The Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms, who are in the state football tournament for the ninth time in school history were looking for their first-ever trip to the Prep Bowl Saturday in the State Class A semi-finals against an Ada-Borup team that featured a pair of 1,000+ yard rushers in Verdis Barber and Braiden Fetting and 6’6″, 250 pound tight end and defensive end Mason Miller, who has committed to play next year at NDSU. As they have all season, the Blossoms responded to the challenge and then some as their front seven controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game and senior halfback Matthew Prior carried the ball 18 times for 181 yards and three touchdowns as Blooming Prairie blanked the Cougars in a big way 41-0.
A familiar tone was set early as Ada-Borup went three-and-out on the first possession of the game, and a punt gave the Blossoms the ball at their 41. BP moved smartly down the field as a 14-yard pass from quarterback Kaden Thomas to wide receiver Karson Vigeland and a 15-yard contact to the head penalty on the Cougars moved the ball into the red zone. On the fourth play of the drive, Prior ran 13 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead after the extra point by Collin Jordinson.
Ada-Borup started from their 29 on the ensuing drive and were forced into a 4th down situation after six plays. Cougar punter Braiden Fetting then ran a fake punt trying to pick up the first down, but BP was not fooled and Fetting was tackled short of the line to gain to give the ball to the Blossoms at the Ada-Borup 47. A 26-yard run by Prior moved the ball to the 9-yard line and a first and goal situation, but, Blooming Prairie was turned away by a holding penalty and a shotgun snap that Thomas could not handle for a loss of 23 yards to force a punt that gave the Cougars the ball at their 20.
As would be the case all day, the Blossoms were unfazed by the turn of events and their defense forced another three-and-out, giving the ball back to their offense at the Ada-Borup 37. Nine plays later, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Vigeland on 3rd and goal put Blooming Prairie in the lead 14-0.
The Cougars were forced into yet another three-and-out on their next possession, but their defense came up with a big play on BP’s next drive when Beau Fetting picked off a Thomas pass and ran the interception back 39 yards to the Blossom 38. Again, Blooming Prairie was unfazed and their defense forced another Ada-Borup punt after four plays to give them the ball at their 29.
The Blooming Prairie offense went back to work as Prior sprinted 39 yards on a draw play on third and long to move the Blossoms into Ada-Borup territory. BP continued their march mainly on the strength of Prior’s running, and on the 10th play of the drive, Prior rambled into the end zone from two yards out to put the Blossoms ahead 21-0 in the second quarter.
Ada-Borup started their next drive with their best field position of the game after a short kickoff at their own 40, but Blooming Prairie’s defense was again superb and forced a three-and-out. On 4th and 2, the Cougars tried another fake punt, but the Blossoms were looking for a fake and Fetting was again tackled short of the line to gain at the Ada-Borup 48 yard line.
Blooming Prairie went to the air on the first play of the ensuing drive as Thomas threw a deep fade to the right side and found wide receiver Gabe Hagen behind the defense for a 48-yard touchdown and a 27-0 Blossom lead at halftime when the extra point was blocked.
The second half started with Blooming Prairie starting from their own 40, and on the third play Thomas was intercepted by linebacker Sylas Larson to give Ada-Borup some life and the football at the Blossom 47. That momentum was quelled eight plays later when the Blooming Prairie defense forced a turnover on downs at the Blossom 38. BP’s offense then seized the initiative as they embarked on a seven-play, 62 yard touchdown drive capped off with a 30-yard TD run by Prior, his third of the game to increase Blooming Prairie’s lead to 33-0 when the extra point was no good.
The Blossom defense kept the shutout intact the rest of the way by forcing another turnover on downs and three more punts, and Blooming Prairie’s second-string offense notched a touchdown when Tyler Archer capped off a 12-play, 57 yard drive that took 5:30 off the clock with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 41-0 lead when quarterback Drew Kittleson, who had a 57-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive called back because of a holding penalty took the ball into the end zone for the 2-point conversion.
Besides Prior’s offensive heroics, Thomas was 12 of 20 passing for the game for 137 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Blooming Prairie as a team tallied 41 carries for 294 yards on the ground and 417 yards of total offense with 20 first downs. The Blossom defense, led by the likes of Hagen, who tallied five tackles and a sack were also led by linebacker Mitchell Fiebiger, who finished with 10 total tackles, three that were for a loss, and defensive end Jarrett Larson added eight tackles and a sack. Ada-Borup was held to only 91 yards on the ground and 50 through the air for a total of only 141 yards and seven first downs.
Blooming Prairie moves to 12-0 on the season, and their opponent in Prep Bowl 37 will be the BOLD Warriors, who were ranked No. 1 in the state in Class A for the vast majority of the season. The Warriors, who are no strangers to the Prep Bowl crushed Browerville/Eagle Valley in the other Class A semi-final game Saturday 56-7. The game will be played back at US Bank Stadium on Friday, November 29th at 10:00 a.m., and you’ll hear the game right here on AM 1480 KAUS, myaustinminnesota.com and on the I Heart Radio app.