MINNEAPOLIS - Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders quarterback John Nance stole teammate Michael Floyd's thunder.
Nance, who has verbally committed to the University of Minnesota, threw for 303 yards and six touchdowns as the second-ranked and unbeaten Raiders beat the ninth-ranked Brainerd Warriors 56-14 in the semifinals of the Class 5A state tournament Thursday night at the Metrodome.
Floyd, who has committed to Notre Dame and is regarded as the state's top recruit, had five receptions for 110 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass from Nance that opened the scoring. Floyd finished with 180 all-purpose yards.
Otherwise, it was Nance and the Raiders' stable of speed and weapons that ended Brainerd's season. C-DH, which scored the game's first 29 points, rolled up 514 total yards to the Warriors' 341.
"I could not have asked for much more," Warriors defensive lineman Laramie Lucas said of the season. "I have no reason to be sad. All the players on the team have no reason to be sad. It was a great season, a great ride."
Brainerd Warriors senior defensive lineman Kent Glass reacted after the Warriors' 56-14 loss in Thursday's Class 5A semifinals at the Metrodome. Brainerd Dispatch/ Clint Wood
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The Warriors finished 11-2 following their second appearance in the state semifinals, their first since 1990.
"They were a better team than we were tonight," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said, "but we made too many mistakes, and the kids know that. I told them all along that the competition gets better as you go higher up the ladder.
"I don't think we have anything to be ashamed of. We didn't quit. We just made some errors and tonight they were better."
The Raiders intercepted Brainerd quarterback Nate Schaefbauer three times. C-DH had a short field virtually all night, with seven of its 14 possessions starting in Brainerd territory.
C-DH proved to be much more than just Floyd and Nance. The Raiders demonstrated blazing speed in the backfield with running back Marcus Binns rushing for 99 yards and two scores, one a 52-yard burst in the second quarter. Binns had 182 all-purpose yards.
Running back Shady Salamon added 65 yards, one a 20-yard TD scamper in the second quarter. He also caught a 20-yard TD pass in the third.
"Brainerd had some guys who could catch and I liked their quarterback," C-DH coach Mike Scanlan said. "They gave us trouble.
"We played good enough. We didn't break a lot on defense so I was happy with the way we played there. That's where people have been pointing fingers at us and I don't know if that's always justified. Our offense has to help our defense out more than it has, and we did that tonight."
Schaefbauer finished with 135 yards passing, throwing TD passes to Mike Gervenak, a 3-yarder in the second quarter, and a 13-yarder to Bronson Shepherd in the third.
Warriors running back Colby Ring rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries. From his linebacker position, Ring intercepted a pass in the second quarter, the Raiders' only turnover of the game.
Cretin-Derham Hall 56, BHS 14
The key: C-DH quarterback John Nance passed for 303 yards and six touchdowns
Overall: Brd 11-2, C-DH 13-0
Next: C-DH vs. Eden Prairie/Eastview winner at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 at Metrodome for 5A state championship
In the first half Nance completed 10 of 18 passes for 169 yards and three scores. He threw an 11-yarder to Floyd and a 34-yarder to Sam Karel, both in the first quarter, for a 14-0 lead.
Nance threw a 20-yard TD pass to Salamon early in the second quarter.
Binns' 52-yard run at 7:03 of the second put the Raiders ahead 27-0. C-DH added a safety when Schaefbauer intentionally kicked a bounced snap out of the end zone.
Karel added a 45-yard TD reception in the first 15 seconds of the second half to put C-DH up 36-7.
Binns added a 1-yard TD run before Nance ended the scoring with an 8-yard toss to Bo Bona early in the fourth.
Cretin-Derham Hall 14 15 20 7 - 56
Brainerd 0 7 7 0 - 14
CDH-Michael Floyd 11 pass from John Nance (Michael Pelikan kick) 9:22
CDH-Sam Karel 34 pass from Nance (Pelikan kick) 4:51
CDH-Shady Salamon 20 pass from Nance (kick fails) 10:46
CDH-Safety, bad snap kicked out of end zone, 9:59
CDH-Marcus Binns 52 run (Pelikan kick) 7:03
Brd-Mike Gervenak 3 pass from Nate Schaefbauer (Brian Sexton kick) 2:32
CDH-Karel 45 pass from Nance (Pelikan kick) 11:45
Brd-Bronson Shepherd 18 pass from Schaefbauer (Sexton kick) 8:41
CDH-Salamon 20 pass from Nance (Pelikan kick) 7:56
CDH-Binns 1 run (kick fails) 5:00
CDH-Bo Bona 8 pass from Nance (Pelikan kick) 8:18
First downs: CDH 17, Brd 20
Rushes-yards: CDH 28-211, Brd 34-206
Pass comp-att-int-yds: CDH 15-26-1-303, Brd 13-32-3-135
Total offense: CDH 514, Brd 341
Fumbles-lost: CDH 1-0, Brd 2-0
Penalties-yds lost: CDH 8-72, Brd 5-28
Rushing: CDH, Nance 3-30, Salamon 9-65, Binns 5-99; Brd, Schaefbauer 5-55, Colby Ring 18-125, Brandon Julius 5-44, Nate Smolke 1-3, Scott Ramey 1-5, Turner Johnson 3-8
Passing: CDH, Nance 15-26-1-303; Brd, Schaefbauer Brd 13-30-3-135, Ramey 0-1-0-0, Johnson 0-1-0-0
Receiving: CDH, Floyd 5-110, Salamon 2-40, Karel 3-86, Devonte Davis 2-45; Brd, Shepherd 3-46, Johnson 6-60, Gervenak 3-16, Ramey 1-13
MIKE BIALKA, sports editor, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5861.
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