BOLD coach Derek Flann knows he stepped into a great situation. Flann, in his first year after taking over for Hall of Fame coach Steve Solem, inherited a talented group that came within a point of winning the Class 1A championship a year ago.
"The whole job of the coach was just 'don't screw this thing up,' " said Flann, a 1999 BOLD graduate. "The ship's in the right direction."
Flann let his athletes do what they do best in a 56-7 romp over Browerville/Eagle Valley on Saturday in a Class 1A semifinal at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Quarterback Jordan Sagedahl displayed his stellar arm, passing for 355 yards and six touchdowns in only three quarters. The Warriors' do-everything athlete, Gavin Vosika, did most of his damage on the receiving end of those Sagedahl throws, making 10 catches for 232 yards and four touchdowns.
The BOLD defense was just as good. It took an early body shot from the Tigers, who drove 64 yards on 17 plays in just over nine minutes to take a 7-0 lead on the game's opening drive.
After that, the Warriors (13-0) held the Tigers (9-3) to 46 total yards.
"My voice got a little quieter because I was already getting a sore throat from screaming at that point," Flann said jokingly.
"We gave up the touchdown right away and then played very well on defense after that."
Blooming Prairie 41, Ada-Borup 0: With his team facing third-and-12 midway through the second quarter against the Cougars, Awesome Blossoms coach Chad Gimbel called timeout before the snap.
When play resumed, Blooming Prairie lined up in a similar formation, with four receivers out wide and running back Matthew Pryor flanking quarterback Kaden Thomas. The ball was snapped and Thomas looked out as if he planned to pass. Instead, he handed the ball to Pryor, who rushed for 37 yards to set up Blooming Prairie's third of four first-half touchdowns.
It was the team's longest play for scrimmage in its shutout victory over Ada-Borup (10-2) that secured its first Prep Bowl appearance.
Pryor rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns, leading a Blooming Prairie offense that gained 431 yards. Thomas threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns, including a 47-yarder late in the second quarter to Gabe Hagen.
Karson Vigeland and Tyler Archer also scored for the Awesome Blossoms (12-0).
The second-quarter draw play "popped in my head a little bit late," longtime Blooming Prairie coach Chad Gimbel said, explaining the timeout. His voiced welled with emotion when asked what it meant to reach the Prep Bowl.
"To finally break through and get that opportunity, that's a huge step for us and for our program and for our kids," he said.