Blooming Praire vs Ada-Borup Football

Blooming Prairie running back Matthew Pryor (28) celebrates a touchdown with teammates during a Class A state football semifinal game against Ada-Borup on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (Andrew Link / alink@postbulletin.com)

MINNEAPOLIS — The football adage is that speed kills.

The concern for Blooming Prairie was that Saturday's Class A semifinal foe Ada-Borup might have more speed than it could handle.

Turns out it was the other way around. And it wasn't just the Blossoms' wheels that A-B couldn't match up with. It was pretty much everything.

The result was a no-contest win by Blooming Prairie -- 41-0 at U.S. Bank Stadium -- and a trip to the school's first-ever Prep Bowl.

Finally, the Blossoms have made it. It was enough to leave Blooming Prairie coach Chad Gimbel emotional.

"I've been doing this for 23 years," said Gimbel, stopping to collect himself. "And this is our fourth time (at state). So it's a big breakthrough with this group of guys -- that's awesome."

What a championship game it figures to be, the Blossoms taking on No. 1-ranked and fellow unbeaten BOLD at 10 a.m. Nov. 29 at U.S. Bank Stadium. BOLD ended Blooming Prairie's season a year ago, beating the Blossoms 37-7 in the state semifinals.

"There will be nothing better than a chance to play (BOLD) again," said Blooming Prairie star running Matthew Pryor, who daggered Ada-Borup for 181 yards rushing and three touchdowns. "We trained all summer, went about each practice wanting to get back and play BOLD again. We want to get revenge."

It's uncertain if Ada-Borup will want anything to do with Blooming Prairie again. Things went that poorly for the 10-2 Cougars against Blooming Prairie, which had essentially put this game to bed by halftime.

"Blooming Prairie is a great team; you've got to give them all the credit," Ada-Borup coach Paul Tinjum said. "We've had more speed than pretty much everybody we've faced this season. But I think that Blooming Prairie actually had more team speed than we did. Their team speed is excellent. Plus, they've got big guys who are fast. They've got a 6-4, 250-pound guy who runs something like a 4.7 40."

That was a reference to Gabe Hagen, who exactly fits that description and will play his football next season at Minnesota State, Mankato. The tight end/defensive end was a nice weapon once again for Blooming Prairie, with two catches for 53 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Kaden Thomas, as well as being a demon on defense.

But he isn't nearly the Blossoms' only weapon, which is what makes them such a handful.

Ada-Borup, which hadn't lost a game since falling to Class AA No. 2-ranked Barnesville to begin its season, made that discovery about Blooming Prairie in a hurry.

As mentioned, this thing was over by halftime. By then, Blooming Prairie had outgained the Cougars 237-39 in total offense and led 27-0.

The biggest problem defensively for Ada-Borup was the Blooming Prairie running attack. And that was true all game. It's tempting to say that the leader there was Pryor. After all, he did rush for those 181 yards and three TDs. But the senior knew who to give the biggest chunk of the credit for an attack that churned out 294 yards rushing.

It was the Blooming Prairie offensive line.

"Our offense line is really, really good," Pryor said. "They allow me to run the style I like to, going up the middle and then taking it outside."

Also making the Blooming Prairie running attack go is its prolific passing attack. It's tough to know what to zero in on defensively when going against an offense that has a QB (Thomas) who has thrown for over 2,000 yards this season and a running back (Pryor) who's rushed for well over 1,000 yards.

It was tough enough that the Cougars didn't come close to stopping either. While Blooming Prairie ran for 294 yards, it also managed to pass for 137 and two touchdowns.

"They really spread the ball around," A-B standout junior running back Verdis Barber said. "That makes them really good."

And what may be even better than that offense? That is Blooming Prairie's defense.

The Blossoms allow just 9 points per game. They were even better than that against Ada-Borup, pitching a shutout and permitting just 91 rushing yards and 50 passing.

Nothing was available all game long for the Cougars.

But something is available now for Blooming Prairie. It's a chance for revenge and a state championship.

BLOOMING PRAIRIE 41, ADA-BORUP 0

Ada-Borup 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Blooming Prairie 7 20 6 8 -- 41

First quarter

BP -- Matthew Pryor 11 run (Colin Jordison kick), :37.

Second quarter

BP -- Karson Vigeland 10 pass from Kaden Thomas (Jordison kick), 2:22.

BP -- Pryor 2 run (Jordison kick), 4:09.

BP -- Gabe Hagen 47 pass from Thomas (kick failed), :8.

Third quarter

BP -- Pryor 30 run (kick failed), 5:23.

Fourth quarter

BP -- Tyler Archer 1 run (Drew Kittelson run), 4:07.

TEAM TOTALS

AB BP

First downs 7 20

Total net yards 91 294

Rushes-yards 40-91 41-294

Passing yards 50 137

Comp.-att.-int. 6-18-0 12-20-2

Penalties-yds. 5-39 5-35

Fumbles-lost 0-0 4-1

Punts-avg 6-29.7 2-33.0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

Ada-Borup — Verdis Barber 19-46, Braiden Fetting 11-12, Preston Gwin 2-(minus 19), Oliver Kritzberger 2-5, Ryan Hoven 2-3, Aiden Marcusson 1-0, Cameron Spaeth 3-44. Blooming Prairie — Matthew Pryor 18-181, Kaden Thomas 3-23, Bradley Simon 5-35, Gabe Hagen 1-3, Alex Baldwin 1-(minus 1), Tyler Archer 6-33, Cade Christianson 1-19, Drew Kittelson 4-15, Mitchell Fiebiger 1-9.

Passing

Ada-Borup — Gwin 6 completions, 18 attempts, 0 interceptions, 0 touchdowns, for 50 yards. Blooming Prairie — Thomas 12-20-2-2 for 137 yards.

Receiving

Ada-Borup —  Chase Buchholz 2-36, Braiden Fetting 2-6, Avery Okroi 1-21, Mason Miller 1-(minus 1). Blooming Prairie — Gabe Hagen 2-53, Alex Baldwin 2-21, Karson Viegeland 2-24, Bradley Simon 3-19, Pryor 2-53, Colin Jordison 1-5

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