Bombers advance to Section 7A title gameThe Barnum Bombers beat Chisholm Saturday in a 13-0 shutout win that vaulted the team (9-1) into Thursday’s final game at 4:45 p.m. at Duluth's Public Schools Stadium.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Barnum Bombers play well with their backs against the wall. Last Saturday against Chisholm, they had plenty of practice.
Coach Kevin Haley estimated that the Bluestreaks ran more than 10 plays inside the Barnum 5-yard line during Saturday’s section semifinal game – but the Bombers defense had the answer each time in a 13-0 shutout win that vaulted the team (9-1) into Thursday’s final game.
“I’m very happy,” Haley said. “We had seven quarterback sacks and stopped them when we had to.”
Justin Newman was the defensive hero with four of the team’s seven sacks.
The Bluestreaks ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown only to see it called back for an illegal block infraction.
“That was a 70-yard penalty, since it’s a spot foul and they took the ball back to the spot of the penalty,” Haley said. “It was just a huge call.”
That said, the Bluestreaks still got inside the Bombers’ 10-yard line on three different occasions only to see Barnum stop them each and every time.
Offensively, the Bombers got a second-quarter score from Josh Hogan and a third-quarter 15-yard touchdown from Hector Chavez to provide the defense with a little cushion. For the game, Chavez finished with an even 100 yards on 20 carries and Hogan had 90 more on 15 attempts.
Hogan also caught a 40-yard screen pass to set up Barnum’s first touchdown.
The win sets up a rematch with Sandstone East Central in the Section 7A championship game on Thursday at 4:45 p.m. at Public Schools Stadium in Duluth. The Eagles beat Ogilvie 27-0 in the other section semifinal last Saturday in Finlayson.
The Eagles defeated the Bombers 7-6 in Sandstone on Sept. 24 and are the defending section champions. They’ve also beaten Barnum the last three times the teams have played, with the last Bombers win in the series in October 2007.
“There’s a lot of respect there, obviously,” Haley said. “They (East Central) are very well coached, they have always had nice quarterbacks and backs and they have just had great teams.”
The key to victory for Barnum is consistency on offense. The Bombers did not score an offensive touchdown in the teams’ first meeting, running a punt back for their score.
“We have to be able to move the ball consistently and score, because they can do it,” Haley said. “We can’t punt three straight series and then get one big play. We fumbled on their 5-yard line when we played them first, and we stalled on fourth down a couple of times. We have to move on offense.”
Haley describes the Eagles as a good running team with a good play-action game.
“We do think we match up well against them,” Haley added. “It’s always a close and competitive game when we play, but we need that little bit extra.”