MINNEAPOLIS — Brainerd struggled to move the ball, but in the end, came out on top 20-19 against second-ranked Chaska in the Class AAAAA semifinals at the Metrodome Saturday.
The Warriors will play top-ranked Owatonna at 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30.
Against the Hawks, Brainerd (12-0) was out-gained 477 to 181 (151 rushing) in total yards and had just one drive in the second half that did not result in a punt, a 4-play, 54-yard march that ended with a touchdown.
The Warriors also ran the opening kick back for a touchdown.
Missed extra points and botched field goals plagued Chaska, who dominated almost every statistical category.
Brainerd hails from the Central Lakes Conference and Section 7-AAAAA. The Warriors have played several close games this season, winning four times by two touchdowns or fewer.
Ron Stolski has been Brainerd’s head coach for 52 years. None of his teams have ever qualified for the state championship but have been to state several times, including three times since 2007.
Stolski will not be retiring after this season as previously reported by the People's Press.
Reach sports reporter Jon Weisbrod at 444-2375, or follow him on Twitter.com @OPPJonW