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Ada-Borup/NCW rallies to earn semifinal trip to U.S. Bank Stadium

BRAINERD, Minn.-Ada-Borup/Norman County West scored 22 unanswered points to claim a 29-20 win over Braham Saturday in a Minnesota Class 1A state quarterfinal football game.Trailing 20-7 at halftime, Ada-Borup/NCW outscored Braham 22-0 in the seco...

Ada-Borup/Norman County West running back Verdis Barber picks up yardage during Saturday's Minnesota Class 1A state football quarterfinal game in Brainerd. Steve Kohls / Forum News Service
Ada-Borup/Norman County West running back Verdis Barber picks up yardage during Saturday's Minnesota Class 1A state football quarterfinal game in Brainerd. Steve Kohls / Forum News Service

BRAINERD, Minn.-Ada-Borup/Norman County West scored 22 unanswered points to claim a 29-20 win over Braham Saturday in a Minnesota Class 1A state quarterfinal football game.

Trailing 20-7 at halftime, Ada-Borup/NCW outscored Braham 22-0 in the second half to earn a trip to the semifinals in U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

"It feels good to move on to the (Minnesota) Vikings stadium," said Ada-Borup/NCW head coach Paul Tinjum. "It's pretty exciting for everybody."

Ada-Borup/NCW will take a 12-0 record in the state semifinals against either Bethlehem Academy or Wabasso. That game will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18.

Nick Hagan started the Cougars' second-half comeback with a six-yard touchdown catch. Zach Pelzman scored on a six-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars a 22-20 lead with five minutes left of the third quarter.

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"As a co-op, this was a first time for us in the state quarterfinals and there were some stars in our eyes ... we played a little scared in that first half," Tinjum said. "We just started playing football like we have all year."

Once the Cougars got the lead, the rest of the game was played on Braham's end of the field.

Ada-Borup/NCW failed to score twice after having the fall inside the Braham 20. But after Verdia Barber intercepted a Braham pass, Pelzman scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to help boost the Cougars' lead to 29-20 with nine minutes remaining.

Braham punted on its next possession after Isaiah Walz came up with a quarterback sack on second down. Ada-Borup/NCW the took valuable time off the clock driving to Braham's 21 before fumbling the ball away with 1 minute remaining.

Walz came up with another sack pinning Braham on its 4-yard line. A fourth-down incompletion ended any Braham comeback attempt.

Pelzman carried the ball 32 times for 138 yards. Quarterback Jared Brainard completed 7 of 11 passes for 70 yards. Ada-Borup/NCW had 208 total yards while Braham (10-1) had 194 total yards.

ABNCW 0 7 15 7--29

B 12 8 0 0--20

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B--Wilsey 25 run (EP failed)

B--Zimpel 4 pass (EP failed)

ABNCW--Fetting 43 interception return (Alves kick)

B--Bendrickson11 pass (Wiley pass)

ABNCW--Hagan 6 pass (Alves kick)

ABNCW--Pelzman 6 run (Pelzman run)

ABNCW--Pelzman 2 run (Alves kick)

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Ada-Borup/Norman County West running back Verdis Barber picks up yardage during Saturday's Minnesota Class 1A state football quarterfinal game in Brainerd. Steve Kohls / Forum News Service
Ada-Borup/ Norman County West quarterback Jared Brainard tries to escape a tackle during Saturday's Minnesota Class 1A state football quarterfinal game in Brainerd. Steve Kohls / Forum News Service

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