Bluejackets rally on Saints in Oct. 22 football playoffs

Bluejacket senior Kyle Chromy churned hard on an outside run while gaining 108 yards and scoring a touchdown in the Oct. 16 home victory. Chromy scored three touchdowns in the Oct. 22 37-31 playoff win at St. Francis.  Photos by Greg Hunt

Bluejacket senior Kyle Chromy churned hard on an outside run while gaining 108 yards and scoring a touchdown in the Oct. 16 home victory over Princeton. Chromy scored three touchdowns in the Oct. 22 37-31 playoff win at St. Francis. Photos by Greg Hunt

Cambridge-Isanti served up a little payback on St. Francis for a loss earlier this autumn by ending the Saints’ season with a 37-31 road win in the Oct. 22 Section 7AAAAA quarterfinals. Kyle Chromy rushed 26 times for 183 yards, scoring three touchdowns which included the game-clincher from five yards out with 4:15 remaining.

The No. 5 seed Bluejackets next travel to No. 1 seed Brainerd (8-0) for a 2 p.m. semifinal game on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Warriors’ two toughest wins this season came in overtime against Moorhead (rallying from a 20-0 halftime deficit) and a 24-20 win over Bemidji. The other 7AAAAA semifinals on Saturday will be No. 2 Chisago Lakes hosting No. 3 Bemidji (42-6 over Duluth East Oct. 22). The section championship will be Nov. 1 at the high surviving seed.

Tuesday night, the Bluejackets rallied from a 25-14 halftime deficit to catch the Saints. Chromy’s 6-yard TD and a 58-yard Darren DeBaere scoring reception from John Solberg had C-I ahead 14-13 before the Saints scored twice in the final minute of the second quarter.

Chromy began the second half with a 2-yard scoring run, but the Saints answered with a drive to lead 31-22. A huge turning came when the Jackets blocked a punt just into the fourth quarter, and Max Knowlton returned it 35 yards to pull his team within 31-29. After Chromy’s hat trick TD, the Jacket defense stopped the Saints on downs with 2:17 to go to run out the clock.

Solberg added 65 rushing yards, and Hunter Vavra gained 37 yards against the Saints. Cole Crocker led the defense with 14 tackles, with Matt Kuehn (12), Chromy (7), Dakota Johnson (7) and DeBaere (6) adding tackles. Knowlton also snared an interception in the win.

Cambridge-Isanti 37, St. Francis 31

C-I SF

First Downs 14 21

Rushing 45/289     44/301

Passing 6/2/0       18/10/1

Passing Yds 62 137

Total Yds 351 438

Bluejacket Individual Stats: Rushing: Chromy 26/183, 3 TD; Solberg 9/65; Vavra 8/37; Knowlton 2/4. Passing: Solberg 6/2/0- 62 yds, TD. Receiving: DeBaere 1/58, TD; Knowlton 1/4. Tackles: Crocker 14, Kuehn 12, Chromy 7, Johnson 7, DeBaere 6, Solberg 6, Vavra 5, Nelson 5.

C--I senior Spencer Simon (59) stuffed Princeton’s Wyatt Dahlheimer when the Bluejackets limited the Tigers to 60 total rushing yards Oct. 16.

C–I senior Spencer Simon (59) stuffed Princeton’s Wyatt Dahlheimer when the Bluejackets limited the Tigers to 60 total rushing yards Oct. 16.

• The Bluejackets defeated visiting Princeton 12-7 in the Oct. 16 regular-season finale, with all scoring coming in the first half. Kyle Chromy’s sack stopped the Tigers on the opening possession of the game, then he was the feature runner when the Bluejackets drove for a 6-0 lead. C-I converted three third downs, including QB John Solberg keeping for a first down down to the one yard line. Chromy then bulled over for the touchdown on a 4th-and-2.

The Tigers and Jackets traded punts on the next two series, then Darren DeBaere forced a fumble which Hunter Vavra recovered at the Princeton 45. Senior wideout Matt Kuehn got behind the Tiger secondary, and Solberg hit him perfectly for a 45-yard scoring bomb and a 12-0 Jacket lead.

Princeton’s drive late in the second quarter was kept alive by a roughing the punter penalty. A long sweep set up a 13-yard play-action TD pass reception by Joey Stenslie with 30.6 seconds left to cut the lead to 12-7.

The teams traded two long drives which ate up the clock in the second half, with both drives stalling on downs; C-I reached the Princeton four yard line on its drive. Princeton’s last possession ended with a punt, and the Bluejackets held the ball for the final 6:32 to ice the win.

Cambridge-Isanti 12, Princeton 7

C-I Prin

First Downs 15 8

Rushing 54/183 26/60

Passing 3/1/0 9/4/0

Passing Yds 45 47

Total Yds 288 107

Bluejacket Individual Stats: Rushing: Chromy 27/108, TD; Vavra 11/38; Solberg 9/22; Knowlton 7/15. Passing: Solberg 3/1/0- 45 yds, TD. Receiving: Kuehn 1/45, TD. Tackles: Chromy 9 (sack), Johnson 6, DeBaere 5, Kuehn 4, Simon 3.

Mississippi 8 Football: FINAL Blue Div.: Rogers 5-0, 8-0; St. Michael-Alb. 4-1, 7-1; St. Francis 3-2, 4-4; Cambridge-Isanti 2-3, 5-3; Buffalo 1-4, 2-6; Duluth East 0-5, 0-8.  Red Div.: Chisago Lakes 5-0, 7-1; Monticello 4-1, 5-3; Princeton 3-2, 5-3; Big Lake 2-3, 2-6; North Branch 1-4, 2-6; Duluth Denfeld 0-5, 1-7.

Section 7AAAAA standings: Brainerd 8-0, Chisago Lakes 7-1, Bemidji 7-2, Cambridge-Isanti 6-3, St. Francis 4-5, Duluth East 0-9.

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