Braham picked up a hard-fought 20-14 GPFA Blue victory in front of a packed house at Aitkin Sept. 6, scoring its final touchdown with just 2:04 left in the battle.
The Bombers took advantage of a short field on its first possession after Zach Dahlman made two nice catches. Halfback Sonny Foote followed his blockers on a 6-yard run for his first varsity touchdown for an early 7-0 lead.
The Gobblers answered with a long kick return by Steve Schneider which set up Josh Martz’s 30-yard TD run. The propane cannon sounded again just three minutes later when Aitkin wideout Nick Blanchette hauled in a 35-yard scoring pass to push his team ahead 14-7.
Braham tied the game at 14-14 with 35.9 seconds left in the half when Dahlman scored on an 8-yard out from John Larson. That 80-yard drive was kept alive by Larson scrambling for 15 yards and Noah Bone later alertly recovering a fumble at the Aitkin 11 yard line.
After a grinding-out third quarter, Braham drove late for the win, capped by Larson finding Dahlman again on a 24-yard scoring reception.
“A big positive was our kids’ resiliency after Aitkin scored two quick TD’s in the first quarter. They just kept battling. Football is such a huge game of momentum– it would have been easy to hang our heads and not have gained our composure, but our kids were pretty resilient,” said Bomber Coach Shawn Kuhnke. “Our offense ran nearly twice as many plays as Aitkin. Our guys took care of the ball, and we had some really nice drives. A big positive is that our defense continues to get better. We are committing ourselves to stopping the run, and we are getting better.”
• Next up: Rival Rush City travels to Braham for the Sept. 13 GPFA Blue Division clash.
Braham 20, Aitkin 14
Rushing 36/151 26/111
Passing 24/15/1 7/3/1
Passing Yds 169 53
Total Yds 320 164
Bomber Individual Stats
Rushing: Larson 19/93; Foote 16/59, TD. Passing: Larson 24/15/1- 169 yds, 2 TD. Receiving: Dahlman 7/74, 2 TD; Richmond 6/69; N.Bone 2/26. Tackles: Dahlman 5, Braund 5 (sack), Richmond 5, Sutton 4, Larson 4. Kicking: Dahlman 2/3 X-pts; Larson 4 punt 19.3 avg.
GPFA Blue Football: Braham 1-0, 2-0; Pine City 1-0, 1-1; Crosby-Ironton 0-0, 1-1; Hinckey-Fin. 0-0, 1-1; Aitkin 0-1, 1-1; Rush City 0-1, 0-2.