’s lead to 13-12.
Neither team could mount a scoring drive in the third quarter, but the Bearcats finally broke through with a touchdown in their first drive of the fourth quarter. KCC’s defense held for the final 19-12 score.
Kittson County Central advances to take on Stephen-Argyle (8-2) on Thursday at the Fargodome for the Section 8 9-man championship. The Storm topped Clearbrook-Gonvick 20-0 on Friday night in Clearbrook.
BRAHAM -- Four days after earning a tough overtime win over Chisholm, the Blackduck football team seemed to run out of gas Saturday against Braham, the No. 3 team in the state.
Blackduck (4-6) fell to the Bombers (9-0) 48-6 in the Section 7A semifinals.
The Drakes hung tough in the first quarter, surrendering eight points to a team that averages more than 50 points a game, but the second quarter was a different story.
Twenty-eight unanswered points put the score at 36-0 and Blackduck wasn’t able to recover. Braham scored another 12 points in the third quarter and it wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Blackduck finally got on the scoreboard.
The 42 point defeat was Blackduck’s worst loss since losing 70-28 at Pillager in 2012.
Braham advances to the 7A section championship, where the Bombers play Hinckley-Finlayson at 5 p.m. Thursday at UM-Duluth.
BARNESVILLE -- The Bagley football team had been rolling as of late with strong rushing and explosive offensive production, but Barnesville found a way to stop the Flyers’ attack in the Trojans’ 33-6 win.
Bagley (6-4) was held in check on offense, scoring six points -- its fewest since scoring six on Aug. 28 against Pillager. The Flyers also went without a 100-yard rusher in a game for the first time since Sept. 18 versus Blackduck.
Barnesville’s defense has allowed 13.9 points per game on the season, and they stepped up when it mattered. Bagley was 5-for-18 on third down conversions and 0-for-5 on fourth down conversions for the game. The Trojans also forced three turnovers.
The first score of the game also proved to be the game winner, when Barnesville running back Brady Tweeton rushed into the endzone from 17 yards out. With the extra-point, the Trojans went up 7-0.
Quarterback Ethan Ishaug added to Barnesville’s lead with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Late in the fourth quarter, Connor Meyer rushed for an 18 yard score and minutes later Jared Affield threw a 43-yard strike to Cole Tharaldson for another score.
Bagley finally got on the scoreboard on the game’s last play, when Ty Rolfson found Lavan Caulkins for 43-yard touchdown with one second remaining on the game clock.
Barnesville improves to 7-3 and advances to play United North Central in the 8AA section championship 8 p.m. on Friday at the Fargodome.
CLEARBROOK -- Sophomore running back Kyler Szczepanski set up the first touchdown and Stephen-Argyle never looked back, beating Clearbrook-Gonvick 20-0 in the semifinal round of the Minnesota Section 8 9-man high school football playoffs.
With the Storm on the C-G 33-yard line, Szczepanski got his first touch of the day and took the football up the middle for a 25-yard run to the Bears' 8-yard line. He had a 3-yard run on the next play.
Three plays later, on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Chris McGlynn went up the middle on a quarterback sneak for a touchdown and a 7-0 Storm lead with 3:55 left in the third quarter. Soon after, Justin Yutrzenka went in on a 1-yard run for Stephen-Argyle's second touchdown in a 1:47 span for a 14-0 lead.
Yutrzenka rushed for 143 yards on 36 carries and Gryskiewicz had 79 yards rushing for the Storm. McGlynn completed all three of his passes for 31 yards, including a 14-yarder to Jacob Sundby for the final score. Sam Lavin was the C-G sparkplug. He carried 21 times for 138 yards and completed six passes for 81 yards.
Stephen-Argyle takes an 8-2 record into the section championship against Kittson County Central (7-3), who knocked off No. 1 seed Kelliher-Northome 19-12 on Friday night. The championship is Thursday at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Fargodome. Clearbrook-Gonvick closed with a 7-3 record.
Greg DeVillers, Micah Friez and Brityn Kiser of Forum News Service contributed to this report.