ADA, Minn. — Friday was the first football game between Ada-Borup and Barnesville since Ada played Barnesville in 1914.
There's a good chance the Trojans won't be allowed back in Ada for another century after Barnesville topped the Cougars 35-22 Friday in the season opener for both teams.
"First half we were pretty darn dominant," Barnesville coach Bryan Strand said. "I don't think we were 100 percent, I don't think we were as clean as we could be, but we're good enough to get some scoring drives and at times we looked pretty impressive."
Two Division I commits squared off Friday, as 6-foot-3, 215-pound Iowa State commit Hunter Zenzen of Barnesville was lined up directly across from 6-8, 250-pound North Dakota State commit Mason Miller.
"It was a lot of fun, I had a lot of fun," Zenzen said. "It was DI versus DI and everybody was expecting it. I watched a lot of film on him and definitely beatable. That's what we did tonight. A lot of times I beat him and sometimes he beat me. That's just the way it goes."
Class 2A Barnesville simply had more firepower than Class 1A Ada-Borup, but Zenzen and Miller made plenty of noise when they came together on the line. Strand told Zenzen he was going to go wherever Miller went all night and that's exactly what he did.
The Trojans showed why they played in the state championship game last season and are eyeing a return. Their first play from scrimmage was a 32-yard run from Cameron Heng. Their second play from scrimmage was a 35-yard touchdown run for Aaron Schiefert.
Zenzen pounced on a fumble on Ada-Borup's second play of the ensuing drive to put the Trojans at the Ada-Borup 15-yard line. Five plays later, Zenzen was catching a 5-yard touchdown pass from Adam Tonsfeldt on fourth-and-5 to put the Trojans up 14-0.
Four minutes had not come off the clock and Zenzen had already recovered a fumble and caught a 5-yard touchdown pass. Zenzen's presence was felt on every play. If a player didn't feel his presence it's most likely because they were numb from feeling the hit he delivered to them.
"He's explosive, he's a tough kid," Ada-Borup coach Paul Tinjum said of Zenzen. "He's a heck of a football player. That's why he's going to Iowa State. Small-school football you don't see that many kids that are that strong and that explosive very often."
Tonsfeldt snatched an interception and returned it 44 yards to the Ada-Borup 15. Three plays later, he had another 5-yard touchdown pass with 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Barnesville's first play of the second quarter was a 27-yard touchdown run for Schiefert. Tonsfeldt added a 6-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion to put the Trojans up 35-0 with 3:08 remaining in the first half.
"First game of the year there's always going to be mistakes, always going to be problems," Tonsfeldt said. "We were off to a great start right away. Second half we had some injuries and had to put some second-string guys in. We're thin right now to be honest. We got to develop some depth in the backfield for sure."
Ada-Borup got on the board on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Preston Gwin to Avery Okroi. Ada lost to Barnesville 35-0 in 1914, 5-0 in 1907 and 21-0 in 1901, while tying Barnesville 0-0 in 1908. Okroi's touchdown was the first points against Barnesville in program history.
"Barnesville was probably the most physical team that I personally ever played," Miller said. "They just come out and hit. There's nobody else like that in Class 1A. Nobody hits like they do. Obviously, the first half we got our butts handed to us, but I felt like we had a second half we can take into the next game."
Ada-Borup added a couple touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make Barnesville have to keep its starters close in case things got too interesting, but the damage had been done in the first half.
"It was a battle," Strand said. "They are going to flat out win a lot of games. We got some guys sitting out with injuries and we got some guys that are ineligible. We got some good guys coming back. We will only get better."