Barnesville defeats Osakis in the Class AA State Tournament quarterfinal
By: Jackson Boline
Barnesville keeps their Class AA state champion repeat aspirations alive with a thrilling 42-36 win over Osakis on Thursday night in the quarterfinal round of State.
Right off the bat, the Silverstreaks seized early momentum after forcing a fumble on the Trojans’ first offensive play of the game. They quickly capitalized on the ensuing play with a Seth Staloch touchdown catch, thrown by Kyle Mages, giving Osakis an 8-0 lead just four minutes into the game.
Barnesville countered in the following offensive series, showcasing their deceptive three-man running option. Gannon Bolgrean broke free for a 66-yard touchdown, marking his first of two on the day and leveling the score at eight. Bolgrean’s impressive 180-yard performance followed a game in which he rushed for 186 yards and scored two touchdowns during their sectional title win against Pelican Rapids.
Throughout the first half, both teams traded blows, with Osakis’ quarterback delivering two additional touchdowns and Cameron Halvorson contributing two rushing scores, resulting in a halftime deadlock of 22-22. This evenly matched performance set the stage for an enthralling second half.
After receiving the second-half kickoff, the Trojans got their first lead of the game on a 34-yard pass from Zach Bredman to Peyton Amundson, with a failed two-point conversion attempt, Barnesville held a 28-22 lead.
Osakis’ following possession resulted in a turnover on down, and the Trojans capitalized, securing a two-touchdown lead with a successful QB run by Bredman, bringing the score to 36-22 ending the third quarter.
In the early moments of the fourth quarter, Osakis experienced a momentum shift, recovering a fumble at midfield, and with favorable field position and renewed confidence, the Silverstreaks fought back into the game. Gaven Cimbura’s 14-yard rushing touchdown narrowed the gap to 36-30.
Holding a six-point lead with slightly over five minutes left in the game, Barnesville encountered a critical 4th-and-3 situation just beyond midfield. Then what appeared to be a disastrous turn for the Trojans, as a contested pass was intercepted and returned for a potential game-tying touchdown by Osakis’ cornerback Grant Mages, however, the play was nullified due to an Illegal Contact penalty on Osakis.
On the next play, Trojans’ Gannon Bolgrean found the endzone for the second time of the game, and the eventual dagger, putting Barnesville up 42-30 with five minutes to play.
The Silverstreaks added another touchdown, but the onside kick attempt was recovered by Barnesville to seal the 42-36 state tournament win.
Osakis ends its season with a 9-2 overall record after giving the defending Class AA champions a great State Tournament quarterfinal battle.
Barnesville moves to 12-0 overall on the season and will head to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to face Jackson County Central (11-0), who took down Caledonia in a 41-0 rout on Thursday. Gametime will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.
Barnesville defeated Jackson County Central 41-22 in the 2022 Class AA State Tournament semifinals.
Total team stats:
Osakis totaled 178 rushing and 280 passing yards.
Barnesville totaled 306 rushing and 113 passing yards.