On a defense packed with players capable of making big plays, Jed Magstadt has been a play-maker.
The senior free safety has come up big in Brainerd's playoff run to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. He is the team's third-leading tackler with 150 and is second on the team with five interceptions. He also has six pass breakups and has forced two fumbles.
Magstadt is a member of a defense that has intercepted 19 passes, forcing 27 turnovers in all. Brainerd is allowing 12.1 points and 215.5 yards a game.
"Jed has been one of our defensive leaders," Warriors head coach Ron Stolski said. "He was the one veteran that came back in our secondary. He is a ferocious tackler, on the kickoff team, and in the secondary. He's a great run stopper.
"He's made clutch plays in the last two games. He had the interception in the Alexandria game that sealed it. He had an interception in the (St. Cloud) Tech game that started us on our way back and changed Tech's mind on the passing game so they went outside. He's real quiet but a very tough leader as a senior. He does all the things you ask of an athlete."
In a section semifinal victory over Alexandria, Magstadt intercepted on the Cardinals' final possession with 54 seconds left to clinch the victory.
"I saw the receiver doing a slant route in," he said. "I saw one guy tip it, I think it got tipped again, I just flew up and it was right there."
Position: Free safety
Height: 5-11 1/2
Other sports: Basketball
Memorable sports achievement: Winning section football title
Grade-point average: 3.2
Favorite subject: Physical education
Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza
Favorite Web site: www.minnesotapreps.com
Hobbies: Fishing, socializing with friends
Future plans: Attend
college, major in finance or business, possibly play a sport
Athlete he admires:
Parents: Bob and Annette Magstadt
His pick in the red zone in the third quarter swung the momentum in Brainerd's favor in the section final against Tech. The interception led to a Brainerd score that tightened the deficit to 17-14.
"In the first half we were getting beat up the middle on seam routes," Magstadt said. "At halftime we put an adjustment in. We did that in the second half and it worked pretty well."
Magstadt said last year's section semifinal loss to Tech motivated the Warriors as well as the serious injury leading rusher Tyler Jensen suffered against Alexandria.
"It was tough last year," Magstadt said. "We really wanted this one bad, especially for Jensen. We wanted to win it for him."
Defensive coordinator Bob Brakke said Magstadt has been a key instrument in the defense.
"As a free safety he has to make coverage adjustments, disguise the defense, know who is blitzing, stop the deep pass, yet try to stop a ball carrier for no more than a 2-yard gain," Brakke said. "Jed also provides a vital spark to our defense with his enthusiasm and hard hits.
"He is incredibly unselfish. He never hesitates when asked to play other positions or roles."
Magstadt credits the defensive line and linebackers for giving the defensive backs opportunities to make interceptions.
"Desmond (Janousek) and Kyle (Crocker) are good shutdown corners, that helps a lot," he said. "I have to credit the defensive line for putting the pressure on, and our linebackers are playing well too. Our whole defense is."
Other notable efforts:
Desmond Janousek, football, has six interceptions, returning one for a score against Tech.
Colby Ring, football, rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown, his 19th of the year, against Tech and had 14 tackles.
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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