WHEATON beats EDGERTON in 9-man, Section 3 finals
Jesse Grimes said a hip pointer had slowed him in recent games.
The Wheaton junior looked at full strength Thursday at Fargodome.
Grimes intercepted three passes and added a touchdown reception to spark the Warriors to a 35-8 victory against Edgerton to defend their Minnesota 9-man, Section 3 football championship.
"Today, it felt awesome," Grimes said of his hip. "I told myself I wanted to have a big game."
Wheaton (11-0) plays the winner between Cleveland and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (those teams play today) at 5 p.m. Nov. 9 in the state quarterfinals at St. Cloud State.
"We're getting better," said Wheaton coach Tony Thiel, whose team played in the state title game last season. "I think this is the best game we played this year as a unit. If we keep on improving, who knows how far we can go."
Wheaton junior running back Sam Thielen rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on nine carries in the first half, helping the Warriors build a 19-0 halftime lead. Thielen ended with 113 yards and two TDs on 15 carries.
Edgerton was in position to climb back into the game in the third quarter. The Flying Dutchmen moved the ball to the Wheaton 16-yard line on the opening drive of the second half.
On second-and-10, the 14th play of that drive, Grimes picked off a swing pass in the left flat to halt the scoring threat.
Following that interception, Wheaton went on a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to push its lead to 27-0. Thielen capped that march with a 10-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Edgeton sophomore running back Chace Hulstein ended Wheaton's shutout bid, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run with 4 minutes, 49 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
"I think this was one of our best games this season." Grimes said.
The Flying Dutchmen finished with 235 yards, including 180 yards rushing on 44 attempts.
"I'm very happy," Thiel said. "It was a great defensive effort and not just by one single player. It was everybody."
Wheaton 0 19 8 8--35
Edgerton 0 0 0 8-- 8
W--Thielen 34 run (Karsky pass from Schwagel)
W--Schmitz 33 run (Nelson run)
W--Nelson 34 FG
W--Thielen 10 run (Schwagel run)
W--Grimes 10 pass from Schwagel (Schwagel run)
E--Hulstein 1 run (Jordan Bouw pass from Heard)
RUSHING: W, Thielen 15-113, Schmitz 10-63, Nelson 12-32, Schwagel 3-31, Doschadis 10-25, Hubrig 1-5, Gray 1-3, McClernon 1-0, Wilson 1-(minus 1). E, Hulstein 18-63, Kleinjan 15-62, Van Peursem 11-55.
PASSING: W, Schwagel 5-13-0 32 yards. E, Heard 5-12-4 55.
RECEIVING: W, Thielen 1-12, Grimes 1-10, Nelson 2-7, Doschadis 1-3. E, Kleinjan 3-31, Hulstein 1-13, Jordan Bouw 1-11.