Monday, November 10, 2008

Bearcats in State Football Playoffs

*SCREAM*

Sorry to all the locals back home, I'm slow, what can I say?!

I just found out that Kittson County Central is in the state Section 8 Nine-Man Football play-offs this week. That is SO cool!

Boy, things have changed a LOT since I graduated Humboldt-St. Vincent High School in 1977. The school districts in my home county have had to adapt several times due to decreasing populations in the scattered small towns, but they've done an admiral job so far, using a lot of hard work and creativity to keep giving the kids up there a great education and social experience with the extra-curricular activities like sports.

They were here to play in the Fargo Dome in the Semi-Finals and I missed it. Now they are on to the Metrodome...
Kittson County Central, a co-op of Hallock and Lancaster, sent shock waves through Minnesota prep football last week when it defeated Stephen-Argyle 7-0 in the Section 8 Nine-Man championship game. The loss snapped Stephen-Argyle's state-record winning streak at 76 and assured there would be a new Nine-Man champion after the Storm's five-year stranglehold on it. It doesn't get any easier for the Bearcats (9-1), who will play Northland (Remer) (10-1) in the quarterfinals today at the Fargodome. Northland is making its state tournament debut, as is Kittson County Central.

Bearcats Roll Past Northland
By Kevin Fee - Herald Staff Writer
November 7, 2008

FARGO - Kittson County Central brought a high-quality Diamond to the Fargodome on Thursday. Brady Diamond had two punt returns for touchdowns, rushed for another score, deflected and intercepted passes, one of which went for a score, and sacked the quarterback on defense.

All in the first half. Well, this one was over at the half.

Fueled by Diamond, Kittson County Central cruised to a 40-0 halftime lead en route to a 54-14 victory against Northland of Remer in the Minnesota state 9-man football quarterfinals.

"I talked to Brady before the game, and I told him we needed a really big game out of him," KCC coach Terry Ogorek said. "He's our speediest ballplayer, and I was hoping speed would be a factor today. And his certainly was.

"Those two punt returns were something really to watch."

KCC, which improved to 10-1, advances to the state semi-finals at 8 a.m. Nov. 15 in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. It will be KCC's first trip to the semifinals since Kittson Central won the state title in 1994.

It didn't take KCC long to take the lead against North-land.

Just 2 minutes, 1 second into the first quarter, Diamond took the ball off a bounce on a punt return and went 50 yards for a score. Diamond went right and raced down the sideline for the quick strike.

Then, just 3:16 later, Eric Ogorek ran 6 yards for a score and a 13-0 lead. A Kellen Albrecht interception set up the drive.

On the second play of the second quarter, Kevin Murphy couldn't handle a snap on a punt and the Bearcats tackled him at the Northland 1. One play later, Dylan Kent took it in for a score. Albrecht ran in the 2-point conversion and the Bearcats led 21-0.

"At halftime, I told the kids that there have been a lot of Super Bowls that have been over at halftime also," Northland coach Arlan Jensen said. "And they're supposed to be the best teams in the NFL."

Diamond's second punt return for a touchdown made it 28-0. This time he went down the left sideline for 65 yards.

"It was all my blockers," Diamond said. "I couldn't have done it without them. They set it up for me."

With 5:59 left in the second quarter, Diamond ran in from 24 yards out. It was 34-0.

Diamond also had an interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter, which ended with a 54-6 edge for the Bearcats. That meant running time in the fourth quarter.

"They're a lot quicker than what we saw on the tape," Jensen said of the Bearcats. "It just didn't do justice to their overall quickness."

The quickest player on this night was Diamond.

"As deadly as he was on special teams, he played a great defensive game," Jensen said. "He just would not allow us to get outside."

But Terry Ogorek said many others pitched in an all-around strong KCC performance.

"The defense didn't let their running game get un-tracked," the KCC coach said. "That was big, because they have such very tough runners. Offensively, we had a good running attack, both inside and out."

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