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Patriots' state run comes to an end

H-BC loses well-fought battle with undefeated Fertile-Beltrami at state final tournament
Lead Summary
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Dan Ellingson for the Star Herald

A football season that started out with a postponed game because of a water-soaked field in Hills ended on the turf of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots had their tournament run end on Nov. 19 at the semi-finals of the Minnesota Nine-Man State Football Tournament.
The 12-0 Fertile-Beltrami Falcons defeated the Patriots by a score of 30-22 in an evenly matched battle that would not be determined early.
H-BC scored first on a two-yard Cole Baker run with 5:28 left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion run failed, but the Patriots held an early 6-0 lead.
The scoring drive was the result of the H-BC offense marching down the field alternating between runs of Baker and Oliver Deelstra. Fertile-Beltrami answered with a 19-yard touchdown pass to even the score. The Patriot defense held on the conversion run to keep the score tied 6-6.
The second quarter saw both defenses come up with timely stops and forcing the other’s offense to turn the ball over on downs.
However, late in the second quarter, the Patriots’ offense went back to work, mixing the run and the pass. With just 19 seconds left in the half, quarterback Oliver Deelstra threaded the needle on a pass to wide out Drew Leenderts, who jumped above the Falcon defender and hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass with just 19 seconds left before half-time. Fullback Casey Kueter bulldozed his way for the two-point conversion and the Patriots held a 14-6 lead going into the half.
Fertile-Beltrami would dominate the third quarter scoring with two touchdown runs of five and 30 yards. They were successful on both two-point conversions to take a 22-14 lead going into the final quarter.
The Patriot offense came back on the next possession, which culminated in a touchdown run by Baker of five yards with 10:28 left in the game. A Baker-to-Gideon-Taubert two-point conversion pass brought the Patriots back to tie the Falcons at 22.
Later in the fourth quarter, the Falcons came back to score a touchdown on a three-yard run, then added the two-point conversion to extend the lead to eight, 30-22.
The Patriots’ offense was not able to score again during the game. The defense did make the Falcons turn the ball over on downs with less than a minute to play deep in Patriots territory. But with no time-outs left and over 90 yards to cover, the Patriot offense was not able to move the ball and was on the field when time expired.
Patriot Head Coach Rex Metzger reflected on the game afterward.
“Fertile-Beltrami was a real good football team that did a lot of things really well both on offense and defense,” he said. “They threw the ball a little more than expected and hurt us a few different times.”
He said the entire season was a rewarding experience with the team.
“I’m proud of our guys and the year that we had,” he said. “It was a heck of a run through the playoffs, and to be able to play at U.S. Bank (Stadium) is something they will never forget.”
The Patriots finish the season 10-3 and are the two-time defending Section 3 9-man champions.
Team statistics
HBC: 217 rushing yards, 72 passing yards, 289 total yards, 21 first downs, five penalties for 40 yards.
F-B: 147 rushing yards, 136 passing yards, 283 total yards, 15 first downs, three penalties for 35 yards.
Individual statistics
Rushing: C. Baker 25-118 yards, C. Kueter 9-42 yards, Ty Bundesen 3-30 yards, O. Deelstra 12-27 yards.
Passing: O. Deelstra 8-10 for 72 yards, C. Baker 0-1.
Receiving: Drew Leenderts 1-19, one touchdown, C. Baker 2-17 yards, C. Kueter 1-15 yards, T. Bundesen 2-12 yards, Andrew Harris 2-9 yards, Gideon Taubert one extra-point.
Defense: Austin Allen 8 tackles, C. Kueter 7.5 tackles, Drew Leenderts 7 tackles, O. Deelstra 4.5 tackles.

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