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Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 football championship: Barnesville cruises to win against Browerville

For two teams claimed to be so similar, there was a world of difference. No. 1 Barnesville (11-0) separated itself early, scoring three first-quarter touchdowns en route to a 57-21 over No. 3 Browerville (10-1) on Friday in the Minnesota Class 1A...

Colby Braton
Colby Braton of Barnesville runs through a hole in the Browerville defense during the Minnesota Section 6A championship game Friday at the Fargodome. Barnesville won 57-21. Dave Wallis / The Forum

For two teams claimed to be so similar, there was a world of difference.

No. 1 Barnesville (11-0) separated itself early, scoring three first-quarter touchdowns en route to a 57-21 over No. 3 Browerville (10-1) on Friday in the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 championship game at the Fargodome. This marks the Trojans' second consecutive trip to the state playoffs.

Barnesville will return to the Fargodome next Friday to open the state tournament against No. 7 Mahnomen.

"I think last year we went up against the No. 1 team in the state and were surprised by what we saw," said Barnesville coach Bryan Strand. "This time, we know what to expect."

Jumping out to huge leads has been pretty common for Barnesville this season by winning nine of its 11 games by 30 points or more.

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The only time Barnesville didn't grab a large lead was a 17-8 win over Lake of the Woods and a 2-0 forfeit win against Parkers Prairie to open the playoffs.

Barnesville, known for being a running team, used the pass early and often. Quarterback Robbie Strand threw a 21-yard to Tanner John for a 7-0 lead on the Trojans' first possession.

Strand finished the day by going 9-for-10 with 141 yards, helping Barnesville score on eight of its nine possessions.

The only possession the Trojans failed to score on came at the end of the second quarter.

"We were just trying to spread it around and look at their weaknesses on defense," said Rice, who rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries. "It was really important because it set us up on the running game."

Oh did it ever.

Strand scored the first rushing touchdown, a

1-yarder, before Colby Braton scored his first of two touchdowns for a 19-0 lead at the end of the first.

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Barnesville matched its effort in the first on touchdown runs from Braton, Zach Hochhalter and Rice, taking a 38-7 halftime lead.

Keep in mind, Barnesville won last year's game 33-7.

The Trojans' front five on defense kept the pressure on a Browerville offense that was able to score, but not consistently.

"We watched a lot of film and we knew what they were going to do," said defensive lineman Andrew Janssen. "We made sure we were there in the gaps when their guys tried to run through them."

A Barnesville player crediting their win to watching film is becoming a familiar theme. So are the 6:45 a.m. practices before school starts.

Plus, there's another thing Barnesville has going for it - facial hair.

The Trojans made a pact that no player or coach would shave their face until they won state or are eliminated. Some players, like Janssen, have a full beard going while others remain baby-faced despite their best efforts.

Strand, however, has a full beard going even if it is against his will.

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"I want to shave mine off anyways," he said. "Hopefully, I'll get to do it soon."

Brow. 0 7 6 8-21

Barn. 19 19 7 12-57

BAR - John 21 pass from Strand (Hagen kick)

BAR - Strand 1 run (kick failed)

BAR - Braton 3 run (run failed)

BAR - Braton 9 run (kick failed)

BRO - Wollenberg 68 run (Gonsior kick)

BAR - Hochholter 10 run (kick failed)

BAR - Rice 20 run (Hagen kick)

BRO - Bravo 1 run (kick failed)

BAR - John 1-yard fumble recovery (Hagen kick)

BAR - Rice 53 run (kick failed)

BAR - R. Strand 37 run (run failed)

BRO - Pearson 5 run (K. Petermeier pass from Heid)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: BR, Bravo 13-45, Wollenburg 2-77, Kellen 11-27, Heid 2-32, McClanahan 1-3, Vigil 1-3, Pearson 1-5. BA, Hochhalter 6-62, Braton 22-95, M. Strand 4-47, R. Strand 2-0, Rice 6-102, Martz 7-42, Nord 1-1, Nelson 4-21, Trowbridge 1-8

PASSING: BR, Kellen 3-10-0 45, BA, Strand 9-10-0 141

RECEIVING: BR, Wollenburg 3-45. BA, Braton 1-20, John 3-49, Mahar 4-63, Hochalter 1-3.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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