New York Mills wins first section championship since 2007 in dominating fashion
Third-seeded New York Mills left no doubt as to who the Section 6A champion should be after a 32-0 win over fourth-seeded Breckenridge.
The third-seeded New York Mills football team dominated in the Section 6A championship on Friday night at the Fargodome against Breckenridge in a 32-0 shutout.
"Exuberant, ecstatic, excited, "New York Mills head coach Matt Radniecki said about the win.
The Eagles scored on their first drive of the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bren Salo.
On its first offensive series, Breckenridge (6-5) was stopped on fourth-and-12 in the red zone.
Four minutes before the second half, Salo ran 12-yards for his second touchdown of the game. Three minutes later, Salo found wide receiver Joshua Johnson on a 46-yard catch-and-score to put the Eagles up 18-0.
"I got room, and I'm taking it," Johnson said of his first touchdown catch. "I saw the ball, knew he placed it in a good spot and I knew we had it."
Salo did it all on Friday night. He came up with a tipped interception on a desperation pass with 8 seconds before halftime.
On the Eagles' first drive of the second half, running back Montgomery Briard got some space and ran 51-yards with 10:04 left in the third quarter. This would lead to an 18-yard rushing touchdown from Salo, giving New York Mills a 25-0 lead after a successful extra point.
Johnson wasn't done finding the end zone. He caught a pass from Salo and took it 77-yards down the sideline to the house with 4:14 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles got the ball back after Briard recovered a fumble. Briard strip-sacked the Breckenridge quarterback after attempting to scramble outside the pocket.
Down 32-0, the Eagles put the icing on the cake with a fumble recovery with under four minutes left. New York Mills cruised to its first section championship since 2007.
"We had a good football team," Radniecki said. "Breckenridge is terrific, but at the same time, we really believe in ourselves. Small towns live for this, and hopefully, we keep it going next week. This is (the) excitement of playing high school sports. That's what it's about."
Salo relishes in the confidence his coaches put in him. It allowed him to have a huge game on the season's most prominent stage so far.
"My coaches give me the ball, and they believe that I'm going to go out there and make plays," Salo said.
"Coming in as the three seed we're doubted," Salo said. "But we all believed that we're going to make it to state. (We) put our front foot forward, and we just did it."
For Salo and Johnson, the Fargodome was quite an experience.
"Never thought we'd get in this position, but to make it is incredible," Johnson said.
"This is my first time ever playing at the Fargodome," Salo said. "The atmosphere is crazy. We're a small town. (To) see all these fans here and support us is unbelievable."