Dan Skelly is a high-octane quarterback.
The senior figured in five of six Champlin Park touchdowns as the Rebels defeated the Brainerd Warriors 41-13 in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A football playoffs Friday.
Skelly rushed for four touchdowns and passed for 130 yards and another TD as second-ranked and unbeaten Champlin Park dealt fourth-ranked Brainerd its only loss of the season.
"Dan Skelly can play," Rebels coach Mike Korton said. "He's one heck of an athlete, who last year couldn't throw that well. This year he can."
Skelly, who did all of his damage in three quarters, rushed for 54 yards and completed 8 of 14 passes.
He scored on runs of 3 and 23 yards in the second quarter and fired a 52-yard touchdown pass in the second to Brandon Mickelson as the Rebels bolted to a 28-7 halftime edge. Skelly ran for a 3-yard score in the third and a 1-yarder in the fourth.
"What surprised us most was our inability to stop them in the first half," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said.
Champlin Park's defense yielded 340 total yards but forced two Warrior turnovers in the second half.
"They're not all-stars but they worked hard in the offseason to get to where they are right now," Korton said of his defense. "They're starting to play with experience now because they had no experience coming in."
The Rebels limited a Brainerd offense that was averaging 31.9 points to its lowest point production of the season.
"They have an outstanding quarterback, just like we thought," Stolski said. "Their defense was good. It didn't allow us first-down plays so we were always looking at something else to do. Ultimately, the score got to a point where we didn't play the game we like to play.
"I was pretty sure we could move the ball on them, but when you get down like we did you just get out of a rhythm, the kind of rhythm we usually dictate."
Brainerd's Geoff Roberts rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown, a 20-yard run with 9:21 remaining, and quarterback Mike O'Day passed for 133 yards.
The Rebels capitalized on a special teams mistake in the opening quarter. Brainerd punter Nick Edwards bobbled the snap and the Rebels buried him at the Brainerd 4. Champlin's Ramon Humber later rammed into the end zone from a yard out.
Two second-half turnovers led to Champlin scores.
In the third quarter, Rebels cornerback Lee Benson intercepted O'Day and returned it 56 yards to the Brainerd 2. Skelly then ran for a short score.
On the Warriors' next possession, O'Day was stripped of the ball following a 28-yard gain. Skelly then scored the Rebels' final touchdown.
Champlin Park 6 22 6 7 -- 41
Brainerd 7 0 0 6 -- 13
CP-Ramon Humber 1 run (kick fails) 6:24
Brd-Brady Prince 1 run (Nick Edwards kick) 2:28
CP-Dan Skelly 3 run (Skelly run) 11:51
CP-Skelly 23 run (Scott Bullock kick) 8:38
CP-Brandon Mickelson 52 pass from Skelly (Bullock kick) 5:48
CP-Skelly 3 run (kick fails) 4:43
CP-Skelly 1 run (Bullock kick) 11:58
Brd-Roberts 20 run (pass fails) 9:21
First downs -- CP 12, Brd 14
Rushes-yards -- CP 35-204, Brd 42-207
Pass comp-att-int--yds -- CP 8-14-0-130, Brd 10-21-1-133
Total offense -- CP 334, Brd 340
Punts-avg -- CP 4-28.8, Brd 4-28.5
Return yards -- CP 69, Brd 137
Fumbles-lost -- CP 0-0, Brd 1-1
Penalties-yds lost -- CP 1-5, Brd 4-22
Rushing -- CP, Adam Schiesl 7-37, Skelly 10-54, Kama Johnson 14-82; Brd, Prince 10-24, Roberts 19-98, Clinton Strother 5-21, Mike O'Day 7-55, James Strand 1-9
Passing -- CP, Skelly 8-14-0-130; Brd, O'Day 10-21-1-133
Receiving -- CP, Mickelson 2-68; Brd, Ryan Forcier 2-39, Carl Sneep 1-13, Adian Kummet 3-45, Strother 1-6, Grant Jaeche 1-23, Prince 1-3, Roberts 1-4
Mike Bialka can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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