Grand Meadow's Trenton Bleifus carries the ball on a run in the third quarter of the Minnesota State Nine Man championship Friday against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Superlarks fall short in state title game

Published 11:42am Saturday, November 24, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — The Grand Meadow football team couldn’t stop the big plays as it lost the nine man state title game to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 40-22 in the Metrodome Friday.

The Wolverines (13-0 overall), who were ranked No. 1 in the state for most of the season, came up with five scoring plays of 35 yards or more as they pulled away late in the first half.

“This whole season our goal was to win this game,” said GM sophomore Landon Jacobson, who had 144 yards of offense and four tackles for a loss. “It’s not what we wanted, but we gave it our all and we never doubted ourselves. We always thought we had a chance to win.”

Grand Meadow's Michael Ojulu lays out for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota State Nine Man championship against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Friday at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

CGB got on the board when Jason Montonye got loose on the outside on a third and seven play and he went 51 yards to make it 6-0 with 11:27 left in the first half. As the half came to a close, the Wolverines made their move as Montonye busted off a 49-yarder to make it 14-0 with 1:22 left in the half.

The Larks had a chance get on the board as Landon Jacobson took a screen pass to the CGB 20-yard line but the play was called back on an illegal man down field. A few plays later, CGB’s Austin Maanum broke off a 72-yard TD run with 20 seconds left that put his team up 20-0 at the break.

“We gave up too many big plays,” GM head coach Gary Sloan said. “We didn’t want them to get out in space, but we let them do it.”

CGB racked up a total of 393 yards on the ground, but 211 of them came on four plays. GM (12-2 overall) did have some success on defense as it held the Wolverines to three yards or less on 16 plays, it allowed zero passing yards, and Cole Hartson came up with interception.

The Larks didn’t get their offense going until late in the second half when Landon Jacobson broke a screen pass for a 61-yard scoring play that made it a 26-8 game with nine seconds left in the third, but CGB responded when Montonye took the ensuing kickoff back 82 yards for a TD.

Grand Meadow's Landon Jacobson avoids the tackle of Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley's Keane Turner on a second-quarter run during the Minnesota State Nine Man championship at the Metrodome in Minneapolis Friday.

CGB racked up five sacks in the first half and it held GM to 47 rushing yards on 29 carries.

“They’ve got a good defense and they’re really fast,” Landon Jacobson said.

The Larks will graduate 10 seniors from this team, but they’ll bring back some quality players next season, including junior quarterback Trenton Bleifus, who threw for 218 yards and three TDs Friday.

“I’m proud of this team. They did everything we asked them to do, but CGB just wore us out a little,” Sloan said.” We’ve got a lot of holes to fill, but we’ll we be back.”

Landon Jacobson was quick to say that winning a state title is already the goal for next season.

“Next season starts now,” he said. “We’re gonna hit the weight room hard and our goal will be the same next year.”

GM STATS

Rushing: Trenton Bleiufs, 15-for-50; Landon Jacobson, 8-for-32; Cameron Gomer, 6-for-16; Passing: Bleifus, 18-for-28, 217, 3 TD; Jacobson, 0-for-1, INT; Receiving: Landon Jacobson, 8-for-112, TD; Mike Ojulu, 4-for-44, 2 TD; Cameron Turner, 1-for-24; Cameron Gomer, 1-for-18; Cole Hartson, 2-for-10; Collin Jacobson, 2-for-9; Sacks: Collin Jacobson (1); Interceptions: Cole Hartson (1); Tackles: Brock Johnson, 8; Landon Jacobson, 7

SCORING SUMMARY

GM 0 0 8 14 — 22

CGB 0 20 12 8 — 40

First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter

(C) Jason Montonye 51 run (pass failed) (3 plays, 54 yards) 11:27

(C) Montonye 49 run (run failed) (4 plays, 76 yards) 1:22

(C) Austin Maanum 73 run (Montonye rush) (1 play, 73 yards) :20

Third quarter

(C) Damon Gibson 39 run (run failed) 1:16

(GM) Landon Jacobson 61 pass from Trenton Bleifus (Collin Jacobson pass from Bleifus) (2 plays, 62 yards) :09

(C) Montonye 82 kick off return (pass failed) (1 play, 82 yards) :00

Fourth quarter

(C) Maanum 2 run (Montonye run) (6 plays, 40 yards) 6:09

(GM) Mike Ojulu 4 pass from Bleifus (pass failed) (11 plays, 57 yards) 3:02

(GM) Ojulu 11 pass from Bleifus (Ojulu from Bleifus) (3 plays, 47 yards) 2:30