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Last-minute drive lifts St. Cloud Cathedral

By MN Football Hub staff, 09/02/11, 10:01PM CDT


Untimely turnovers keep game against Holdingford close until the end

There was a two-headed-monster in the backfield for St. Cloud Cathedral on Friday, Sept. 2, in the form of Bjork Bjorklund and Waylon Bemboom.

"Those guys are so tough it's unbelievable," St. Cloud Cathedral coach Dean Taylor said.

The scary thought for future Crusader opponents is that there is a third head to that wishbone backfield monster that was unaccounted for in junior running back Bo Schmitz.

The fatigue factor for the running backs was evident in the late stages of the Crusaders' 21-14 victory over Holdingford as both backs had trouble holding the ball.

"The biggest problem was that we coudln't spell them like we wanted to," said Taylor.

The smash-mouth interior running style of Bemboom and the outside quickness of Bjorklund complemented each other well and gave the Holdingford defense fits throughout the game.

The game may have ended up differently if it weren't for a late third quarter injury to the Husker's workhorse running back John Skwira. He ran for two first half touchdowns and his abscence was felt in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Mitch Messman was able to complete some crucial first-down passes, but he too was not able to avoid turning the ball over.

The Crusaders pride themselves on their conditioning and toughness, two characteristics that are essential in running the wishbone offense.

Holdingford matched the physicality of Cathedral for most of the game, but the rushing attack proved to be too much for the Husker defense in the end.

Taylor realized there are things his team needs to work on in the coming weeks.

"I didn't like the penalties and the turnovers, we got to get a little more physical, eliminate mistakes and work on our pass defense," Taylor said.

Milaca will sport a pass-heavy offense in the Week 2 matchup between the teams. 

-- Eric Thorson, MN Football Hub

Game Recap

Holdingford’s junior Running Back Jon Skwira started out strong for the Huskers scoring the first touchdown of the season in the second quarter. Skwira also converted the two-point conversion giving Holdingford an early 8-0 lead.

St. Cloud Cathedral answered on the very next drive on the legs of senior running backs Bjorn Bjorklund and Waylon Bemboom. Bemboom finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed leaving the Crusaders down 8-6.

Junior defensive back Cody Schwinghammer intercepted a Michael Ellingson offering in Crusader territory giving the Huskers a short field. Husker receiver Adam Solars made a reception inside the five-yard line, which led to Skwira’s second touchdown before halftime. The Huskers led 14-6 at the break.

Skwira went down with a game ending injury in the third quarter forcing Husker quarterback Mitch Messman to attempt more passes in the second half.  He ended the game with 178 yards and two interceptions.

Fumbles by Cathedral’s running tandem of Bemboom and Bjorklund kept the game tied at 14 until a final touchdown run by Matt Dodge with 0:19 on the clock lifted the Crusaders to victory.

-- Eric Thorson, MN Football Hub

Watch the game

Holdingford vs. St. Cloud Cathedral: Sept. 2, 2011

Three Stars

1. Waylon Bemboom, St. Cloud Cathedral
The crowd at Husky Stadium were treated to a Mike Alstott type performance from Waylon Bemboom. The Crusaders used him to wear out Holdingford’s defensive front and it worked well. Scoring two of his team’s three touchdowns he was the meat and potatoes of his team’s offense.

2. Bjorn Bjorklund, St. Cloud Cathedral
While his teammate Bemboom was crashing into piles and wearing out the defense, Bjorklund was taking advantage of the tired defenders using his agility to turn the outside corners. On the game winning drive, his back-to-back runs of 17 and 38 yards put his team in position to score the winning touchdown. He also picked off Holdingford’s final pass of the game to put the victory on ice.
3. Jon Skwira, Holdingford
If not for a late third quarter injury that kept him out the remainder of the game, this one could have turned out differently. Scoring both of his team’s touchdowns and continuously moving the chains, he kept the Cathedral defense guessing. When the Holdingford offense first got into the red zone they handed the ball to Skwira four straight times and were rewarded with a touchdown and a two point conversion.
        -Jake Lunemann, MN Football Hub staff

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