Braham scored 37 unanswered points, including 24 in a span of 5:06, to blow away Pine City 51-24 in the Bombers’ Homecoming game Friday, Sept. 27. Braham is now 5-0 on the season and maintained its one-game lead over Aitkin in the GPFA Blue Division standings.
Zach Dahlman’s 11-yard touchdown catch had Braham leading 8-6 in the first quarter, then the offense went into kind of a funk. Late in the second quarter, the Dragons put together a good drive and scored on a three-yard Mitch Hansmann run to retake the lead with 1:05 left in the half. But Braham senior Elijah Overton returned the kick 41 yards to the PC 43. John Larson hit Dahlman for an 18-yard pickup, then he tossed a 25-yard pass to Noah Bone on a flare route with 15 seconds left for a 14-12 Braham lead at the break.
Pine City drove hard on its opening possession of the third quarter, but the Bomber defense forced a fumble insde the 5-yard line, and Overton recovered in the end zone. On Larson’s legs and two more Dahlman catches, Braham drove to score, with Larson finding Bone for a 1-yard TD catch.
That began the incredible scoring string to bury the Dragons. The ensuing kickoff went off a return man’s pads, and Randy Braund dove to recover at the 20. Bone made a sliding 11-yard touchdown catch for his hat trick.
The next kickoff bounced off a PC front blocker, and Jake Smith recovered. Dahlman’s 23-yard reception down the right sideline set up Larson’s 24-yard TD sprint to push Braham ahead 32-12. On Pine’s next series, Sonny Foote picked off a pass in the middle, and his long return set up a 22-yard scoring catch by Tristan Marthaler just into the fourth quarter.
“We have a great line and with our wide receivers, we have so many weapons on offense. You always feel confident going into every play,” said Larson, who finished with 189 passing yards and the five TDs. “That drive at the end of the first half changed the game, really. They had all the momentum going into the half there, and we took it all out of them with that last-second touchdown throw to Noah. We practice hard all week, we come to games with confidence, and we have been playing well.”
Braham next recovered a PC fumble at the 26, and a few plays later Overton snuck into the end zone on a 5-yard run. When the reserves took the field, Solomon Overton’s 2-yard TD was sandwiched between two Dragon scores.
“It feels great to get a win on Homecoming. We came in at halftime and decided to make some changes, and we came back out playing well. Hey– John played a great second half, and our offensive line responded well,” said senior tackle/linebacker Alex Sutton. “Our defense is improving because I think we’re getting more gang tackling. We’re not just relying on one person to make a tackle; we’re all coming in on the play. I just think our core is a lot stronger this season with more experience at the defensive line, at linebacker and everything else.”
Next up: Braham travels to Barnum Oct. 4 for a major Section 7A preview between two undefeated teams. Last Friday, Barnum defeated Mesabi East 36-8 in its Homecoming game.
“Barnum can run, and that’s what we have to stop,” described Sutton. “That Moose Lake offense Barnum picked up is a very good offense, and we’re going to have to stop the run. They are a very good team, and I look forward to that next week.”
Braham 51, Pine City 24
First downs 21 17
Rushing 33/193 40/280
Passing 27/13/0 13/7/1
Passing Yds 189 90
Total Yds 382 370
Bomber Individual Stats
Rushing: Larson 15/112, TD; E.Overton 10/23, TD; H.Richmond 4/50; Foote 2/5; S.Overton 2/3, TD. Passing: Larson 27/13/0- 189 yds, 5 TD. Receiving: Dahlman 6/94, TD; N.Bone 5/67, 3 TD; Marthaler 1/22, TD; E.Overton 1/6. Tackles: Dahlman 8, Held 7, Sutton 6, Q.Richmond 6, E.Overton 5, Larson 4, Foote 4. Kicking: Dahlman 1 X-pt; Larson 3 punts 36.3 avg.
GPFA Blue Football: Braham 4-0, 5-0; Aitkin 3-1, 4-1; Crosby-Ironton 1-1, 2-3; Pine City 1-2, 1-4; Hinckey-Fin. 0-2, 1-4; Rush City 0-3, 1-4.