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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley wins title game

  • Austin Maanum ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns, Jason Montonye scored three times and the Wolverines defeated Grand Meadow 40-22 for the Class 9-Man Championship at Friday's Prep Bowl.
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  • A dominant rushing game and a suffocating defense led Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley to its first state title.
     
    Austin Maanum ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns, Jason Montonye scored three times and the Wolverines defeated Grand Meadow 40-22 for the Class 9-Man Championship at Friday's Prep Bowl.
     
    Montonye had 126 rushing yards, scored on a kickoff return and had an interception for the Wolverines (13-0).
     
    Trenton Bleifus threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns for Grand Meadow (12-2). It is the first time this season an opponent scored more than two touchdowns against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.
     
    "Today our kids did a good job of shutting down a very dangerous offense, especially for the first three quarters," said Wolverines co-coach Brian Dahl.
     
    The Superlarks were held to 264 yards, about two-thirds of their season average. They had just 55 first-half yards and were sacked five times — including two each by Ethan Chase and Keane Turner — and trailed 20-0 at intermission.
     
    Montonye scored on a 51-yard run two plays into the second quarter and added a 49-yard run with 1:22 to play in the half. Maanum scored on a 73-yard weave about a minute later. All 414 of the Wolverines total yards were rushing.
     
    "Our offensive line again did a good job of sustaining their blocks. It's just one block and we're gone with our speed," Maanum said. "They had their linebackers so close with a one-level defense. You broke one tackle and you were gone."
     
    Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley played its second straight game without fullback/linebacker Logan Nordly, a 1,156-yard rusher and the team's third-leading tackler.
     
    "The whole team had to step up," Montonye said. "We weren't asking one guy to fill his shoes, everyone just had to do a little bit more and they were able to do that."
     
    Grand Meadow got to the Wolverines' 16-yard line midway through the third quarter, but a fourth-down completion netted zero yards. Seven plays later, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley quarterback Damon Gibson scored on a 39-yard run to make it 26-0.
     
    "CGB has an awful lot of speed and we gave up too many big plays," said Grand Meadow coach Gary Sloan.
     
    Bleifus and Landon Jacobson connected on a 61-yard screen pass for a Superlarks touchdown late in the third quarter, but Montonye returned the ensuing kickoff for an 82-yard score to make it 32-8.
     
    "You better get in front of him because you're not going to catch him from behind," said Maanum.
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    Mike Ojulu had two late touchdown receptions for Grand Meadow, which had scored at least 40 points 10 times this season.
     
    "We dug a deep hole and it was too hard to get out of," Sloan said.
     
    Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, located in western Minnesota near the South Dakota border, entered the game as the state's top-ranked team in the final Associated Press poll. Grand Meadow, located between Rochester and Austin, was unranked.

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