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D-G-F Prep Bowl-bound after beating Fairmont

The Rebels defeated the Cardinals 16-7 in Saturday's Class AAA semifinals and will face New London-Spicer in the state championship game on Dec. 3 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

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Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton junior running back Nicholas Waale reaches the end zone on a 25-yard carry during a Class AAA semifinal game against Fairmont on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune
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MINNEAPOLIS — Owen Leach has the kind of teammates at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton that will give him the shirt off their backs. Or in the case of the Class AAA Minnesota state semifinals, they’ll give Leach the helmet off their head.

Late in the third quarter, Leach’s helmet broke, sending him to the sidelines. Offensive lineman Chandler Wosick ran over to Leach and handed the headwear to the senior QB. For the rest of the game, Leach wore number 62 on his head and number 10 on his jersey.

“[Wosick] came up to me and was like, ‘Take my helmet, take it.’ There was no negotiating,” Leach said. “These guys are the best. They’ll give up anything for me and I’ll give up anything for them.”

Instead of football equipment, the entire Rebel team is giving their school something brand new: a trip to the Prep Bowl.

D-G-F (12-0) is headed to its first ever state championship after a 16-7 victory over Fairmont on Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton sophomore linebacker Caleb Johnson breaks up a pass attempt by Cardinals quarterback Brendan Schmidtke during a Class AAA semifinal against Fairmont on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

“I want you guys to know and everybody to know that these kids worked their butt off and they earned it,” said D-G-F head coach Anthony Soderberg. “I couldn’t be prouder of them. They’re awesome.”

The Rebels will face New London-Spicer for the state championship at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 back at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Wildcats advanced with a 33-28 win against Watertown-Mayer on Saturday.

The Rebels and Cardinals provided a sharp contrast in styles.

D-G-F’s double wing offense rumbled downfield for 235 yards and 18 first downs while chewing up 29 minutes of game time. It was another busy game for senior running back Jordan Summers, who ran the ball 33 tmes for 168 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

“I just do what coach says, honestly,” said Summers, who averaged over 27 carries a game coming into Saturday. “He wants me to run, I’ll run the ball. If he wants me to go out for a pass, I’ll go out for a pass. It doesn’t matter to me.”

“Their running back is a special player,” Fairmont head coach Mat Mahoney said of Summers. “They’re a force.”

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Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton senior running back Jordan Summers catches the ball during a Class AAA semifinal against Fairmont on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Fairmont (10-3) aired it out all day. After Summers’ score, the Cardinals went on a seven-play, 72-yard drive that capped off with a 10-yard TD pass from Brendan Schmidtke to Levi Pooley. The game was tied 7-7 at halftime.

Schmidtke’s only incompletion in the first half came on a spike to stop the clock. While he finished the game 15 of 20 for 162 yards, D-G-F forced Schmidtke into three turnovers. Two of those came in the second half.

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With D-G-F up 10-7 early in the fourth after a 22-yard Hayden Hauf field goal, Fairmont got the ball all the way to the Rebels’ 17. Trying to buy some time with his legs, the ball popped out of Schmidtke’s hands and onto the ground. Rebels lineman Max Baumgartner fell on the ball for the fumble recovery.

“Our D-coordinator (Jesse) Barnacle came through and we started to call more pressure on (Schmidtke),” Baumgartner said of the second-half defensive pressure. “Throughout the game, I had kind of been rolling out and following the QB. The ball came loose and I fell on it.”

D-G-F drove the ball 83 yards for the insurance score despite a pair of calamitous plays.

The first was on 4th-and-1 on the Fairmont 28. After three timeouts — one by Fairmont and two by D-G-F — Leach got the first down on a QB sneak.

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Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton senior Kolton Wagner tackles Cardinals' wide receiver David Maakestad for a loss of yardage during a Class AAA semifinal against Fairmont on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

The next play, Nicholas Waale ran up the middle and appeared to be stopped at the line. But no whistle blew. He kept churning his legs, broke to the outside and went 25 yards for the score.

“I saw the flag (on Fairmont for a facemask) and thought the play was over; it was a huge pile,” said Rebels senior Victor Sosa Krabbenhoft. “I thought the play was done and then I saw Nick just keep running. I was thinking oh, there’s no way that touchdown counts; they’ll call it back. But they didn’t. It was surprising.”

The Cardinals’ next drive ended with an interception by Leach at midfield, securing another trip to Minneapolis in two weeks.

“That was a fun, physical football game,” Soderberg said.

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Class AAA semifinals

D-G-F 16, Fairmont 7

Fairmont (10-3)     0   7   0   0 — 7
D-G-F (12-0)         0   7   0   9 — 16
Scoring Plays
D – Jordan Summers 14 run (Hayden Hauf kick)
F – Levi Pooley 10 pass from Brendan Schmidtke (Owen Burmeister kick)
D – Hauf 22 field goal
D – Nicholas Waale 25 run (kick failed)
Fairmont
First downs: 10 … Penalties: 5-35 … Rushing (Individual and team): Elijah Johnson 5-15, Landen Meyerdirk 2-4, Brendan Schmidtke 4-0. Total: 11-19 … Passing (Individual and team): Schmidtke 15-20-2 162 ... Receiving: Levi Pooley 8-66, Meyerdirk 4-25, Hank Artz 2-32, David Maakestad 2-15, Nolan Schultze 2-19, E. Johnson 1-5 … Interceptions: none … Fumble recoveries: none … Tackles (solo-assist): Aden Welcome 6-4, Claeb Chambers 3-7, James Johnson 6-4, Meyerdirk 6-2 … QB sacks: none
D-G-F
First downs: 18 … Penalties: 2-20 … Rushing (Individual and team): Jordan Summers 33-168, Nicholas Waale 5-34, Owen Leach 4-21, Brody Friend 2-9, Bodey Devries 1-4, Caleb Johnson 1-(-1). Total: 47-235 … Passing (Individual and team): Leach 6-7-0 49 ... Receiving: Brody O’Keefe 4-29, Summer 1-19, Devries 1-1 … Interceptions: Friend 1, Leach 1 … Fumble recoveries: Max Baumgartner 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): O’Keefe 6-0, Friend 2-2, Ethan Hellerud 3-1, Kolten Wagner 2-1 … QB sacks: none

Joe Brown is a sports reporter for the West Central Tribune.

He can be reached via email at: jbrown@wctrib.com or his office number: 320-214-4332.
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