Blooming Prairie knocked off by Bethlehem Academy

Published 11:33 am Monday, November 4, 2013

ROCHESTER — It was deja vu all for the Awesome Blossoms.

A year after the Blooming Prairie football team was knocked off by Faribault Bethlehem Academy in the Section 1A title game, the Blossoms suffered the same fate again in a 28-20 loss to the Cardinals in RCTC Stadium Friday.

Top-seeded and No. 3 ranked BP (10-1 overall) had three possessions down 21-20 and one possession down 28-20 in the final five minutes, but all of them ended in interceptions as FBA had six interceptions on the night.

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“It was horrible,” BP running back Jake Decker said of the loss. “The worst part is for the seniors, us underclassmen have got to look to get better next year.”

BP took a 20-14 lead when John Rumpza ran for a 3-yard TD with 4:24 left in the third quarter and the BP defense stopped FBA on its next possession. The Blossoms faked a punt on their next possession and were stopped for no-gain, which led to a five-play, 51-yard FBA drive that was capped by a 19-yard TD run by Christian Von Ruden, who ran for 252 yards.

“They made one more play than we did,” BP head coach Chad Gimbel said. “They beat us on the line on that last drive. We did a great job and all of the sudden they found something.”

BP came into the game with a bulk of injuries and things got worse before the game even began. Weston Fiebiger, a starting linebacker and wide receiver, had to sit out the game as his back acted up before the opening kickoff, and Decker, Cole Sunde and Hunter Rudlong all missed some time during the game due to injuries.

In the end, BP was without three starters and two backups.

“We lost so many players tonight,” Gimbel said. “I don’t know if we would’ve had enough guys to play the next game. We’re just a MASH unit. Weston’s one of our spiritual leaders and he’s a big playmaker on offense and defense.”

FBA (8-3 overall) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Blossoms got back in the game when Decker hauled in a two-yard TD pass on a screen play on fourth down and Cole Sunde caught a 12-yard TD pass on fourth down pass to make it 14-14.

“They tried to punch us in the mouth, but we came and punched them back,” Decker said. “We didn’t play are game of football to start the game.”

BP had a chance to extend its lead at the bend of the half, but its drive stalled in FBA territory.

Rudlong made some big plays in the loss for the Blossoms as he hauled in a 28-yard catch off a tip on third and 28 on BP’s first scoring drive and he forced a fumble to give BP the ball back when on FBA’s first interception of the fourth quarter when BP trailed 21-20.

“Hunter’s a great football player, and he gave everything he had,” Gimbel said. “All of those guys overcame adversity.”


Rushing: Jake Decker, 20-for-88; Cole Sunde, 6-for-41; John Rumpza, 14-for-12, TD; Tristen Haberman, 1-for-(-1); passing: John Rumpza, 22-for-43, 190, 2 TD, 6 INT; receiving: Hunter Rudlong, 4-for-49; Haberman, 8-for-40; Sam Swenson, 3-for-34; Sunde, 3-for-28, TD; Decker, 4-for-19, TD; fumble recoveries: Zach Nirk (1); Collin Wobschall (1); penalties: 3-for-15


Rushing: 262; passing: 139; penalties: 5-for-35


BP 0 14 6 0 — 20

FBA 14 0 0 14 — 28

First quarter

(BA) Joe Matejcak 44 pass from Kollin Hanson (Temple kick) (6 plays, 91 yards) 7:52

(BA) Christian Von Ruden 21 run (Temple kick) (4 plays, 42 yards) 5:20

Second quarter

(BP) Decker 2 yard pass from Rumpza (kick failed) (18 plays, 66 yards) 10:19

(BP) Sunde 12 pass from Rumpza (Decker from Rumpza) (5 plays, 42 yards) 6:35

Third quarter

(BP) Rumpza 3 run (run failed) (12 plays, 81 yards) 1:02

Fourth quarter

(BA) Von Ruden 19 run (Temple kick) (5 plays, 51 yards) 4:24

(BA) Von Ruden 22 run (Temple kick) (2 plays, 27 yards) 0:53