Class 2A Semifinal
Eden Valley-Watkins 42, Cannon Falls 24
by Bryan Zollman
A year removed form losing in the state semifinals to Chatfield, Eden Valley-Watkins has had their sights set on today since the beginning of the season.
“This has been the goal,” said senior QB Nolan Geislinger.
Wyatt Moehrle Scored four touchdowns and Geislinger threw three TD passes and ran for two more as Eden Valley-Watkins advanced to the 2A Prep Bowl with a 42-24 win over Cannon Falls Friday afternoon at US Bank Stadium.
In the end the Bears couldn’t contain the outside speed of both Geislinger and Moehrle, and their Power T offense, while efficient, with a whopping 449 yards, wasn’t enough to overcome the big plays by the Eagles skilled seniors.
Moehrle had touchdowns from 28, 66, 22 and 51 yards out and Geislinger added a 66-yard run. Speed was the deciding factor.
“We knew we had the advantage on the outside and our players made blocks and it all opened up for us,” said Moehrle.
Trailing 8-6, the Eagles scored four straight touchdowns to lead 36-8.
“We have a lot of good football players we were able to get the ball to,” said Eagles Head Coach Adam Tri. “Those big plays were huge.”
Tri said Cannon Falls’ Power T offense is difficult to defend, but said it’s gotten easier over the years.
“It’s not as challenging as it was five or six years ago,” he said. “But they run it well and are tough to stop.”
While Moehrle had a big game offensively, he also had a big play on defense, blocking a punt deep in Cannon Falls territory that led to a touchdown.
“Coach saw the lane and told me to get the lane,” Moehrle said. “I just went up there and jumped.”
“That was one of the big plays to get momentum,” said Coach Tri.
While the Bears were hoping to advance to the Prep Bowl, getting to the state tournament was an exciting experience.
“I’ve been watching these guys since they were little and they’ve been winners since day one,” said head coach Dan Meyers. “It’s just an amazing group of leaders. You just wish you could play another game with them. We are just very proud.”
Dylan Banks led the Bears with 152 yards rushing on 22 carries and a touchdown. Derrik Bechtoldt has 127 yards on 16 carries and a score, and Sam Shepersky ran for 81 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
Moehrle finished with four catches for 170 yards and three TDs. He also ran in one touchdown. Geislinger had just five completions, but threw for 179 yards. He also ran for 120 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns.
Both Geislinger and Moehrle said the goal since the beginning of the season was to be where they are at right now, on the cusp of winning a state championship. Now they get to face Barnesville for the state title.
“That was our goal going into it,” said Moehrle. “We knew we would be back and were gonna get it done this time.”
Said Geislinger: “We have some unfinished business.”