Prep football: Brainerd 7, St. Cloud Tech 0

Prep football: Brainerd 7, St. Cloud Tech 0

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Prep football: Brainerd 7, St. Cloud Tech 0

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COLLEGEVILLE

It was a game where defenses ruled and the few mistakes that occurred were costly.

Brainerd made fewer miscues and that was the difference in a matchup of Central Lakes Conference unbeatens and state-ranked Class 5A teams.

Brainerd beat St. Cloud Tech 7-0 under the lights on a beautifully mild Friday at Clemens Stadium.

“Our defense played tremendous,” said Thomas Stoxen, who scored the only touchdown on a 21-yard quarterback keeper with 18 seconds remaining in the first quarter. “We rely a lot on our defense and so do they, obviously.

“It was a grind-it-out football game.”

No. 10 Tech (4-1) out-gained No. 3 Brainerd (5-0) 267-169. But the number Tigers head coach Greg Martig brought up was penalties. Tech had five for 45 yards, including two personal fouls, one on Brainerd’s scoring drive. The Warriors had no penalties.

“We certainly made more mistakes than they did,” Martig said. “In a big game, that’s the difference.”

The Tigers also could lament two good scoring chances that produced no points. Twice Tech had the ball inside the Warriors’ 20 and came away with no points.

The Tigers missed a 30-yard field goal attempt on their first drive. To open the second half, Tech got it down to the Brainerd 10-yard line when that drive stalled.

“I think we had too many mistakes on the offensive side of the ball,” Tech senior lineman James Prince said. “Everyone was in the rotation on it and that hurt us.

“I’m not saying it would have made a difference in the game, but it sure couldn’t have helped.”

Tech got the ball with 1:04 to play on its own 42-yard line, then successfully pulled off a hook-and-ladder play when quarterback Jay Kedrowski found Phil Amundson downfield. Amundson then pitched it back to Jake Martig who added an additional 11 yards on the play to the Brainerd 36.

But then came an intentional grounding call, an incompletion, a 12-yard pass to Martig and an interception by Brainerd’s Grant Reuer with 20 seconds left.

“The way I look at it, they had one big drive,” Tech senior defensive lineman Noah Voigt said. “Besides that, our defense played very well.

“We can’t let them get that one. Stupid penalties really hurt.”

Martig also thought the Tigers had a chance to score on a fake punt, their second in a third-quarter drive. First, Brennan Paulsen got the first down on a fourth-and-two with a five-yard run and the Tigers in punting formation. Three plays later and on another fourth down, punter Andy Foley attempted a pass to Austin Klaverkamp that was high, but dropped.

“He was wide open,” Martig said. “It looked like a sure touchdown.”

But it didn’t happen on a night where the defenses ruled.

“Our defense kept us in the game,” Prince said. “They played outstanding …

“Every yard was earned.”

Brainerd also missed a 30-yard field goal with 8:31 to play that might have put Tech too far behind on a night when every yard seemed precious.

“They had some chances, too, that I’m sure they’re talking about,” Martig said.

Tech is now host to Sauk Rapids at 7 p.m. Friday. Brainerd plays host to Bemidji at 2 p.m. next Saturday in a matchup of CLC North Division unbeatens.

Brainerd 7 0 0 0 7
S.C. Tech 0 0 0 0 0

B — Thomas Stoxen 21 run (Logan McElfresh kick)

Individual statistics

Rushing: B — Conor Gessell 20-76, Logan Davis 12-39, Stoxen 8-24. Total: 40-139. T — Josh Falk 11-81, Brennan Paulsen 15-69, Austin Klaverkamp 6-52, Jesse Schaefer 3-14, Max Wirz 1-3, Jay Kedrowski 6-(-4). Total: 42-215.

Passing: B — Stoxen 5-8-0 29. T — Kedrowski 4-18-1 52, Andy Foley 0-1-0 0.

Receiving: B — Cole Smith 2-15, Davis 2-4, Isaiah Smith 1-10. T — Jake Martig 2-30, Paulsen 1-11, Phil Amundson 1-11.

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