The game plan to beat No. 1-ranked Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley is easier said than done — stop the run.
The ground-oriented Wolverines churned out their 12th consecutive victory, rolling over No. 7 Goodridge/Grygla-Gatzke 38-8 on Friday in the semifinals of the Nine-man football state tournament at the Metrodome. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (12-0) will face Grand Meadow (12-1) for the championship on Friday.
“We’re one of the best rushing nine-man football teams in the state,” said Wolverines senior quarterback Damon Gibson, who opened the scoring with a 1-yard run. “We all work together as one unit. That’s what makes a team.”
The Wolverines picked up 189 of their 363 rushing yards in the first half while building a 32-0 lead on four running touchdowns. Junior Justin Montonye ran for two touchdowns, scoring on runs of 4 and 13 yards. He added a third touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a 13-yard run.
“We have so many [rushing] weapons,” Montonye said. “But our offensive line is huge. They give us so many holes to run through. They are the heart and soul of this team.”
Junior Austin Maanum capped the opening half with a 6-yard scoring run 27 seconds before intermission. He rushed for 109 yards on 15 carries in the first half.
“If we sustain and hold our blocks, we’re an explosive team,” said Maanum, who finished with 180 yards on 25 carries. “When we jump on a team like we did in the first half, it’s tough to come back against our defense.”
The defensive unit contained Chargers senior running back Daniel Polansky. He entered the game with 2,454 rushing yards on the season, but was limited to 46 yards on 10 attempts. Polansky did catch a 20-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Hunter McMillin midway through the third quarter.
“We’re a well oiled machine,” Gibson said. “It’s going to take one heck of a team to beat us.”