BARNESVILLE, Minn.-On a night meant for bonfires, homecoming courts and Carson Wentz autographed footballs, a long home winning streak was meant to stay alive.
In a matchup of No. 2 state ranked teams in their respective classes, Barnesville scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion with just over three minutes remaining to claim a 22-21 win over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and extend its regular-season home winning streak to 35 games.
"This means everything," said Barnesville's Brady Martz, whose 5-yard touchdown run cut the lead to 21-20 and his two-point conversion reception made it 22-21 with 3 minutes and 12 seconds remaining. "It was nerve wracking."
Especially when DGF marched all the way to the Barnesville 25 yard line with under a minute remaining. But on a fourth-down play, it was Martz who caused a fumble after Spencer Ewen hauled in what appeared to be a first-down reception. Matthew Bredman recovered the fumble on the 16 and Barnesville won the battle of unbeatens.
"I just had the biggest smile on my face after that fumble," said Barnesville's Brady Tweeton, who rushed for 119 yards.
But it was Tweeton's 66-yard catch from quarterback Caleb Stetz that set up the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion. The play that had Tweeton streaking down the left sideline put Barnesville on the DGF 5-yard line.
"I knew I could get to the pass once he threw it," Tweeton said. "It was a perfect ball."
Based on comparative scores, this game live up to its billing.
Barnesville, now 5-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, entered the game with a 60-20 win over Crookston and a 58-13 win over Breckenridge. DGF, now 4-1 and ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, entered the game with a 44-24 win over Crookston and a 53-22 win over Breckenridge.
But there wouldn't be that much scoring Friday night.
"I thought it was going to be a battle ... World War III," said Barnesville head coach Bryan Strand, whose teams have now gone 49-1 at home since 2007. "This means a ton. There was a lot on the line with the home winning streak and we were playing against a great team."
Trailing 14-6, Barnesville started its comeback when Connor John came up with an interception near midfield. That set up a 29-yard touchdown run by Tweeton-who then caught an extra-point pass to tie the score 14-14 with 8:43 remaining.
But DGF regained the lead with 4:45 remaining when Garrett Scheel scored on a 15-yard run. The extra-point kick gave the Rebels a 21-14 lead.
Barnesville accomplished its goal to shut down DGF's running game. But DGF quarterback Ethan Edeen ended up passing for 256 yards.
"They have some tall receivers and that was not a good matchup for us," Strand said. "That was tough to prepare for."
So it all came down to a second-down play from the 5-yard line. That's where Martz took the handoff, cut back and found a hole to score the touchdown that made it 21-20.
Barnesville then used two timeouts to decide which play it wanted to run on the two-point conversion. Before the first time out, the plan was to give the ball to Tweeton. But after the second time out, they used Tweeton as a decoy and Stetz lofted a pass to a wide open Martz in the end zone for the game-winning two-point conversion.
"When they called that play, I knew it was going to work," Martz said.
DGF 0 0 14 7-21
Barnesville 0 6 0 16-22
B--Tweeton 3 run (kick failed)
DGF--Anderson 75 pass from Edeen (Stalboerger kick)
DGF--Scheel 7 run (Stalboerger kick)
B--Tweeton 28 run (Tweeton pass from Stetz)
DGF--Scheel 15 run (Stalboerger kick)
B--Martz 5 run (Martz pass from Stetz)