Top-seeded Minot rallies past Fargo South
MINOT, N.D. - Even Minot football coach Barry Holmen thought his No. 1-ranked Magicians had lost their North Dakota Class 3A state football quarterfinal against Fargo South on Friday at Duane Carlson Stadium. "I said on the sidelines, 'We just lo...
MINOT, N.D. – Even Minot football coach Barry Holmen thought his
No. 1-ranked Magicians had lost their North Dakota Class 3A state football quarterfinal against Fargo South on Friday at Duane Carlson Stadium.
“I said on the sidelines, ‘We just lost the game,’ ” Holmen said.
A majority of his players did, too.
“My mentality was that we lost and this is my last game at Duane Carlson Stadium,” Minot senior quarterback Ben Bolinske said. “I think our entire team thought we lost. That was the mentality we had.”
With just over two minutes to go in the game, top-ranked Minot was flagged for a pass interference call on third-and-7, giving East Region No. 4-seeded Fargo South – which led by four points – a first down near midfield. The Magicians had already exhausted their three timeouts at that point, setting the table for a shocking upset.
Then, the improbable happened.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Fargo South senior running back Gus Siaway took a pitch left and cut it back inside. Minot junior defensive end Kade Lindquist then forced a fumble, setting the stage for Minot senior Braydon Lund, who recovered to give the Magicians new life.
“I just saw an opportunity, and I went and made a play,” Lund said.
That’s when Minot’s offense – which had struggled in the second half – stepped up, and with just under a minute remaining, senior running back Austin Nagel went untouched from 11 yards out for the game-winning touchdown, which sealed a 28-25 win for the Magicians.
“I can’t even explain what I’m feeling,” Lund said. “I guess you could say it’s a Magic City Miracle Part 2. The fact is we get another week. I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
And amid the Magicians’ jubilant celebration, Fargo South left Duane Carlson Stadium bitterly disappointed.
“Every loss is difficult,” South coach Troy Mattern said. “When you play at Fargo South you expect to win every game, and when we lose in the fashion we did, it hurts, and it’s going to hurt for a long time and these kids will get better from it.”
Minot scored on its opening possession of the third quarter, ballooning its lead to 21-3 as senior wide receiver Logan Bischof reeled in a 15-yard reception with 6:45 to play in the third quarter.
Then the Bruins found their offensive footing.
“We felt we were moving the ball well. We just struggled a bit, and our kids weren’t going to quit. We weren’t going to quit until the game is over,” Mattern said.
South sophomore wide receiver Tanner Beaton’s 33-yard catch-and-run capped a string of 22 answered points by the Bruins, giving South a 25-21 lead with 5:21 to play in the fourth quarter.
Trailing for the first time since its 3-0 deficit in the first quarter, Minot then drove to midfield, but stalled and punted with 2:18 to play.
Nagel finished the game with 129 yards on 29 carries and three scores. Bolinske added 59 yards on the ground on 12 carries, while going 8 for 16 through the air for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Siaway logged 89 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown for the Bruins, while junior quarterback Jack Pifer was 6 for 15 though the air with one touchdown.
FS 3 0 15 7–25
M 0 14 7 7–28
FS–Breyer 29 FG
M–Nagel 1 run (Hoffer kick)
M–Nagel 2 run (Hoffer kick)
M–Bischof 15 pass from Bolinske (Hoffer kick)
FS–Pifer 1 run (Beaton catch)
FS–Siaway 3 run (Breyer kick)
FS–Beaton 33 pass from Pifer (Breyer kick)
M–Nagel 11 run (Hoffer kick)
RUSHING: FS, Siaway 18-89, Boisjolie 3-7, Pifer 2-9, Luckowski 9-24, Francis 1-17. M, Nagel 29-129, Bolinske 12-59, Marler 2-6, Bischof 2-3.
PASSING: FS, Pifer 6-99-0. M, Bolinske 8-88-1.
RECEIVING: FS, Beaton 2-38, Eillingson 1-7, Siaway 3-54. M, Lund 2-9, Bischof 3-56, Nagel 1-9, Engg 3-23.