Minneapolis North running back Terrance Kamara (2) escaped the grasp of Paynesville cornerback Caden Spanier (1) during this run in the second half. Kamara rushed for four touchdowns, including three in the second half. Photo: Shari L. Gross ¥ shari.gross
It was all about effort, Minneapolis North coach Charles Adams III said. Well, that and a little defensive adjustment.
After a first half in which the undefeated Polars gave up 237 yards and 18 points, they tightened up their defense and made things much harder for Paynesville en route to a 44-32 victory Thursday in a Class 2A semifinal.
Adams drew up halftime adjustments and the Polars (12-0) responded, largely shutting down the Paynesville rushing game.
Holes that seemed so large for the Bulldogs (10-2), who scored on three of their four first-half possessions leading to an 18-14 halftime lead, were no longer there. And whenever Paynesville quarterback Grady Fuchs looked to pass, an onrushing Polar closed in.
“A lot of the stuff in the first half was effort,” Adams said. “If something’s going wrong, it means we’re not doing something right. It was a matter of drawing something out and showing what we expect of them.”
Paynesville lineman Spence Evans said, “In the first half, they were going with mostly a four-man line, which is easier to move than five. In the second half, they put some guys in who were big and really fast, too.”
Minneapolis North scored two touchdowns in a 2:32 span early in the third quarter to take a 12-point lead, then outscored Paynesville the rest of the way en route to a 44-32 victory in a Class 2A semifinal Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Terrance Kamara rushed for 205 yards and four touchdowns for the Polars (12-0), including a fourth-quarter 25-yard run that extended the Polars’ lead after the Bulldogs had pulled within six points.
The Polars, trailing 18-14 at halftime, scored four touchdowns in the second half, three of them on runs by Kamara.
Paynesville quarterback Grady Fuchs threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead the Bulldogs (10-2).
Minneapolis North advances to play in the Prep Bowl on Nov. 29.
Check back later for more on the game.