Cannon Falls does it again, heading back to state football tournament

Nov. 4—WATERVILLE — For the fourth time in the last six years, the Cannon Falls football team is headed to the state tournament.

The Bombers got there again on Friday night by blitzing St. Agnes 60-34 in the Section 4, Class 2A final.

Cannon Falls did the usual in getting it done. The Bombers ran, ran, ran.

They didn't stop until they'd dashed for 624 rushing yards, their second highest total in school history.

After just six plays, Cannon Falls' vaunted running game had already accumulated 198 yards and three touchdowns.

"Our offensive line did an amazing job," Cannon Falls coach Dan Meyers said. "And our offensive coaches did an amazing job of calling plays. We shift around a lot with our running plays. At this point in the season, we have a lot of answers and adjustments we can make."

Those 60 points scored by Cannon Falls were not some sort of aberration. Scoring in that vicinity is what the Bombers do. It was the third time this season that Cannon Falls had scored at least 60. It also had games of 73 and 71 points. For the season, it's averaging nearly 50 points per game.

Cannon Falls moved to 9-2 with the win. Its only losses this season have come to state-bound Caledonia (28-8) and Chatfield (36-22).

The Bombers had three players rush for more than 100 yards. They were led by Derrik Bechtholdt with nine carries for 221 yards and four touchdowns. That gave Bechtholdt a stunning 25-yards per-carry average.

Preston Schoenfelder had 190 yards on 12 carries with four touchdowns, and Dylan Banks had 133 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.

Cannon Falls had to go with a sophomore as its starting quarterback, as its top two at the position were both out with knee injuries. Getting the nod was Grady Meyers, son of coach Dan Meyers.

Father liked what he saw from son.

"He did a great job," Dan Meyers said. "We didn't ask him to drop back and pass (he threw it just once, a 9-yard completion). In our offense it's about making the right reads and getting it to the running backs with precision."

In beating St. Agnes, the Bombers took down a team that entered the game unbeaten. It marked the second straight playoff game in which Cannon Falls had topped an unbeaten team. It handed previously perfect Norwood Young America in the prior round.

On Friday night, the Cannon Falls' touchdowns came fast and furious. It scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and three in the second. They included an 82 and a 50-yard run by Bechtholdt. He also had a 53-yard TD sprint in the fourth quarter.

Cannon Falls 60, St. Agnes 34

Cannon Falls 22-18-20-0 — 60

St. Agnes 14-6-6-8 — 34

First quarter

CF — D. Banks 55 run (Shepersky run)

SA — E. Simmons 7 run (Mickelson run)

CF — P. Schoenfelder 51 run (run failed)

CF — D. Bechtholdt 82 run (Banks run)

SA — Kiehl 24 pass from Mickelson (Mickelson run)

Second quarter

CF — Schoenfelder 41 run (run failed)

CF — Bechtholdt 19 run (Duden pass from Meyers)

CF — Bechtholdt 50 run (Duden pass from Meyers)

SA — C. Flood 5 pass from Mickelson (pass failed)

Third quarter

CF — Schoenfelder 34 run (Shepersky run)

CF — Schoenfelder 24 run (run failed)

SA — J. Skidmore 18 pass from Mickelson (pass failed)

Fourth quarter

CF — Bechtholdt 53 run (run failed)