Blooming Prairie, BOLD Thrive on Turnovers
Turnovers frequently dictate who wins a football game. A team can drive up and down the field but if it gives the ball away, all that offense doesn't do any good. And if the giveaways turn directly into points, that's a deficit that's hard to recover from. Both Blooming Prairie and BOLD can look at that stat as a big reason they are meeting in Saturday morning's Class A state semifinal at US Bank Stadium on Kat Kountry 105 FM and the Kat Kountry 105 app.
Blooming Prairie has an impressive plus-19 on the season, forcing 31 turnovers while committing just 12. Gabe Hagen returned a fumble for a touchdown in their quarterfinal win over United South Central.
BOLD (Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian District) has a staggering plus-35 takeaway advantage.
The Warriors have 23 interceptions, led by Luke Ryan who has a state-record tying 14 picks, five of which he has returned for touchdowns. BOLD has also forced 18 fumbles. They have only lost the ball six times. Ryan also has a fumble return, punt return and a kickoff return for a touchdown.
BOLD, who played a number of larger schools during the season, has outscored opponents by a 57-8 average margin. They average about 420 yards per game, with a heavy emphasis on running the ball. The Warriors feature a balanced ground game with three backs between 550 and 600 yards.
Blooming Prairie averages just under 400 yards per game with a stronger tilt toward throwing the ball. Kaden Thomas has stepped in for the injured Seth Peterson at quarterback and has completed 75-percent of his throws with 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Hagen and Tim Wold each have 42 catches. Matthew Pryor leads the rushing attack with 929 yards and 12 scores.