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VIDEO+GALLERY: Playoff payback: H-BC gridders move to state semifinals with 30-7 win over Renville County West

Cole Baker ran for 143 yards and a touchdown and the Patriot defense came up with five turnovers as H-BC defeated Renville County West’s Jaguars 30-7 Friday night at Southwest Minnesota State University in the quarterfinals of the 9-Man state playoffs.

MARSHALL —The Hills-Beaver Creek payback playoff push continues.

Cole Baker ran for 143 yards and a touchdown and the Patriot defense came up with five turnovers as H-BC defeated Renville County West’s Jaguars 30-7 here Friday night at Southwest Minnesota State University in the quarterfinals of the 9-Man state playoffs.

The Patriots advance to the state semifinals next Friday morning at 9, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The 9-Man state championship game is Nov. 27 at 10 a.m at The Bank, home of the Minnesota Vikings.

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While Baker’s 75-yard touchdown run in the first half and quarterback Oliver Deelstra’s big plays after intermission provided the winning margin on the scoreboard, the H-BC defense was clearly a difference-maker on a cold, blustery night that featured 25 mph winds out of the northwest.

Hills-Beaver Creek vs Renville County West State Tournament 9-Man football. 2021 11 12

“Our defense has been playing physical and tough, and we rely on them,” said H-BC head coach Rex Metzger. “They’re just playing lights-out right now.”

The Patriots improved to 10-2 and avenged a regular-season 18-12 loss to the Jaguars. Last week, H-BC knocked off Mountain Lake Area 36-9 in a first-round playoff game that also turned the tables from a regular-season setback.

“It’s pretty sweet,” Metzger said.

Renville County West finished 8-4. The Jaguars of veteran coach Ryan Hebrink lose only four seniors and could be back in these playoffs next fall.

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But this is clearly the Patriots’ time. Deelstra’s 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Casey Kueter on the last play of the third quarter put the Patriots ahead 14-0. It came on fourth down.

“That kind of took the wind out of their sails a little bit,” Metzger said. “They were going to have the wind in the fourth quarter, and scoring on that play was big. We made big plays when we needed to.”

The Pats put the game away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, both set up by the defense. Gideon Taubert recovered a muffed punt at the RCW 11, which led to Deelstra’s 5-yard TD burst.

Then H-BC’s Austin Allen intercepted Jaguar quarterback Armando Gasca, which led to a Keuter 1-yard touchdown plunge.

Baker was a workhorse, carrying the football 21 times.

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“It felt great to get up right away,” he said of the long TD run, an option toss to the right. Baker got the edge thanks to Deelstra’s deft pitch, made one tackler miss and was gone up the sideline to provide the lone H-BC highlight of the first half.

“It was a little shaky at halftime,” Baker admitted. “We’d been on defense quite a bit the first half, but our defense held strong when it had to.”

The Patriots had only 11 offensive plays in the first half and were outgained 141-105. But thanks largely to Baker, H-BC had the lead.

The Jaguars dominated time of possession and earned nine first downs on 37 offensive plays, yet came away empty despite driving four times inside the Patriot 30-yard line.

Baker rushed 10 times for 105 yards in the opening half, while RCW’s Jasen Jansen carried 15 times for 63 yards. Gasca was 4-for-13 passing for 68 yards in the opening two quarters.

In the first half, the Jaguars turned it over on downs twice deep in H-BC territory. Baker’s interception ended another RWC threat.

The second half belonged to the Pats.

“We came ready to play and we were all motivated,” said Deelstra, who also completed a 2-point conversion pass. “Our front line on defense was just amazing.”

The Jaguars scored late in the game on Gasca’s 40-yard pass to Isaac Haen. It came one play after Gasca’s 38-yard run. But those were the only two first downs of the second half for RCW, which outgained H-BC 226-211 in total yardage.

The Patriot defense featured many contributors, including Max Scholten, Cody Moser and Braydon Metzger.

Renville County West 0 0 0 7 — 7

Hills-Beaver Creek 0 8 6 16 — 30

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