You play hard as long as you can, even if it means playing one of the nation’s top programs in the end. For a second straight year, Chatfield football is in the 1AA Section final. In the quarters, the Gophers (3-seed, 6-2) took on K-W (6-seed, 3-5). Chatfield posted two TDs in the first (Sam Backer 3-yard run, Corey Ericson 26-yard INT return), second (Reid Johnson 2-yard run, Johnson 21-yard pass to Max Aug), and third quarters (Backer 2-yard run, Johnson 56-yard pass to Aug) to build a 40-6 lead. Jeff Johnson’s crew prevailed 40-14. Backer (18-146, 2 TDs rushing), Johnson (5-12, 115 yards, 2 TDs, INT passing, rushing TD), and Aug (2-77, 2 TDs receiving) led the way. Austin Koenigs authored a pair of sacks, Campbell Berge (forced fumble, two recoveries) a pair of turnovers. Tate Erlandson (90-yard KOR TD, 4-93 receiving), Tyler Craig (17-67, TD rushing), and Luke Berg (10-24, 154 yards, INT passing) led the Knights. In the semis, Chatfield (3-seed, 7-2) played #4 in AA L-A (2-seed, 9-0). Despite being the lower seed and unranked, the Gophers were probably the favorite. The Cardinals played a mainly 1A schedule, winning only three AA games against sub-par teams. After a scoreless first half, Chatfield scored on the third play of third quarter. S-Backer had a highlight real, spin, split a couple tackles, accelerate for a 56-yard TD run, a 6-0 lead. With the second play of the fourth quarter, on 4th and 10, Johnson hit Backer out of the backfield for a 25-yard connection, one capped by the massive highlight real goal-line collision (won by Sam). Chatfield led 12-0. Backer then continued his heroics, intercepting a Blake Schilling pass, returning it 54 yards. It set up another Johnson to Backer 25-yard connection on 4th down, the nail. The Gophers beat L-A 20-0. S-Backer (22-127, TD rushing, 2-50, 2 TDs receiving, 56-yard INT return) was huge. Johnson (10-18, 122 yards, 2 TDs passing) helped. The Gophers defense held late to pitch their fourth shut-out. The Cards had one second half rushing first down (a QB scramble). Cole Mundt (21-94 rushing) and Schilling (4-9, 90 yards, INT passing) led L-A. For the fourth time in eight years, Chatfield (3-seed, 8-2) and #1 Caledonia (1-seed, 10-0) will play for the 1AA title.
About Paul Trende