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Browerville/Eagle Valley advances in shootout victory over Mahnomen

Griffin Webster scored on this crucial fourth down pass to open the scoring in the second half giving the Tigers a 20-16 lead. Robert Williams/Tribune

Browerville/Eagle Valley advanced to the Minnesota Class A football semifinals with a 40-28 shootout victory over the Mahnomen Indians at Bemidji State University Saturday night.

“The score got away a little bit, but just a couple plays and we were there,” Mahnomen head coach John Clark Jr. said.

Tigers’ quarterback Bryce Irsfeld got his offense going quickly connecting twice with Brendan Emery from 16 yards and 73 yards to go up 14-0 with eight minutes remaining until halftime.

Mahnomen quarterback Brian Schoenborn rallied his troops scoring on a one-yard run at the six-minute mark of the second quarter and hitting Jon Starkey on a 13-yard touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining in the half.

Brian Schoenborn

A pair of Schoenborn to Logan Kettner two-point conversions were the difference in the opening 24 minutes of play as Mahnomen went to the locker room up 16-14.

“It was in our paws and it slipped away,” Clark, Jr. said. “That’s kind of how it went tonight. All the fifty-fifty balls they got and all the key plays they won.”

Mahnomen attempted an onside kick on the sly, but the ball slipped into the Tigers’ hands at the bottom of the pile.

The Tigers moved 52 yards in seven plays scoring on a fourth-and-four play at the Mahnomen 24-yard line when Irsfeld found Griffin Webster for a 20-16 lead.

Mitch Foss erased the advantage on Mahnomen’s first play from scrimmage in the second half sprinting 63 yards for a 22-20 lead less than four minutes into the half.

Irsfeld left the game with a lower body injury on a second down run a minute later thrusting Emery into the quarterback position.

Emery moved the Tigers from midfield and pitched to Dalton Butler for a three-yard scoring run and a 28-22 lead at four-minutes, 30-seconds of the third quarter.

Mahnomen crept to the red zone but turned the ball over on a fumble.

Izaiah Asher

The Tigers ate up the third quarter clock and Butler punched in a one-yard scoring run to go up 34-22 with nine minutes to play.

Foss answered again for the Indians scoring from the two to cap a eight-play, 65-yard drive as Mahnomen pulled within six points down 34-28 with seven minutes remaining in the game. Foss led all rushers with 116 yards on 15 carries.

The Indians defense stiffened forcing a third-and-11 play from midfield looking to get the ball back, but Emery launched a bomb down the left sideline finding Ryan Warwick in stride for a 46-yard strike and the final score of the game.

Emery ended Mahnomen’s final drive picking off Schoenborn inside the Tigers’ 10-yard line.

Browerville/Eagle Valley improves to 9-3 overall and will face 11-1 Rushford-Peterson in the state semifinals.

Mahnomen started the year 0-1 after losing at Pillager. The defeat snapped a 50-game regular season winning streak for the Indians.

“From day one, we knew we were going to be short numbers and with a couple injuries early we were in scramble mode basically right up to tonight,” Clark, Jr. said.

Mahnomen rallied to win 10 consecutive games and finishes the year with an overall record of 10-2.

“Doubt obviously creeps in with what our situation was, but I’m proud of how they rallied and proud of how they finished,” said Clark Jr. “Browerville is a good team; you have to take your hat off to them. It’s frustrating right now, but when the kids look back over it they’ll be super impressed and proud of what they accomplished.”


MAH 0 16 6  6 - 28

BRO 8  6 14 12 - 40

First quarter

BRO - Bryce Irsfeld 16 pass to Brendan Emery (Irsfeld run)

Second quarter

BRO - Irsfeld 73 pass to Emery (pass failed)

MAH - Brian Schoenborn 1 run (Schoenborn pass to Logan Kettner)

MAH - Schoenborn 13 pass to Jon Starkey  (Schoenborn pass to Kettner)

Third quarter

BRO - Irsfeld 24 pass to Griffin Webster (pass failed)

MAH - Mitch Foss 63 run (pass failed)

BRO - Dalton Butler 3 run (Emery run)

Fourth quarter

BRO - Butler 1 run (pass failed)

MAH - Foss 1 run (pass failed)

BRO - Emery 46 pass to Ryan Warwick (pass failed)

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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