The Faribualt Bethlehem Academy Cardinals saw a 15-7 lead evaporate in the span of 93 seconds in a hard fought 22-15 loss to New Ulm Cathedral at Bruce Smith Field.

The game was billed as the Third Place game for Section 2A by the Minnesota State High School League.  I called it the Catholic Bowl.

The Cardinals two scores came on passing plays with senior quarterback Bo Dienst connecting on a 56 yard touchdown to sophomore 6'6 Charlie King on their first drive of the game. The score came with 10:08 to go in the first quarter.  The extra point kick was good by Eliot Smith.

The Greyhounds answered with a 55 yard pass from 200 pound junior quarterback Sam Knowles to senior Noah Wilmes.  The kick was also good to make the score 7-7.  That's what it was at halftime.

New Ulm Cathedral fumbled the kickoff to start the second half setting the Cardinals up at the 26 of the Greyhounds.  On a 4th down with 10 yards to go Dienst dropped back rolled to his left and hit junior Brady Strodtman in stride as he entered the end zone.  On the extra point kick attempt the snap was a bit low.  Quarterback Dienst is the holder.  He rolled to his right after picking the ball up and threw a completion to Strodtman at the back of the end zone for the two point conversion to make the score BA 15 New Ulm Cathedral 7.

With 3:37 to go in the third quarter Knowles scored from 2 yards away on a keeper up the middle with teammates pushing him from behind into the end zone.  The two point pass was good to Jacob Berg to make the score 15-15.

The Cardinals had a penalty that pinned them deep in their own territory starting an offensive series at their 6 yard line.  The Greyhounds stiffened.  Strodtman had to punt from his goal line.  Cathedral Senior Cole Schwartz blocked the punt, scooped up the ball and scored what proved to be the winning touchdown.

New Ulm Cathedral kicked the extra point to make it 22-15.  I thought it was curious at the time because if the Cardinals were to score they would probaby have gone for 2 points to win the game.

Bethlehem Academy moved the ball well at times but repeatedly would have penalties to stymie those advancements.

It was just a great high school football game between two evenly matched opponents where penalties and turnovers proved to be a key.

The eight seniors on the BA roster were chosen the Malecha's Auto Body Crunch Time Faribault players of the game.

Bo Dienst, Lucas Linnemann, Jason Shuda, Isaac Caron, Eliot Smith, Riley Kangas, John Rose, Jerry Freisen.

Bethlehem Academy finished their COVID-19 shortened season 2-5, New Ulm Cathedral 4-3.


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