BARABOO — Brock Offerdahl was battered, bruised, exhausted and in need of a hot shower as the final seconds counted down Friday night.
But the Monona Grove senior middle linebacker/fullback and the rest of his Silver Eagles teammates are eager to prove they have one more game left in them to complete a perfect season.
Offerdahl and Zach Stinson sparked a stout defensive effort, while Tyler Blang scored two touchdowns to pace the offense as Monona Grove pulled away for a 28-14 victory over La Crosse Logan in a WIAA
Division 3 state semifinal football game at Baraboo High School.
“They are an offense you can control all game but they have those players who can make just one move and they’re gone,” Offerdahl said. “I was happy with our defense for most of the game but there were some points where we were getting a little frustrated.”
Aric Elmore’s 7-yard TD scamper around left end pulled Logan (10-3) within 21-14 with 5 minutes, 35 seconds to play to cap an 80-yard drive that took less than 2 minutes.
But after Stinson recovered Logan’s onsides kick attempt on the Silver Eagles’ 44, MG picked up a pair of first downs and ran 3 minutes off the clock before Toren Young burst off left tackle and iced the game with a 28-yard TD.
“We ran a little dive play to the left and the offensive line won the line of scrimmage again,” Blang said. “(Young) broke a tackle or two and took it to the house.”
Monona Grove (13-0) advanced to the Division 3 state championship game next Friday at Camp Randall Stadium. MG won the 1977 Class B and 1984 Division 3 state titles. The Silver Eagles are making their first trip to the title game since 2004 when they were runners-up in Division 2.
“We got the win and we’re going to state,” Offerdahl said. “But we have so much more to give and I’m really excited about next week.”
Young ripped off runs of 18 and 16 yards and Blang capped the four-play, 58-yard game-opening drive with a 21-yard TD run on a keeper around left end.
“We knew we could try to pound the ball on them. That was the game plan,” Blang said. “Our offensive line did a great job. Right away, we pushed them back. The O-line owned the line of scrimmage and opened up holes and we ran great.”
The Silver Eagles, though, fumbled on their next two possessions deep in their own territory to give Logan a chance for the equalizer.
However, MG held on downs on its own 8 on the first possession and then Logan’s Peter Heglund-Lohman missed a 25-yard field goal to the right with 1:30 left in the first quarter.
“If we would have been able to put one of those in the end zone and even things up it might have been different,” Logan coach Casey Knoble said. “But that defense is really fast and we had trouble with their speed. Their speed on defense is amazing.”
Blang’s 11-yard TD run on a fourth-and-inches call and Offerdahl’s 3-yard TD burst extended MG’s lead to 21-0 late in the first half.
But Logan quarterback Mitchell Schreiner and Elmore connected on a 21-yard TD pass as time expired to pull the Rangers within 21-7 at the break.
MG’s defense made two key stops to keep Logan out of the end zone in the third quarter.
Steven Martine intercepted a pass on the opening drive of the second half. Stinson then was credited with a sack and tackle for loss of 19 yards and a forced fumble on the next drive.
“Our defense did a great job. That was one of the best performances I’ve seen,” Monona Grove coach Mike Stassi said. “We put our defense in some bad situations early and (Logan) got nothing out of it.”
Elijah Isenberger picked off Schreiner following Young’s TD run to secure the victory.
“This was a team effort. Individually our guys came together, but that’s what they’ve been doing all year,” Stassi said. “I’m so proud of these young men. I’m so happy they’re going to state.”
Monona Grove 7 14 0 7 — 28
La Crosse Logan 0 7 0 7 — 14
Monona Grove — T. Blang 21 run (Schuchardt kick)
Monona Grove — T. Blang 11 run (kick blocked)
Monona Grove — Offerdahl 3 run (Powers pass from T. Blang)
La Crosse Logan — Elmore 21 pass from Schreiner (Heglund-Lohman kick)
La Crosse Logan — Elmore 7 run (Heglund-Lohman kick)
Monona Grove — Young 28 run (Schuchardt kick)
First downs — MG 20, LCL 14. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — MG 53-325, LCL 21-140. Passing yards — MG 68, LCL 112. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — MG 6-10-0, LCL 11-22-2. Fumbles-lost — MG 3-3, LCL 3-1. Penalties-yards — MG 5-41, LCL 6-65.
Rushing: MG — T. Blang 16-135, Young 12-116; LCL — Tillman 16-72.
Passing: MG — T. Blang 6-10-0, 68; LCL — Schreiner 10-21-2, 103.
Receiving: MG — B. Blang 2-31; LCL — Elmore 5-66.