Two unbeaten football teams waged battle on Friday night in Breckenridge with the host Cowboys taking a 14-6 halftime lead, however, Barnesville came from behind to record a 44-22 victory, scoring the final three touchdowns of the game after the two teams were tied 22-22 late in the third quarter.
“Was a fantastic 2nd half and a decent first half,” said Barnesville Head Coach Bryan Strand. “Breckenridge is a very good team and we knew they would come out and come after us and they did. We struggled somewhat in first half and made some costly mistakes, but when halftime came we were only down 14-6. Had a very serious discussion at halftime about what we do well and what we weren’t doing in this game. I strongly challenged them to be better and to get back to being aggressive. Wow did they respond.”
Breckenridge started the game with the ball and after 3 plays were forced to punt on 4th and 3, “We moved the ball a bit but after an 8 play drive were forced to punt the ball back,” noted Strand. “Breck put together a nice 9 play drive that was capped when Cooper Yaggie hit Dylan Bernotas for a 9 yard TD pass. After the kick we would move the ball down the field and eventually scored when Adam Tonsfeldt hit Cameron Heng for a 22 yard TD pass, tying the game at 6-6.”
In the second quarter, Breckenridge drove down the field and scored on a one yard plunge by Daniel Erlandson. Yaggie hit Sebastian Anderson for the 2 point conversion and the Cowboys took a 14-6 lead. “We drove all the way down the field but Adam Tonsfeldt was stripped of the ball right around the 5 yard line,” added Strand.
“In the second half we got our stuff together and played much better. Things didn't start off perfect as we had to punt on our first possession and it was a bad punt of about 5 yards giving Breck terrific field position, but on 1st down they fumbled the ball, giving it right back to us. On first down, after scrambling, Tonsfeldt hit Cameron Heng for a 77 yard TD pass and then he connected with Kaden Zenzen for the two-point conversion, making the score 14-14. With a new sense of excitement the defense played a great next possession, holding them to a 3 and out.” The Trojans took the ball from the 35 yard line and in 9 plays cashed in on an Aaron Schiefert 7 yard run and a two-point conversion run by Tonsfeldt giving Barnesville their first lead of the night at 22-14, Breckenridge came back on the next drive and again drove the field where Yaggie took it in from 20 yards out and hit James Mertes for the 2 point conversion, ending the third quarter deadlocked at 22-22.
“We had a heck of a fourth quarter,” exclaimed Coach Strand. “On our 2nd play Tonsfeldt hit Joey Mark for a 44 yard TD pass and Nolan Rick kicked the extra point, giving us a 29-22 advantage. Again the defense would hold and force a punt. We next put together a beautiful 10 play drive where we drained a large amount of clock off in the final quarter. Tonsfeldt scored from 1 yard out and the 2 point conversion run by Noah Krause was good, making it a 37-22 lead. Krause picked off a Yaggie pass and then on the next play Krause took the ball 58 yards for the final TD of the night. The kick by Rick was good and we secured a 44-22 victory.
Barnesville accumulated 307 yards on the ground and 156 passing yards for a total of 463 yards on the night. They were led by Schiefert with 110 yards on 18 carries, Tonsfeldt with 98 rushing yards on 15 carries and Krause with 82 yards on 7 rushing attempts. Tonsfeldt completed 4-of-6 passes for 156 yards and 3 scores. His top receivers were Mark (2 catches, 57 yards TD) and Heng (2 catches, 99 yards, 2 TD’s). Defensively, Krause had a pick and Zenzen recorded a pair of sacks. Schiefert forced a fumble and Jonny Robideau and Brady Kroll each recovered a fumble. Mark led by 12 tackles, 5 of them solo stops.
For Breckenridge, Yaggie completed 8-of-18 passes for 118 yards and Jacob Vizenor led the ground game with 56 yards on 3 touches..Bernotas caught 3 passes for 46 yards and a score to lead the Cowboys receivers.
“So proud of our guys who struggled a bit early but overcame many things to win this game,” concluded Coach Strand. “Every week is a blessing and we hope to continue to be able to play! Proud of our effort, love this group of young men they work so hard and show up every day to get better!”