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Football: Fast start, strong rushing attack helps undefeated Barnesville hand Osakis its first loss of 2022

With 22 points in the first quarter, including a touchdown on the game-opening kickoff, Barnesville jumped ahead early in its 51-8 win over Osakis on Friday. Barnesville improved to 4-0 and handed

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The Barnesville offensive line clears a running lane for Owen Riddle (9) in a game against Osakis on Sept. 23, 2022. Barnesville scored five rushing touchdowns in a 51-8 win.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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BARNESVILLE - In its first three games this season, the Osakis football team never trailed. But after an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Barnesville’s Devin Larson on the opening play of Friday’s game, Osakis found itself in its first deficit this season.

Barnesville got out to a 22-0 start in the first quarter and would go on to beat Osakis 51-8.

“The momentum was crazy,” Barnesville head coach Bryan Strand said. “We got the momentum early, and I could just feel the kids riding high. (Osakis) was starting to kind of get back on their heels because no one had done that (to them) this year. Anybody would react the same way, and we've been in that place.”

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Barnesville junior Ethan Larson began a game against the Osakis Silverstreaks on Sept. 23, 2022, by returning a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Barnesville (4-0, 3-0 Midwest - White) is the defending Section 8AA champion, and Osakis (3-1, 3-1 Midwest - White) was one of the top Section 6AA teams in 2021.

“We came in there trying to beat a really good football team,” Osakis head coach Bill Infanger said. “And we knew we had to play a near perfect game to do it. And then the opening kickoff goes back for a touchdown. I think you need energy and attitude in a game like this. When things go badly right away on the first play, it's hard to get your momentum back.”

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After an Osakis fumble, Barnesville had the ball at midfield, and senior John Roller found the end zone on a 51-yard run to put Barnesville up 16-0 less than three and a half minutes in.

The Trojans took a 22-0 lead late in the first quarter after senior Braeden Bredman caught a touchdown pass thrown by junior Zachary Bredman.

Coming into Friday’s game, the Osakis defense had given up 19 points all season.

“We practiced double to get ready for them this week,” Strand said. “They’re a fantastic team. Bill is a great coach and preps them well.”

The Silverstreaks got some momentum going into halftime, with senior Tyson Hagedon scoring on a short touchdown run and converting the two-point conversion.

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Osakis running back Tyson Hagedon scored the team's lone touchdown in a 51-8 loss to Barnesville on Sept. 23, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“We really fought all the way through the first half, just trying to get something back,” Infanger said. “We were able to put one in the end zone at the end of the first half, we got the ball back to start the second half, and we got a few first downs. The wheels fell off from there in the second half on us, but you got to give credit to Barnesville. Their kids are physical, and they got a lot of juniors and seniors. Most of the guys for them are playing one way. And I think that in the second half, that really started to show. We were physically worn down a little bit, and we couldn't get the ground game going.”

Osakis had a couple of chances early in the second half to cut Barnesville's lead but those chances didn’t lead to more points.

“I think that being down three scores in the second half, the energy level just unfortunately wasn't there and the game got away from us,” Infanger said.

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The Trojans iced the game in the second half with four rushing touchdowns, two in the third and two in the fourth quarter.

So far this season, the Trojans have outscored their opponents 151-14 and are averaging 37.7 points per game. The only other team so far besides Osakis that has scored on Barnesville is the defending Section 6AA champion West Central Area-Ashby, which scored six points in a season-opening 29-6 loss.

Barnesville had the running game going strong for most of the night with five rushing touchdowns, three of which were from 40 yards out or more. Roller led the Trojans in rushing touchdowns with two.

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Barnesville's John Roller celebrates after scoring his first touchdown in the team's 51-8 win over the Osakis Silverstreaks on Sept. 23, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“Our offense isn't keyed on one player,” Strand said. “We spend a lot of time in the weight room. They’re just 11 guys coming at you really fast.”

Before Friday’s eight-point outing, the Silverstreaks had scored at least 35 points in their games.

Osakis and Barnesville have met one another three times in the last four seasons, with Osakis winning a triple overtime game, 52-50, in 2021 and Barnesville winning a game in the 2019 Class AA state tournament, 28-6.

The Silverstreaks are looking to put this loss behind them and move forward with their homecoming game against the Parkers Prairie Panthers (1-3, Class A) next week.

“I think you put this one behind you as soon as you can,” Infanger said. “We got beat offensively and defensively by a really good football team. And we had moments, but there just weren't enough of them. They were able to get after our quarterback and put a lot of pressure on him and it just kind of got away from us.”

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Infanger expects the team to bounce back strong from their first loss of the season.

“I know this team will respond,” he said. “We’ve got great senior leadership. These guys have worked too hard to let a game like this one bad performance define their season. I have no doubt in my mind that this team will bounce back and play good football next week.”

Infanger said that the point of emphasis in practice is physicality and execution.

“I think we're going to have to look at the way we played, how physical we were in weeks one through three and the way we ran our feet against Barnesville and see if there's a difference,” Infanger said. “I think when you're playing a really good opponent, sometimes it's not as easy to be physical. I think for a lot of our guys, this was our first time playing against a very physical football team that was maybe more physical than we were.”

Osakis and Parkers Prairie are set to play in Osakis on Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. Parkers Prairie lost 6-0 to Pelican Rapids (3-1, Class AA) on Friday night.

Parkers Prairie has held three of its four opponents this season to 14 points or less. Osakis beat Parkers Prairie in 2021, 39-8.

Osakis - 0 8 0 0 - 8

Barnesville - 22 0 14 15 - 51   

SCORING -

1ST -
11:45 - Devin Larson 89-yard kick return, 2-pt conversion good, Owen Riddle run (8-0 Barnesville)

8:45 - John Roller 51-yard run, 2-pt conversion good, 2-pt conversion good, Roller run (16-0 Barnesville)

2:29 - Zach Bredman 7-yard pass to Braeden Bredman, 2-pt conversion no-good (22-0 Barnesville)

2ND -
0:34 - OSAKIS - Tyson Hagedon, 2-yard run, 2-pt conversion good, Hagedon (22-8 Barnesville)

3RD -
4:05 - Connor Loeks, 44-yard run, 2-pt conversion no-good (28-8 Barnesville)

1:57 - John Roller, 40-yard run, 2-pt conversion good, Jonny Robideau fumble recovery (36-8 Barnesville)

4TH -
8:20 - Ayden Hauck, 4-yard run, John Roller PAT (43-8 Barnesville)

2:02 - Gannon Bolgrean, 2-yard run, Nathaniel Huseman good 2-pt conversion (51-8 Barnesville)

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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