Buffalo's Trevor Johnson hauls in a catch late in the first half as STMA'S Garrett Peterson moves in for the tackle. Buffalo scored the game's first 17 points en route to a 17-14 upset victory. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Buffalo coach Todd Bouman didn’t have words for his team after the Bison defeated St. Michael-Albertville 17-14 Friday in St. Michael to claim their first Class 6A state tournament win
Bouman’s son, quarterback Aidan Bouman, did have a word: unbelievable.
That’s what many onlookers might have thought, as No. 6 seed Buffalo (5-4) topped No. 3 seed St. Michael-Albertville (5-4) with an aerial attack that’s given teams fits for the last few years. It was the first postseason win for Buffalo since 2013, and also the first in five tries since the Bison moved up to Class 6A.
“Unbelievable. It’s a statement. It’s a statement for sure,” Aidan Bouman said. “We can play in 6A football. We’ve been counted out. Tonight proved that we can. It’s unbelievable.”
Buffalo presents a unique challenge for teams to prepare for, with a spread offense that not only features lots of four- and five-receiver sets, but attacks a lot of different areas of the field.
Bouman, who’s led the state in passing yards each of the last three seasons, went 31 of 44 for 364 yards and two touchdowns against St. Michael-Albertville. Even two interceptions couldn’t derail the Bison as they went up 17-0 early in the third quarter, then marched down the field to ice the game after the Knights got within three midway through the fourth quarter.
“It’s much different than a lot of high school teams see,” Todd Bouman said. “When you have a quarterback like Aidan that can take advantage of a lot of stuff, it makes it to your advantage.”
Buffalo senior quarterback Aidan Bouman threw two touchdown passes to help lead the Bison to a 17-14 upset over St. Michael-Albertville. Photos by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
It took some time, but Buffalo broke through in the playoffs.
In the Bison’s fifth season in Class 6A, they finally notched a state tournament win by going on the road as a No. 6 seed and topping No. 3 seed St. Michael-Albertville 17-14 Friday in the first round.
The Knights, ranked No. 10 in the final Class 6A statewide Associated Press poll this season, got within three with a pass from Kolby Gartner to Kale Hoselton with 6 minutes, 39 seconds to play. But Buffalo was able to drive and run out the clock on the ensuing possession to hold on and win.
Buffalo opened the scoring in the second quarter by going on an 83-yard touchdown drive following a failed fourth-down conversion by St. Michael-Albertville (5-4) at the Bison 17-yard line. It was capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass from Aidan Bouman to Trevor Johnson.
The Bison (5-4) led 10-0 at halftime, getting a 34-yard field goal from Parker Vajda as time expired in the second quarter.
Buffalo opened the second half with a touchdown drive, scoring on a 54-yard catch-and-run from Bouman to Luke Gunderson to make it 17-0.
The Knights responded with a scoring drive of their own, converting twice on fourth down before Ben Fiedler punched in a 1-yard TD to make it 17-7.
Bouman went 31 of 44 passing for 362 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Buffalo. Johnson had 10 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown and Gunderson added six catches for 112 yards and a TD.
The Knights’ Gartner was 10 of 21 passing for 79 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Max Keefer had 21 carries for 83 yards. Hoselton had a touchdown and intercepted a pass on defense.
Buffalo will play at Mounds View in the round of 16 next week.
Buffalo celebrates its first touchdown Friday night en route to a 17-14 win over St. Michael-Albertville. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
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