Mitchell Fulton (32) makes a cut in the Rabbits' 22-0 shutout of Braham in the Class 1A state quarterfinals at SCSU Husky Stadium. Photo by Trevor Squire, SportsEngine
Wabasso football coach Joe Kemp had been anxiously awaiting this season for nearly three years.
“Our juniors have played since they were ninth-graders,” Kemp said. “This group has been around for a long time.”
Kemp’s Rabbits dispatched Braham in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state tournament at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud on Saturday night, hogging the ball for the majority of the game en route to a 22-0 victory.
“Tonight was a lot of heart,” Kemp said. “We played physical, and it was an exciting game for us.”
Sparking most of that excitement was senior running back Mitchell Fulton, who dashed and crashed his way for 168 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“He’s a horse out there,” Kemp said of Fulton, a Mr. Football candidate.
“The thing is—if you miss him—he’s sixty, eighty yards (down the field),” Kemp added.
Senior running back Jared Welch scored the other TD for the Rabbits (11-1), scoring from seven yards out in the first quarter.
The Rabbits finished the regular season as the No. 7 ranked team in the Class 1A state coaches’ poll.
Despite a 22-0 deficit with less than three minutes left in regulation, Braham (8-3) quarterback Hunter Giffrow strung together an effective drive.
The sequence of plays included back-to-back passes for 29 yards to establish the Bombers in Rabbits’ territory before Myles Zeug intercepted a deflected pass at the line of scrimmage.
“There’s no give-up,” Braham coach Shawn Kuhnke said of his team. “There’s so much passion, determination in our guys,” Kuhnke continued, adding that the loss will hurt, but not for very long.
Kuhnke stressed his players fought hard, showing great effort throughout the game.
“The sun will come up tomorrow, and there’ll be a sting still, but our kids played hard till the end,” Kuhnke said.
With the win, Wabasso advances to the semifinals of the Class 1A state tournament, where the Rabbits will face Minneapolis North on Saturday, Nov. 19 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Hunter Richmond (10) on a return for the Bombers. Photo by Trevor Squire, SportsEngine