Cover image from http://mnhshp.com
From the opening kickoff, the Barnesville Trojans dominated their 2A semi-final game against Minneapolis North. A punishing running game and a stout defense that took advantage of nearly all of the Polars’ mistakes paced the Trojans to a 34-20 victory.
Barnesville used a fake reverse on the opening kickoff to give the Trojans’ great field position. The Trojans’ offense features two tight ends and three running backs in a straight T formation. They used the inside read option, trapping style offense used by Elk River and Lakeville South. Preston Snobl capped off their first drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. He also punched in the 2-point conversion giving the Trojans an early 8-0 lead. The only negative play was an illegal motion penalty.
North gambled on their first possession by going for it on fourth and three at their own 36. The Polars not only didn’t convert, but they also fumbled, and Barnesville’s Adrian O’Brien recovered the fumble.
The same formula worked for the Trojans on their second drive of the game. They moved the ball on the ground into the red zone and capped off the drive with Nick Detloff running right up the middle from eight yards out. The two-point conversion made the lead 16-0 with five minutes to go in the 1st quarter.
Going for it again on fourth and short, North was stuffed by Hunter Zenzen and Brooks Marlinson at the Barnesville 45. Barnesville could not convert the turnover into points as North’s defense stood up to the Barnesville offense forcing a punt.
The Polars use the run game to set up the pass and hit a fade down the sidelines at the end of the first quarter. A penalty backed up North a couple of plays later forcing a fourth and twenty. A hook and ladder almost picked up the first down, but Barnesville took over at the seven-yard line.
Barnesville quarterback Adam Tonsfeldt pulled the ball out of the running back’s belly and kept the ball on a misdirection play. His cutback got Barnesville into Polars’ territory. Later in the drive, Chase Brenner got into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown. It capped a 93-yard drive. With over eight minutes to play in the first half, Barnesville led 22-0.
Barnesville’s Joey Mark recovered a second North fumble stopping another promising drive for North. The turnover led to a two-yard touchdown run for Brenner giving the Trojans a 28-0 lead late in the first half.
A 50-yard touchdown catch for Nasir El-Amin from Zach Yaeger just before the half to cut the lead to 28-8 at the half.
North faced a 4th and five at mid-field coming out of the locker room. Yaeger was able to complete a pass into the flat to El-Amin to keep the drive alive. The conversion would lead to Yaeger’s second touchdown pass to El-Amin. It would cut the lead to 28-14. The Polars would get no closer.
Barnesville converted their own fourth and short near mid-field, and the Trojans were also able to convert. The conversion led to an over six-minute drive capped off by a one-yard plunge by Hunter Anderson.
One play later Barnesville had the ball back. Marlinson tipped a pass over the middle and Tonsfeldt grabbed the fluttering ball giving the Trojans the ball back.
Tackle Gabe Dent, guard Connor Morse, center Jackson Poepping, guard Jonny Robideau and tackle Brady Kroll dominated the North front seven.
Barnesville’s victory sends them to the Prep Bowl to face Caledonia.