MINNEAPOLIS - Stars like Michael Floyd, John Nance and Shady Salamon from 2007 have been replaced by Mark Alt, Shea Walker, Seantrel Henderson and Cam Clarkson.
Cretin-Derham Hall's latest group of stallions led the Raiders to a 45-19 win over the Brainerd Warriors in the Class 5A state semifinals Friday night at the Metrodome.
Brainerd's Jordan Hayes broke through the Cretin-Derham Hall defensive line Friday in the Class 5A state semifinals at the Metrodome. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Alt, a 6-4, 205-pound quarterback, was practically unconscious, completing 15 of 17 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
Cam Clarkson, a 5-11, 270-pound battering ram, rushed 21 times for 135 yards. Sophomore Kendrick Brewster added 98 yards and two scores.
They ran and Alt passed behind an offensive line anchored by the 6-7, 335-pound Henderson, the nation's top recruit, and the 6-2, 292-pound Walker.
Cretin-Derham Hall 45, Warriors 19
The key: The Raiders amassed 563 yards in total offense to Brainerd's 226.
Overall: Brd 8-4, CDH 11-1
Henderson and Walker helped C-DH accumulate an astonishing 563 yards of total offense, 25 first downs and 30 minutes, 43 seconds of a possible 48 minutes in time of possession. C-DH scored on four of five possessions in the first half, their first three in the second, and never punted.
"It's like they're in different positions this time," Raiders coach Mike Scanlan said of his latest stalwarts. "We've got the good quarterback but I think it's the offensive line where we really dominate people. This is a salty team.
"This sounds really sappy maybe but my stomach is not indicative of what the scoreboard was. I didn't feel comfortable all night. We came out, held them twice in the second half and were fortunate enough to score.
A large crowd of Brainerd fans cheered at the Metrodome in support of the Warriors in the Class 5A state semifinals against Cretin-Derham Hall. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"These guys play hard for (Brainerd coach) Ron (Stolski) and his coaches. I thought they were well prepared. They gave us a lot of trouble."
Brainerd gave the Raiders trouble the first half, at the end of which it trailed 24-14.
C-DH seized a 10-0 lead on Alt's 46-yard TD pass to Tommy Crosby and Alt's 26-yard field goal.
Warriors running back Jordan Hayes, who rushed for 94 yards, scored four plays later on a 25-yard run. A Kyle Crocker to Hayes lateral on the kickoff produced a gain of 33 yards.
Andre Hunt scored on the Raiders' next possession with an 18-yard run.
Brainerd retaliated as Carsten Nelson scored on a 13-yard run to pull the Warriors within 17-13. It turned out to be Brainerd's final points until Dan Lauer scored with 1:13 to play. A 54-yard pass from Reid Mimmack to Crocker set up the score.
Hunt's 1-yard TD run gave C-DH a 24-13 halftime lead.
"It appeared they (wore us down) because we didn't tackle," Stolski said. "We had a lot of offense in that first half (157 yards) but you have to tackle, and we did not tackle well in the second half. We needed to make some first downs, and they were firing on all cylinders."
In the second half, Alt fired a 66-yard TD pass to Elliot Owusu and Brewster scored on a pair of 3-yard runs to end Brainerd's season.
The Raiders limited Brainerd to 226 yards in total offense and 10 first downs. The Warriors had the ball for only 17 minutes and 17 seconds.
Brainerd's second trip to the state semifinals in three seasons, both against C-DH, ended with an 8-4 record.
"This was everything we could have wished for and more," Warriors defensive lineman Aaron Pavek said. "It was a dream come true. We wanted to go to the dome. That's what hard work does, it pays off."
"I'm really proud of the kids, I'm proud of the season," Stolski said. "But you always wish it would have been better here."
Cretin-Derham Hall 17 7 14 7 - 45
Brainerd 13 0 0 6 - 19
CDH-Tommy Crosby 46 pass from Mark Alt (Alt kick) 9:57
CDH-Alt 26 FG, 5:25
Brd-Jordan Hayes 25 run (Zach Cadwell kick) 4:10
CDH-Andre Hunt 18 run (Alt kick) 1:42
Brd-Carsten Nelson 13 run (kick fails) :08
CDH-Hunt 1 run (Alt kick) 5:03
CDH-Elliot Owusu 66 pass from Alt (Alt kick) 8:58
CDH-Kendrick Brewster 3 run (Alt kick) 4:44
CDH-Brewster 3 run (Alt kick) 10:31
Brd-Daniel Lauer 14 run (run fails) 1:13
First downs: CDH 25, Brd 10
Rushes-yards: CDH 52-330, Brd 27-159
Pass comp-att-int-yds: CDH 15-17-0-233, Brd 4-15-0-67
Plays-total offense: CDH 69-563, Brd 42-226
Punts-avg: CDH 0-0, Brd 6-32.0
Return yards: CDH 76, Brd 134
Fumbles-lost: CDH 2-1, Brd 1-0
Penalties-yds lost: CDH 9-72, Brd 1-5
3rd-down conversions: CDH 7-11, Brd 3-10
4th-down conversions: CDH 1-1, Brd 1-1
Red-zone conversions: CDH 5-5, Brd 2-2
Rushing: CDH-Cam Clarkson 21-135, Brewster 13-98, Hunt 6-47, Joe Schloesser 4-16, Andrew Juelich 3-11, Joe Schlueter 2-11, Michael Binns 1-10, Ted Giles 1-4, Alt 1-(-2); Brd-Reid Mimmack 2-16, Hayes 9-94, Carsten Nelson 6-17, Kyle Crocker 3-(-3), Jaron Hanson 3-11, Lauer 3-27, Mason Fussy 1-(-3)
Passing: CDH-Alt 15-17-233; Brd-Mimmack 4-14-67; Fussy 0-1-0
Receiving: CDH-Clay Horne 3-30, Owusu 3-89, Brooks Hitchcock 1-10, Crosby 5-104, Taylor Montero 1-2, Hunt 1-0, Brewster 1-(-2); Brd-Crocker 2-54, Dylan Wheeler 1-12, Hayes 1-1
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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