High School Football: Running backs may help determine Warriors/Spuds winner
It will be another matchup of marquee running backs when the Brainerd Warriors hit the road Friday, Oct. 12, to take on Class 5A's fourth-ranked Moorhead Spuds.
Last week, it was the Warriors' Charlie Geraets and Becker's Sidney Boros. Geraets won that matchup with 227 yards and two scores, while Brainerd's defense stymied Boros, limiting him to 11 attempts and 35 yards. Boros entered the game with 703 yards and an 8.1-yard average per rush.
Friday, two of the outstate's best running backs will again be on display at Jim Gotta Stadium in Geraets and Moorhead's Otis Weah.
In the last three games, Weah rushed for 728 yards and nine touchdowns. According to Minnesota Football Hub statistics, the 5-foot-8, 175-pound senior and three-year starter is well over 1,000 yards and has scored 15 TDs.
"Otis is a dynamic football player in every phase of the game," Spuds coach Kevin Feeney said. "The more ways we can get him involved, in any phase of the game, we're certainly going to try to do that.
"He's a guy with a ton of energy, whether it's on the field or off the field. He's bouncing off the walls all the time. He brings a great passion for football in practice. It's been fun to watch him have such success to this point."
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Brainerd at Moorhead
- When: 7 p.m. Friday
- Where: Jim Gotta Stadium, Moorhead
- Last meeting: Brainerd won 27-22 during 2016 regular season
- The series: Moorhead leads 15-14
- Twitter: @bertsballpark
- Radio: KLIZ-AM (1380)
- Web stream: www.brainerdradio.net.
- Warrior stats are at www.mnfootballhub.com and www.minnesota-scores.net
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Geraets, the Warriors' 200-pound senior workhorse, has rushed for 1,056 yards and 10 scores averaging 30.5 carries a game. He gained at least 155 yards in five of six games and twice has exceeded 200 yards.
"He's a workhorse in every sense of the word," Feeney said of Geraets. "I don't know the young man personally other than reading about him and watching him play for a long time. Obviously he's a grinder, a great running back, who plays with a lot of passion. He takes a huge pounding and he keeps on pounding.
"He's the epitome of what we think of when we play Brainerd. They always have backs who are really good. He fits that mold as good as anybody."
Brainerd's Joe Stolski will make his first varsity start Friday. The 175-pound senior quarterback takes the place of junior Sam Miller, who started the first six games before suffering a shoulder injury on the first series against Becker. Miller's availability the rest of the season is questionable.
This season, Joe Stolski attempted 14 passes, completing six, for 86 yards. He rushed 17 times for 54 yards and a score.
"We won't change anything," Warriors head coach Ron Stolski said. "I thought Joe stepped up last week and did a really good job. He's had an excellent week of practice. Everybody steps up now. (Sophomore) Owen Davis becomes our next (quarterback). We won't limit anything we try to do."
Since a 44-31 season-opening loss to defending 5A state champion Elk River, the Spuds (5-1) have run the table. They have outscored Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud Tech, Bemidji, Willmar and Sartell by a combined 167-79.
"Obviously any time you can string that many games together and come out on the right end of the scoreboard it's a pat on the back for our kids," Feeney said. "Each game we've played we've certainly been challenged. We're playing some good football, but we have a lot of learning moments in each one of these games, too.
"We feel like we've played a pretty good schedule. We're fortunate to be where we are at this point, but overall we've been pleased with our progression as the season has gone on."
Brainerd, which has won three of its last four, is 4-2 overall. A big reason is turnovers. Brainerd has caused 10 more turnovers than it has surrendered.
"I think the big thing is we need to continue to take care of the ball," Ron Stolski said. "And we need to continue to grow defensively. I don't think there's any question (a 36-8 win at Becker) was our best defensive game. We're becoming more physical by the week. I think you can attribute that to three things.
"One, we continue to work hard in the weight room in-season. Two, our kids are just growing up, a lot of juniors, especially on defense. The more you play, the more confidence you get. Three, our defensive staff is doing a good job of game planning. Our kids are well-schooled. Does that guarantee a win? No. Does it show your kids are improving? Yes."
OFFENSE Quarterback: 17-Joe Stolski, 18-Owen Davis, 83-Josh McLain, 7-Sam Miller
Running back: 28-Charlie Geraets, 34-Max Zimmerman, 25-Joe Klang, 24-Will Lundstrom
Wide receiver: 11-Max Boran, 12-Mike Bostrom, 10-Bryce McConville, 84-Renzen Caughey
Slot receiver: 8-Pat Gervenak, 35-Levi McDonald, 24-Will Lundstrom
Tackle: 74-Hunter Erickson, 66-Jason Jennette, 60-Hunter Anderson, 63-Lili Charlier, 64-Cam Olson, 71-Isaac Chappuis, 75-Brady Seidl
Guard: 56-Nate Bessingpas, 55-Ryan Peterson, 57-Garret Gardiepy, 65-David Olson, 73-Carter Sobania
Center: 53-Brett Hague, 55-Ryan Peterson
Line: 95-Isaak Hines, 74-Hunter Erickson, 45-Morgan Gibson, 57-Garret Gardiepy, 66-Jason Jennette, 58-Fletcher DeRosier, 99-Nathan Yezek, 78-Nick Moline
Outside linebacker: 5-Taylor Ludwig, 2-Braden Kramer, 46-Nate King, 35-Levi McDonald, 30-Tommy Fickett
Inside linebacker: 42-Luke Johnson, 34-Max Zimmerman, 40-Forrest Gibson, 26-Alex Haapajoki, 51-Jacob Dreitz
Cornerback: 21-Tanner Stenglein, 11-Max Boran, 36-Jeff Spieker, 82-Gabe Smith, 15-Jack Olson, 47-Calvin Foss, 31-John Barr
Safety: 8-Pat Gervenak, 20-Brady Anderson, 22-Jake Hodge, 14-Abe Schlegel, 18-Owen Davis, 37-Ben Staehling
Punter: 25-Joe Klang, 7-Sam Miller
Kicker: 81-Zach Henke
Long snapper: 11-Max Boran
Holder: 17-Joe Stolski, 7-Sam Miller
Returns: 11-Max Boran, 28-Charlie Geraets, 8-Pat Gervenak, 12-Mike Bostrom, 37-Ben Staehling
QB: 9-Jack Stetz
SB: 26-Otis Weah
FB: 3-Terrance Weah
WB: 46-Riley Schock
LT: 70-Logan Garcia
LG: 54-Evan Grey
C: 52-Gunner Olstad
RG: 73-Ali Younis
RT: 67-Jameson Cozad
TE: 40-James Eggert
X: 16-Ethan Hoff
DL: 75-Seth Anderson
DL: 65-Landon Berry
DL: 51-Tristan Duerr
ILB: 46-Riley Schock
ILB: 3-Terrance Weah
OLB: 33-Clay Hall
OLB: 40-James Eggert
CB: 14-Colton Krier
CB: 24-Cole Crompton
FS: 9-Jack Stetz
SS: 26-Otis Weah
P: 9-Jack Stetz
K: 29-Clay Riveland
Kick return: 26-Otis Weah, 3-Terrance Weah, 28-Nick Johnson
Punt return: 26-Otis Weah, 8-Peter Narum, 7-Tommy Horan
Sept 1, Buffalo — WON 30-23
Sept 8, St. Cloud Tech — Lost 45-6
Sept 16, at Alexandria — WON 50-43
Sept 22, at Sauk Rapids — Lost 6-0
Sept 30, Bemidji — WON 47-43
Oct 6, at Becker — WON 36-8
Oct 13, at Moorhead 7 p.m.
Oct 18, Sartell 7 p.m.
NORTH CENTRAL RED SUBDISTRICT
Moorhead 4-0, Alexandria 3-1, St. Cloud Tech 2-2, Brainerd 2-2, Sauk Rapids 2-3, Bemidji 1-3, Sartell 0-4
Results Oct. 6
Brainerd 36, Becker 8
Alexandria 59, Bemidji 42
Moorhead 44, Sartell 17
Tech 34, Sauk Rapids 6
Games Friday, Oct. 13
Brainerd at Moorhead
Alexandria at Sauk Rapids
Princeton at Tech
Sartell at Bemidji
(No. 10 QRF rank) Moorhead 5-1
(No. 12) Brainerd 4-2
(No. 12) Alexandria 4-2
(No. 24) Bemidji 2-4
(No. 46) Sartell 0-6
Points per-game average: Brainerd 28.2, opposition 28.0
Yards per game average: Brainerd 375.7, opposition 310.0