“They have been crying on the sector after the sport,” stated Strand, who’s in his seventeenth season with the Trojans. “It wasn’t only one or two.”
That proved to be a turning-point second for Barnesville, which hasn’t misplaced since.
“We don’t need that consolation degree of being OK with shedding,” Strand stated. “They didn’t wish to have that feeling once more. I feel they stated, ‘No, we’re not going to lose.’”
The Trojans (9-2) have gained seven consecutive video games heading into the Minnesota Class AA state semifinals. Barnesville performs Chatfield (11-1) at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at U.S. Financial institution Stadium in Minneapolis.
Barnesville’s Kaden Zenzen hauls in a landing reception behind Hawley’s Carson Brew and Bryant Carlisle throughout Part 8AA play in Hawley on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. David Samson / The Discussion board
The Trojans have superior to the state semifinals thrice up to now 4 seasons, together with a state title sport look in 2018. The playoffs have been halted throughout the part playoffs final season as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
“It makes you that rather more hungry as a result of it’s unfinished enterprise with a bunch of fellows who didn’t get an opportunity to complete the season so that you wish to do it for your self, but additionally for them,” stated Barnesville senior operating again Cameron Heng, who has rushed for 1,181 yards and 14 touchdowns on 143 makes an attempt.
The Trojans had a 2-2 document after the Osakis loss.
“It type of made us understand that none of those video games are going to return simple,” Heng stated. “We’ve received to place within the work each week if we wish to get the outcomes. We don’t lose very many video games and it was additionally a really high-stakes sport since they (Osakis) have been ranked so excessive. Once we got here out with a loss, lots of people took it actually onerous.”
Heng is a three-year starter on protection and two-year starter on offense for the Trojans. He’s been a part of a number of video games at U.S. Financial institution Stadium throughout his prep profession together with senior defensive finish and tight finish Kaden Zenzen. Zenzen is a three-year starter on offense and two-year defensive starter for Barnesville.
Zenzen additionally roamed the sidelines for Barnesville state playoff video games at U.S. Financial institution Stadium as a scholar supervisor earlier than he turned a varsity participant.
“The expertise of going to U.S. Financial institution Stadium and enjoying together with your buddies and your folks, it’s unreal. It’s an unreal expertise,” stated Zenzen, who has dedicated to play soccer at North Dakota State. “Even since I used to be managing, it’s been loopy desirous to get again there and play there. It’s a lot enjoyable.”
Zenzen stated a 49-14 victory in opposition to Detroit Lakes, a historically robust Class 4A program, was additionally an vital confidence booster for Barnesville throughout the common season.
“The arrogance our youngsters received from that sport was second to none,” Strand added.
Chatfield’s Sam Backer has rushed for almost 2,300 yards and 38 touchdowns heading into the Minnesota Class AA state soccer semifinals in opposition to Barnesville. Traci Westcott / Discussion board Information Service
Chatfield quarterback Sam Backer, who began the season at operating again, is a dynamic runner who leads an explosive offense. The Gophers have gained 11 consecutive video games and scored at the least 40 factors in seven of their previous eight video games. Chatfield cruised to a 50-20 victory in opposition to Minneapolis North within the state quarterfinals.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Backer rushed for 237 yards and 6 touchdowns on 21 makes an attempt and added a TD go in opposition to North. He has rushed for two,297 yards and 38 touchdowns this season, averaging 10.4 yards per try.
“They most likely have probably the greatest tailbacks within the state,” Strand stated. “He’s every thing for them. He’s good. We’ve received to discover a approach to corral him. … He’s fingers down one of the best one we’ve seen.”
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Zenzen is likely one of the key defensive gamers for the Trojans in attempting to comprise Backer. Zenzen has 14.5 sacks and 22 tackles for a loss.
“He disrupts a lot,” Strand stated. “He’s a beast. Zenzen has simply performed more durable and more durable and more durable each sport.”
Zenzen additionally has 18 catches for 418 yards and 9 touchdowns. Barnesville senior quarterback Noah Krause has accomplished 37 of 72 passes for 874 yards and 16 touchdowns with three interceptions.
“I feel their focus has been improbable, they’re working onerous at it,” Strand stated. “That they had this aim. They’ve a aim of attending to the state championship sport, that’s what this crew is after and they’re working onerous at it.”
Barnesville practiced within the Fargodome within the days main as much as its showdown in opposition to Chatfield, getting acclimated to enjoying indoor soccer on synthetic turf.
“We’ve been round this successful tradition and it makes us wish to win a state championship and produce one house,” Heng stated. “Seeing the previous groups virtually get to that time of successful the state championship makes you that rather more hungry.”