Football: Caledonia suffers rare loss in state semis

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It had to be a strange feeling for Caledonia on Saturday.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It had to be a strange feeling for Caledonia on Saturday.

Losing a football game.

It was only the sixth time that's happened in eight seasons.

Five state championships, 98 wins. Five losses.

Until Saturday.


The Caledonia Warriors were defeated 21-0 by the BOLD Warriors (Bird Island-Lake Lillian-Olivia) in the Class AA state semifinals.

Like last year -- when Chatfield beat Caledonia in overtime -- and in 2009 (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown), it could turn out that the team to hand Caledonia a loss goes on to win the state championship.

BOLD was ranked seventh in the final state poll but now has defeated No. 1-ranked Hawley (in last week's quarterfinals), No. 3 Paynesville (in the section final) and now No. 2 Caledonia.

"They were just really good," Caledonia senior Austin Bauer said. ""That's all I can say."

"How do you stop a bulldozer?" Caledonia head coach Brent Schroeder said. "We brought our outside linebackers in and angled them out and stack everybody inside, and it worked when we did it.

"I just wish I would have come up with it in the first quarter instead of toward the end of the second quarter. You learn something in every game you are part of, and I did today."

Mistakes were made in the snowy conditions. Caledonia turned over the ball three times and was penalized seven times for 82 yards.

Caledonia also missed out on two opportunities. BOLD's Ben Steffel, who carried 39 times for 116 yards, fumbled at his own 16-yard line, but recovered it for a 3-yard gain; another time, BOLD muffed a punt return but two Caledonia players couldn't cover it and BOLD kept possession.


"If we could have gotten one one of them or both of them or scored when we were on the goal line, everything could have been different," Schroeder said. "But that's how the game goes."

Instead, BOLD twice scored on fourth-and-goal plays, and gave Caledonia only 87 yards for the game.

Caledonia's chance at the goal line was set up by a BOLD fumble at the 20 near the end of the third quarter. Four carries by Mitchell Schmitz moved the ball to the BOLD 2, but Bauer was hit for a loss on fourth down.

Caledonia held BOLD to 197 yards, 80 of them on an 18-play scoring drive in the first half. BOLD's other scoring drives were 21 yards following a fumble recovery and 30 yards after an interception.

BOLD (11-1) moves on to the Prep Bowl against Holdingford, a surprise 35-18 winner over Pipestone Area in another Saturday semifinal game. Both teams were unranked but Pipestone was 11-1, Holdingford 9-3. Holdingford knocked off No. 5 Moose Lake/Willow River 37-14 in the quarterfinals.

The BOLD-Holdingford game is Friday at 1 p.m. at the TCF Bank Stadium.

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