Both Section 1A Semifinal games came down to the final minute before they were decided Saturday night.  Top seed, #3 state ranked Rushford-Peterson scored with about 20 seconds to go in their game with Randolph.  The Trojans won 21-14.

Fillmore Central got the final tally with :56 seconds left in their win over Faribault Bethlehem Academy in Harmony.  The Cardinals were hoping to avenge a 19-8 loss September 24th in Harmony.

In the Bethlehem Academy game the Falcons scored first with 10:58 to go in the first half on a Bryce Corson run into the end zone from 1 yard away.  Corson kicked the extra point.

3:47 to go in the half the Cardinals took the lead on a Elliott Viland pass to Aiden Tobin covering 13 yards.  Viland ran in the two point conversion.

The score at the half, Bethlehem Academy 8  Fillmore Central 7.

7:30 to go in the third quarter Brady Strodtman extended the Cardinals lead on a 15 yard run and ran in the two point conversion.

Fillmore Central went on to score with 3:31 left in the third quarter on a Christianson to Corson 25 yard touchdown pass.  The two point pass to Jake Fishbaugher was good making the score 16-15 Bethlehem Academy ahead.

On the next kick a Cardinal made contact with the ball, the Falcons recovered and took over at the 28 yard line.  Fillmore Central's sophmore quarterback was being sacked around midfield and threw the ball toward the BA end of the field in an attempt to avoid the sack.  The Falcons alertly got to the ball before the Cardinals because it was ruled a fumble.

Fillmore Central had to punt to BA.

It looked like Strodtman was going to score again on the next Bethlehem Academy drive but a fumble inside the Fillmore Central 5 yard line ended that scoring opportunity because the Falcons recovered.

Both teams had the ball before the Cardinals were forced to punt out of their own end zone.  Corson fielded the ball on a high hop  giving his team the ball at the BA 22 yard line.

Bethlehem Academy had a goal line stand with time winding down in the fourth quarter,  had they been able to achieve a first down they might have been able to force the Falcons to use some time outs but credit Fillmore Central with stiffening up.

The Falcons line did a better job blocking for senior Alec Sikkink and junior Corson on a terrific 77 yard scoring drive that gave them the lead with :56 seconds to go.  A 13 yard pass from Christianson to Corson ended the drive giving Fillmore Central a 21-16 lead.

A TD is all the Cardinals needed with all three of their time outs left.  They started their final drive on their own 35 yard line.  After some runs and a pass play got a first down they eventually used their time outs. The ball was around midfield with about 10 seconds to go when Viland rolled to his right and threw a beautiful tight spiral down the field but Corson intercepted the pass to end the Cardinals hope.

Sikkink went down in the third quarter and had to be helped off the field.  The trainer was looking at his left knee. He couldn't put any weight on the leg as he was coming off the field.

He only missed a couple series before he was back running harder than ever.

The final statistics had Fillmore Central with 315 total yards, Bethlehem Academy 226.

The Falcons threw for 144 yards, Cardinals 86.

Rushing yardage was 171 to 141 in favor of the home team.

Before the game Cardinals Head Coach Jim Beckmann told POWER 96 Faribault/ KFIL Preston he admired Fillmore Central's discipline.

The Falcons were whistled for 2 penalties for 10 yards.  BA had 4 penalties for 40 yards.

Time of possession was 29:34 for Fillmore Central, 18:26 for the Cardinals.

Falcons had 18 first downs, BA 12.  The Cardinals were 4 of 9 on third down conversions while Fillmore Central finished 4 of 12.  Bethlehem Academy was 1 of 3, the Falcons 2 of 4 on fourth down conversions.

Sikkink ran 18 times for 103 yards.  Corson 17 times for 68 yards for the Falcons.

Strodtman had 14 carries for 67 yards, Viland 5 runs for 30 to lead the Cardinals.

The BA tackle charts had Strodtman with 12.5 tackles, 11 solo and a sack.  Andrew Donahue finished with 10 tackles, 5 solo.

No tackle chart for Fillmore Central but Corson was all over the football field.

Before Bethlehem Academy at Fillmore Central Section 1A Semifinal in Harmony.
Before Bethlehem Academy at Fillmore Central Section 1A Semifinal in Harmony.

Top seed Rushford-Peterson and #2 seed Fillmore Central will play at Paul Giel Field in Winona Friday, November 5, 2021 for the Section 1A title.

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