HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Brainerd heads into unbeaten Tigers’ den | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Brainerd heads into unbeaten Tigers’ den

Posted: September 29, 2011 - 9:05pm


Even though it’s only the first game of the second half of the regular season, a conference championship and high seed in the Section 8-5A could await the winner down the road when the Brainerd Warriors play the St. Cloud Tech Tigers Friday night.

Tech is 4-0 in Central Lakes Conference and section play while Brainerd is 2-1 in the CLC, 2-2 overall.

“It’s a conference game, a section game,” Warriors coach Ron Stolski said, “and they’ve got a nice team. They’re undefeated. They’ve won games pretty close. They have two really good running backs (Jacob Peterson and Bryant Amundson) and always plays good defense.”

The Tigers have beaten Sartell 21-20, Alexandria 14-9, Sauk Rapids-Rice 14-0 and Cambridge-Isanti 27-14. Tigers coach Gregg Martig said much is at stake Friday night.

“It’s a big game in the conference, and obviously a big game in the section,” he said. “I don’t know about our kids but I certainly consider Brainerd our biggest rival. I don’t look at Apollo as much of a rival as maybe people around town do. 

“To me it’s our biggest game of the year in a lot of ways. Typically, if you want a chance to win a conference title you have to take care of this game. If you want to win the section I gauge how Brainerd’s doing. That’s how we set the bar. 

“The bottom line is if you want to win the section it’s usually one of us that you’ve got to deal with at some point and that’s the way we approach it.”

Peterson and Amundson lead the Tigers on the ground. Peterson has rushed for 461 yards and four touchdowns. Amundson has added 159 yards and two scores.

“Peterson is pretty talented,” Martig said. “He started as a sophomore, along with (quarterback) Jesse (Lavoi).”

Lavoi has completed 34 of 55 passes (61.8 percent) for two TDs and 246 yards.

“His passing is better this year,” Martig said. “His stats would look better, minus some penalties. Most of our callbacks were big pass plays, other balls were dropped. He’s having a better season than his numbers indicate.”

Lavoi’s favorite receiver is Kevin Heysse with 12 catches for 270 yards (22.5) and two TDs.

Tech’s defensive leaders are Austin Klaverkamp (40 tackles), Dieter Brenner (36), Amundson (35) and Nathan Kor (35).

“We’re pretty happy with our defense,” Martig said. “I think that’s the strength of our team. We fly around the ball. We’ve been pretty formidable. We get a lot of pressure up front. It’s a pretty physical group.”

The Tigers have bounced back from a 2-7 season last year and a 4-6 mark in 2009.

“The difference this year is we’re winning the close games instead of finding a way to lose them,” Martig said. “A couple games could have been a bit more lopsided, minus a few penalties. We’ve had three or four touchdowns called back. That’s something we’ve got to clean up on the offensive side of the ball.

“We knew this senior class had a pretty talented core of kids. If they stayed healthy we thought we had a pretty good chance to start the season off well.”

Brainerd started 2-0 and was ranked as high as ninth in 5A. But the Warriors lost to Sartell 8-3 and lost 21-7 to Bemidji. The Lumberjacks held Brainerd to 108 yards rushing, 117 passing.

“We have to make some throws down the field,” Stolski said. “Bemidji’s defense was by far the best defense we’ve seen. They did a heck of a job on our running game. That really was the first team this year that has stopped our running game.”

The Warriors gave up 406 yards against Bemidji.

“After looking at it on tape we made a lot of mistakes in that game,” Stolski said. “That was the first time we really did that this season, but all the credit goes to a very good team. We’ve got to rectify things that we didn’t do.

“We expect to go down (to Tech) and play well, that’s our expectation. We need to tackle better and block longer and we’ll be just fine.”



Warriors at Tech

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Clark Field, St. Cloud

The series: The Tigers lead 54-31.

Last year: The Warriors won 33-14 in Brainerd.


Week 5


Brainerd Warriors (2-2)


QB: 22-Mitch McLain, 11-Luke Boran

RB: 32-Nick Welch, 10-Logan Davis, 12-Conor Gessell, 34-Jackson Dols, 35-Tyler Fitch

WR: 2-Jimmy Giese, 5-Riley Kline, 84-Tom Olson, 15-Dustin Borlaug, 82-Jacob Blong, 88-Chris Bowman

C: 71-Andrew Seglem, 57-Zach Shepersky

G: 63-Jon Asprey, 67-Caleb Tautges, 73-Ethan Dwire

T: 50-Jacob Kassulker, 65-Cody Backmann, 74-Andy Meierhofer

TE: 87-Alex Evanson



Line: 91-Trent Mills, 89-Tyler Aldous, 55-Jace Engelmann, 54-Mike Davis, 56-Dain Barrett, 58-Chris Lundgren, 94-Mike Glass, 92-Dennis Grant, 40-Levi Rubin

OLB: 47-Rob Wanous, 34-Jackson Dols, 36-T.J. Graumann, 45-Tyler Mick, 41-Ben Stall, 33-Jake Donnay

ILB: 50-Jake Kassulker, 90-Logan McAllister, 52-Slade Simpson, 53-Sam Kelash, 42-Dylon Tollefson, 44-Kyle Wicklund

CB: 27-Chris Morano, 31-Cole Smith, 7-Grant Reuer, 11-Luke Boran, 30-Kyle Thomas

S: 26-Trevor Dukowitz, 21-Miles Pearson, 23-Abe Tuomi, 25-Fletcher Ryan, 16-Trevor Maier



Punter: 2-Jimmy Giese, 15-Logan McElfresh

Kicker: 8-Andrew Olson, 40-Levi Rubin

Punt return: 84-Tom Olson, 2-Jimmy Giese

Kickoff return: 10-Logan Davis, 12-Conor Gessell

Long snap: 50-Jake Kassullker, 33-Jake Donnay

Holder: 84-Tom Olson


Tech Tigers (4-0)


LT: 60-Paul Kaczor

LG: 64-Matt Johnson

C: 72: Joe Hjort

RG: 66-Matt Czech

RT: 67-Tyler Sobieck

TE: 43-Joe Walker

WR: 7-Kevin Heysse

WR: 27-Phil Amundson

QB: 4-Jesse LaVoi

RB: 30-Jacob Peterson

RB: 33-Bryant Amundson



T: 75-Scott Grinnell

NG: 61-Julian Weitz-Elder

T: 60-Paul Kaczor

LB: 45-Riley Bates

LB: 48-Matt Brettingen

LB: 49-Austin Klaverkamp

LB: 18-Nathan Kor

CB: 21-Sam Coulter

CB: 25-Adam Gruber

S: 2-Dieter Brenner

S: 33-Bryant Amundson



PK: 6-Robert Keeley

P: 7-Kevin Heysse


Warriors schedule

Sept 2, Rocori, WON 28-20

Sept 9, Willmar, WON 31-7

Sept 16, at Sartel, Lost 8-3

Sept 23, Bemidji, Lost 21-7

Sept 30, at St. Cloud Tech 7 p.m.

Oct 8, St. Cloud Apollo 2 p.m. (homecoming)

Oct 14, at Moorhead 7 p.m.

Oct 19, at Sauk Rapids 7 p.m.

Oct 25, Section 8-5A quarterfinals

Oct 29, Section semifinals

Nov 5, Section final at St. John's University


Central Lakes Conference

                                 Conf     All

St. Cloud Tech 4-0 4-0

Fergus Falls                          2-0       2-2

Rocori 2-1 3-1

Brainerd 2-1 2-2

Willmar 2-2 2-2

Sauk Rapids 1-2 1-3

Alexandria 1-3 1-3

Sartell 1-3 1-3

St. Cloud Apollo 0-2 0-4


Sept. 23 results

Bemidji 21, Brainerd 7

Moorhead 28, Fergus Falls 21

Rocori 28, Sartell 14

Wilmar 34, Sauk Rapids 16

Tech 27, Cambridge-Isanti 14

Friday’s games

Brainerd at Tech

Sauk Rapids at Apollo

Alexandria at Bemidji

Rogers at Sartell

Moorhead at Willmar


Section 8-5A

                                        All         QRF

Elk River 4-0 35.8

Brainerd 2-2 32.5

St. Cloud Tech 4-0 31.3

Moorhead 1-3 23.3

Duluth East 2-3 22.8

Buffalo 2-2 20.0

Cambridge-Isanti 0-4 13.5

*QRF (Quality Results Formula) is determined by a team’s wins, opponent’s class, and opponent’s wins.


Sept. 23 results

Bemidji 21, Brainerd 7

Moorhead 28, Fergus Falls 21

Duluth East 53, Minneapolis North 14

Tech 27, Cambridge-Isanti 14

Elk River 42, Monticello 34

Rogers 30, Buffalo 3

Friday’s games

Brainerd at Tech

Moorhead at Willmar

Buffalo at St. Michael-Albertville

Cambridge-Isanti at Monticello

Duluth East at Grand Rapids

Elk River at Becker


Warriors statistics



Nick Welch 59 354 6.0 1

Mitch McLain 56 272 4.9 4

Logan Davis 30 161 5.4 0

Conor Gessell 14 87 6.2 1

Luke Boran 4 34 8.5 0

Jackson Dols 1 4 4.0 0

Dax VanSteenwyk 1 2 2.0 0



Mitch McLain 27 62 272 2

Luke Boran 1 1 6 0



Jimmy Giese 6 48 8.0 0

Riley Kline 5 86 17.2 1

Logan Davis 5 18 3.6 0

Dustin Borlaug 4 25 6.3 0

Nick Welch 3 55 18.3 0

Logan McAllister 2 25 12.5 1

Tom Olson 2 12 6.0 0

Conor Gessell 1 9 9.0 0


Mitch McLain 4 0 0 24

Andrew Olson 0 0 7 13

Conor Gessell 2 0 0 12

Riley Kline 1 0 0 6

Logan McAllister 1 0 0 6

Nick Welch 1 0 0 6

Logan Davis 0 1 0 2

Note: Olson’s scoring includes 2 field goals.


Fumble recoveries (2): Levi Rubin, Robby Wanous

Interceptions (3): Cole Smith 2, Slade Simpson

Season tackle leaders: Wanous 60, McAllister 52, Kassulker 44

Tackles vs. Bemidji: Dukowitz 17, McAllister 17, Wanous 13

Points per-game average: Brainerd 17.3, opposition 14.0

Yards per game average: Brainerd 290.5, opposition 281.3