Blossoms’ dream season ends in semifinal loss
MINNEAPOLIS, Mn. — The Blooming Prairie had its chances to make statement early in the game, but couldn’t find the end zone after recovering two turnovers deep inside of Bird Island-Olivia- Lake Lillian District territory.
The missed opportunities signaled the start of what would be a frustrating offensive performance in the season-ending 37-7 loss to BOLD in the Class A state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
“We had opportunity early and we didn’t cash in on a couple of early turnovers,” Blooming Prairie head coach Chad Gimbel said. “That made it hard and could have changed the outcome a little bit. We could get things going, but we just couldn’t sustain a drive.”
The Warriors lead 10-0 at halftime, but the Blossoms recovered an onside kick to start the third quarter and narrowed the lead to 10-7 after Kaden Thomas found Payton Simon on a 21-yard touchdown.
However, that’s where things really went awry for Blooming Prairie.
BOLD scored three touchdowns in the next six minutes of action to extend its lead to 30-7.
“They are very good football team,” Gimbel said. “We felt like we could hold upfront and we did for a quiet a while, but their size wore us down more anything.”
The Warriors finished the game with 333 rushing yards on 48 attempts.
“They run a really good option,” Gimbel said. “The option is hard enough to stop when when your able to load the box, but when you have to double team their top threat, that makes it even more
The Blossoms held Mr. Football finalist Lucas Ryan without a catch.
“We held him in check, but you have to pick your
poison and we decided that we wanted them to have drive the field by running the football,” Gimbel said. “That was our
decision to try to take away the big chunk plays from the wide receivers. He’s really good. We had plenty of tape on him torching defenses.”
Despite the loss this Blooming Prairie team will be remembered as one of the top squads in school history. Not only was the team extremely successful on the field, they persevered through adversity and tragedy to do so.
“Being able to overcome adversity comes from great leadership and we had five great senior leaders in Payton Simon, Seth Peterson, Tim Wolf, Colin Lerum and Trenton Swenson,” Gimbel said. “That’s the thing we will remember. Success starts with your seniors and those kids definitely did everything we asked of them. "These kids weren't just good football players," he continued. "they were good citizens and great students in the classroom. When someone wasn’t doing things right they were willing to step up tell them what they needed to do to correct it and do it what we call the Blossom way.” Blooming Prairie has been knocking on the door of state title for nearly the past decade and next season should be no different with eight starters returning on offense and seven returning on defense.
“It all starts with leadership and we have some juniors who look to be very good leaders too,” Gimbel said.
BOLD (12-0) will face the Mahnonmen/Waubun Thunderbirds (12-0) Saturday in Class A Prep Bowl at U.S. Stadium.