Chatfield football team loses to Caledonia in section finals

Chatfield senior players get the second place trophy in the section title game against Caledonia. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
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The Chatfield football team lost three games this season, two to Class AA No. 1 ranked Caledonia and one to Dover-Eyota, 1AAA section runner-up.

The second loss to the Warriors came this past Friday in the Section 1AA finals by a score of 34-7.

The Gophers couldn’t get anything rolling in the first half, punting on five of its six possessions.  The sixth possession ended with the Gophers on their own 33-yard line when the first half ended.  Caledonia went into the locker room at the intermission with a 20-0 lead.

The Gophers had two first downs in the first half, the first after Caledonia went ahead 14-0, and the second on their last possession of the first half.  Chatfield had 13 yards of offense in the first half. 

Offensively the second half was much better for the Gophers, but playing catch-up ball to the No. 1 ranked team in the state is a very difficult burden to overcome.

Chatfield moved the ball a little bit on its first possession (16 yards and a first down) of the second half and forced the Warriors into a punt on their first possession of the third quarter.  On the Gophers second opportunity they did get into the endzone with a three-yard pass from quarterback Reid Johnson to wide receiver Seth Allen.  The extra-point kick was good by AJ Karver and Chatfield had cut the deficit to 20-7.  On the 45-yard drive, Gage Tuohy carried the ball twice for 32 yards (13 and 19 yards), Carson Larrabee had two carries for seven yards (six and one), Johnson had a three-yard run and the three-yard TD pass to Allen. 

Caledonia came right back against the Gophers and scored on their next two possessions, making the score 34-7 in favor of the Warriors.  That would be the end of the scoring in the game with the Warriors winning by that 27-point margin.

Seth Allen had the catch of the game on Chatfield’s first possession in the fourth quarter.  Second down and eight yards to go, Reid Johnson connected with Allen for a Gopher first down.  The catch, ala Odell, accounted for 36 yards of offense for the Gophers.  Chatfield got down to the Caledonia 28-yard line, but a penalty and quarterback sack pushed the Gophers back to the 40-yard line.

The Gophers turned the ball over on downs, but on Caledonia’s next possession Allen came up with a fumble recovery, giving Chatfield first and 10 on the Warrior 38-yard line.  Chatfield went six yards forward (runs by Larrabee and Johnson) and 12 yards back (quarterback sack) and gave the ball right back to Caledonia.

The Gophers did have the ball last, but again, too little, too late! 

“We would’ve needed to play with way less mental mistakes to beat a team of that caliber,” said coach Jeff Johnson.  “We might have been beaten by the best team in the state.  Time will tell.  We still had an excellent football season and beat some very good teams.”

Gage Tuohy finished the game with 61 rushing yards on 15 carries, 4.1 yards/carry.  Carson Larrabee had a 3.4 yards/carry average with 44 yards on 13 carries.  Reid Johnson was -12 yards on nine touches and Manny Perez had one carry for minus three yards.

Reid Johnson was four for 12 in passing, 60 yards with one touchdown and one interception.  Larrabee had one catch for 19 yards, Chance Backer had one pass for two yards and Seth Allen had two catches for 39 yards, including the only touchdown for the Gophers.

Scoring by quarters

Chatfield 0-0-7-0 = 7

Caledonia 20-0-6-8 = 34

Team stats vs. Caledonia

                                    Chatfield                                  Caledonia

First downs             9 (6r,2p,1pen.)                      12 (5r, 7p)

Rushing                    38 carries, 90 yds                30 carries, 136 yds

                                    0 TD’s, 0 fum. lost                3 TD’s, 1 fum. lost

Passing                    4/12, 60 yds                           12/24, 241 yds

                                    1 TD, 1 INT                              2 TD’s, 0 INT

Total offense          50 plays, 150 yds                 54 plays, 377 yds

                                    1 TD, 1 turnover                    5 TD’s, 1 turnover

Penalties                 5, 25 yds                                  6, 60 yds

Special team stats

Punting: Max Aug, 6/36.7.  Punt return: Allen, 1/3.0.  Kickoffs: AJ Karver, 2/33.5.  KO returns: Ben Brogan, 2/17.5; Allen, 2/22.5; Tuohy, 1/12.0; Perez, 1/13.0.

Class AA notes

Caledonia (10-0) will travel to Burnsville and play New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (10-1) in the first round of the state playoffs.  The other AA match-ups: Pillager (10-1) vs Paynesville (8-2), at Alexandria; Barnesville (9-2) vs Moose Lake/Willow River (8-2), at Brainerd; and Mpls North (10-0) vs Redwood Valley (10-0), at New Ulm.  All first-round games for AA are on Friday, Nov. 9.  Winners advance to the semi-finals at US Bank Stadium.  If Caledonia wins its game the Warriors will play on Thursday, Nov. 15, vs the Pillager/Paynesville winner.  The other semi-final game will be played on Friday, Nov. 16.  The AA championship game is on Friday, Nov. 23, 1 p.m.