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Warriors Sports

Barthel makes key stop as Caledonia tops Zumbrota-Mazeppa for Section 1AA title

Posted Saturday, November 06, 2010 by LaCrosse Tribune
Caledonia,Mn. — Teddy Barthel pushed forward on the snap and collided with his target at the line of scrimmage. Bryan Hinrichs was trying to make a game-changing play for his Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School football team.

Barthel, a Caledonia defensive tackle with a brace on his separated left shoulder, was trying to stop that from happening.

When Hinrichs took the third-and-goal snap, he only needed a yard to reach the end zone and put the Cougars right back in their MSHSL Section 1AA championship game.

They trailed by two touchdowns and reaching the end zone was going to make a world of difference because there was more than one quarter left to play.

Barthel met Hinrichs at the line of scrimmage and dragged him to the ground for no gain, and that may have been the biggest play in Caledonia's 17-0 victory on Friday night.

"Big Teddy just stood that quarterback up and made the play," Caledonia senior Josh Gran said. "We had to have it, and it was a huge turning point in the game."

Barthel's play set off a strange sequence that spelled the end of the Cougars' threat.

Two penalties - one on a false start after a timeout that followed Barthel's stop for no gain and another on a delay - pushed the ball back to the 11. Lucas Lampert then intercepted a Hinrichs pass at the 1-yard line to end the possession.

But none of that would have happened if it wasn't for Barthel, who separated his shoulder during practice on Wednesday.

"I wanted to play," said Barthel, also a right offensive tackle. "It would have taken a lot to keep me out of this game."

It will take even more to keep Barthel off the field on Nov. 12. That's when the fourth-ranked Warriors (11-0) meet Luverne (9-2) in a state quarterfinal at Rochester, Minn.

The section title is Caledonia's fourth in a row and fifth in the past six years.

The Warriors put together touchdown drives of 92 and 45 yards in the second quarter to seize control and let the defense do the rest.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa (7-4) moved from its own 30 to Caledonia's 1 in the third quarter before Barthel, penalties and the interception ended the drive.

"I really didn't know if we could stop them there," Caledonia coach Brent Schroeder said. "Teddy hasn't practiced that very much, but he knew he'd have to do it eventually.

"Today was the day for that, and he did a great job for us."

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