Football team blows out Cloquet, gets ready for State AAAA Semifinal against Marshall


Ashley Ortizcazarin

Senior quarterback Will Whitmore had another solid game under center for the Red Knights, as he recorded one passing and one rushing touchdown in BSM’s 42-7 rout of Cloquet.

For the second straight week, the ‘boys of fall’ proved to be too much for their opponent. With a 42-7 win over the Cloquet Lumberjacks on Friday, November 11, the BSM football team has advanced to the Semifinal round of the State AAAA Tournament.

With last week’s Section 5AAAA Championship in the rearview mirror, the Red Knights travelled to Chisago Lakes to meet their State Quarterfinal opponent—and it didn’t take long for them to get going. After forcing a Lumberjacks’ three-and-out, the Red Knights marched down the field on their opening drive, and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run by senior running back Ricky Floyd. After Alex Houlihan’s extra point, the lead was 7-0; the Red Knights would never trail in the game.

After stopping the Lumberjacks, the Red Knights once again paraded down the field and capped off the drive with a 2-yard burst into the end zone by Floyd. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 14-0 BSM.

The second quarter was quiet for the most part, but with 2:48 remaining in the first half, the Red Knights extended their lead. Lined up in the red zone, Floyd took the handoff from senior quarterback Will Whitmore in for six from 2 yards out. Houlihan’s extra point would make the score a sizeable BSM lead at the half, 21-0.

If anyone thought the Red Knights’ offensive onslaught would fizzle out at halftime, then they thought wrong. The first drive of the second half ended in—who could’ve guessed it—a Ricky Floyd touchdown. Whitmore found Floyd down the field for a 31-yard touchdown pass—and Floyd’s fourth score of the day.

Normally known for racking up tackle after tackle each game, junior captain Braeden Fitzgerald decided to put his name in the scoring category on this night. With 5:15 remaining in the third quarter, Fitzgerald intercepted a Lumberjack pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. “I read the pass, Alex [Houlihan] yelled out pass, and I picked it off. All I could see was green in front of me, and I took it to the house,” Fitzgerald said. Houlihan—who made all his kicks on the night—tacked on the extra point to make it 35-0 BSM.

In the final quarter, the Red Knights and Lumberjacks would each add a touchdown. Whitmore ran one in from 4 yards out, and the Lumberjacks got on the board with a 29-yard touchdown pass—but it didn’t matter at this point in the game.

The Red Knights came away with a 42-7 victory, and on a night when they ran up the score, it’s easy to overlook a stout defensive performance. In two of the last three games, the Red Knights defense has held its opponents to 14 points or less. “Our defense is playing more downhill. We stick to our assignments, and we’re peaking at the right time,” Fitzgerald said.

The boys of fall will continue their late autumn journey on Thursday, November 17, where they’ll take on the undefeated Marshall Tigers in their Semifinal of the State AAAA Tournament. This game, however, will have a very special element for many players, as they’ll play at the home of the Minnesota Vikings: U.S. Bank Stadium. “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been a Vikings fan my whole life, and now to line up where my favorite player Stefon Diggs plays–it’s unreal.” senior wide receiver Matthew Brooks said.