The second-seeded Pierz Pioneers scored all 14 points in the second quarter and beat the 10th-ranked and top-seeded Breckenridge Cowboys 14-6 for the Section 6-2A championship Friday night at the Fargodome.
Aaron Schmidtbauer and Scott Janson scored the Pierz touchdowns and Tyler Monson caught a 2-point conversion pass from Janson to complete the scoring for the Pioneers, who have won nine straight.
"We played great defense," Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp said. "That was a very explosive team that we slowed down."
The Pioneers limited the previously unbeaten Cowboys to 180 total yards. Pierz shut them out until the final five minutes when Breckenridge's Luke Poppel scored on a 7-yard run.
With about two minutes to play the Pioneers fumbled at their 45 and Breckenridge recovered. But Pierz stymied the drive, got the ball back and ran out the clock.
SECTION 6-2A FOOTBALL
Pierz 14, Breckenridge 6
The key: The Pioneers scored 14 points in the second quarter and limited the Cowboys to 180 total yards.
Overall: Prz 10-1
Next: Pierz vs. Moose Lake-Willow River at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at St. Cloud State University.
Pierz's Corey Egan picked off his eighth pass of the season in the second quarter. He returned it to the Breckenridge 20 but the Pioneers lost a fumble on the next play. Janson also had an interception for Pierz.
Pioneers running back Matt Woitalla went over the 1,000-yard mark by gaining 79 yards on 18 attempts. He has 1,024 for the season.
Alex Leach returned to the Pierz lineup after missing the quarterfinal and semifinal playoff games. He carried seven times for 39 yards.
"He has a high ankle sprain which is a tough injury," Pohlkamp said. "He's still not 100 percent but at 90 percent he can still help us."
The Pioneers won despite gaining just 219 yards. Three lost fumbles hampered their drives.
"We shot ourselves in the foot," Pohlkamp said. "We played more conservatively. We didn't come out throwing much in the second half because we had the lead. We knew we were going to give up yards but we played kind of a bend but don't break defense. On film they looked so explosive so we had to play prevent defense."
It was the fifth straight section final for the Pioneers while it was the first for Breckenridge since 2001.
"We've been away from (the Fargodome) for two years," Pohlkamp said. "It was a combination of our coaches had been there before so we know what it takes to prepare. When you go up there your kids can't be stargazing at the ceiling and saying, 'What a beautiful place to play.'
"Our kids executed the game plan. Defense was definitely the key to the game, and our offensive line pretty much did a heck of a job because we were able to run the ball."
Pierz 0 14 0 0 - 14
Breckenridge 0 0 0 6 - 6
Prz-Aaron Schmidtbauer 5 run (kick fails) 11:19
Prz-Scott Janson 6 run (Tyler Monson pass from Janson 4:28
Brk-Luke Poppel 7 run (pass fails) 4:47
Rushes-yards: Prz 39-146, Brk 40-108
Pass comp-att-int-yards: Prz 4-7-0-73, Brk 9-29-2-72
Total offense: Prz 219, Brk 180
Fumbles-lost: Prz 3-3, Brk 0-0
Penalties: Prz 3-25, Brk 3-20
Rushing: Prz, Matt Woitalla 18-79, Alex Leach 7-39, Aaron Schmidtbauer 1-5, Jimmy Hiemenz 5-18, Josh Boser 3-16, Scott Janson 4-4, Cody Stangl 1-17; Brk, Peter Nelson 23-84, Luke Poppel 10-34
Passing: Pass comp-att-int-yards: Prz, Janson 3-6-0-48, Corey Egan 1-1-25; Brk-Jordan Blaufuss 9-29-2-72
Receiving: Prz, Mark Kahl 2-40, Leach 1-25, Josh Boser 1-8; Brk-Ryan Steckler 4-45.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.