Barnum rolls over Cook County to Section 7A football titleBarnum used three touchdowns of 58-plus yards to defeat Cook County 30-18 in the Section 7A championship game at Public Schools Stadium.
By: Rick Weegman, Duluth News Tribune
Gone are the days when Barnum’s offense plodded down the football field, churning up 3 yards and a cloud of artificial turf pellets.
Now the Bombers rely on big plays to break their opponent’s will and win games.
That’s what happened Thursday night when Barnum used three touchdowns of 58-plus yards to defeat Cook County 30-18 in the Section 7A championship game at Public Schools Stadium.
Daniel Warpula ran for touchdowns of 58 and 60 yards and Colton Selix caught a 59-yard pass from Zac Carlson as the top-seeded Bombers beat the Vikings for the second time this season, won their ninth consecutive game and earned a berth in the Class A state tournament quarterfinals. Barnum (9-2) will face top-ranked Mahnomen, winner of Section 8, at noon next Saturday at PSS.
“We’ve had some big plays and the line does a great job opening up a crease for Daniel and Colton,” Barnum coach Brian Robertson said. “We have some speed, so once they get in the open field they can burn them.”
On the game’s first possession, Warpula took a handoff on the right wing of the team’s double-wing offense and raced virtually untouched 58 yards down the left sideline.
One play after the Vikings narrowed the gap to 8-6 on Colin Everson’s first of two scoring dives, Selix broke through the secondary and grabbed Zac Carlson’s heave for a 59-yard touchdown.
“When teams creep up on us, we have to be able to hit a pass here and there,” Robertson said.
Barnum only needed five plays on its next possession, with Brandon Newman scoring from a yard out and adding a two-point conversion for a 24-12 lead. That drive was highlighted by Selix’s 30-yard run.
Warpula raced 60 yards the next time he touched the ball on Barnum’s first play after the defense stopped a fourth-and-4.
“We worked all week on that play off tackle, and they executed very well,” Vikings coach Mitch Dorr said. “They made the plays when they had to; they have a very disciplined team.”
Warpula finished with 148 yards on nine carries to break the 1,100-yard barrier for the season. His two touchdowns gave him 19 overall.
“Our line is tremendous,” Warpula said of the players up front that helped the Bombers rumble for 306 yards as a team.
Cook County (8-2), which lost 30-7 to Barnum in the teams’ first meeting, dominated time of possession in the second half. The Vikings ran 32 plays to Barnum’s 17, with quarterback Kale Boomer’s 2-yard run the only scoring.
Boomer led the Vikings with 112 yards on 23 attempts to become the second member of the backfield to cross 1,000 yards on the season — Peter Warren’s 83-yard performance gave him 1,430.
But Boomer missed the goal line by inches on a fourth-and-8 keeper that culminated a 16-play, 65-yard drive that ate up 8 minutes and 9 seconds of the fourth quarter.
“If we get that one, then maybe we have a little excitement down the end,” Dorr said.
Barnum ran out the final 5:41 to earn its third section title in seven seasons.
Cook County 6-6-6-0—18
B — Daniel Warpula 58 run (Colton Selix run)
CC — Colin Everson 2 run (run failed)
B — Selix 59 pass from Zac Carlson (Brandon Newman run)
CC — Everson 1 run (run failed)
B — Newman 1 run (Newman run)
B — Warpula 60 run (pass failed)
CC — Kale Boomer 2 run (pass failed)