The Osakis football team was making its first appearance in the state tournament since 2005 on Saturday in Moorhead, and the Silverstreaks ran into a program that has been a fixture there recently.
Barnesville finished as the Class AA runner-up in 2018, and the Trojans came into this year’s state quarterfinals 11-0 and beating teams by almost 40 points per game. They had to work a little harder against Osakis in the snow, but Barnesville won 28-6 to advance to the semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“We knew they’re a great team,” Osakis senior Luke Imdieke said. “We knew they were going to be physical. They were there last year, and we knew they were hungry to get back to where they were, so they came out and played hard.”
If the Silverstreaks were going to beat the Trojans, they needed a better start. Osakis had a fumble on a fourth-and-one play, a fumbled snap on a punt, an interception and an Imdieke 62-yard touchdown run called back after a holding penalty all in the first quarter.
“I think that’s ultimately what it comes down to for us was a poor start,” Osakis head coach Bill Infanger said. “Barnesville is a great team, and our bad start, you got to give a lot of credit to them for that. They were physical right away and maybe forced us into a couple of those errors. If you’re going to beat a good team like that, you have to play clean.”
The Trojans are led by junior quarterback Adam Tonsfeldt, who is listed at 5-feet, 7-inches and 140 pounds. Tonsfeldt uses his speed and elusiveness in the run game as his touchdown runs of 3 and 8 yards in the first quarter gave Barnesville a 14-0 lead early. He then found tight end Hunter Zenzen for an 8-yard passing touchdown in the second quarter to make it 20-0 at the break.
“He has great fakes and it’s hard to know where the ball is,” Osakis senior Mason Moore said of Tonsfeldt. “You have to respect all their other backs because they’re great too. When he gets in the open field, he’s shifty and hard to take down.”
Osakis’ defense gave the Silverstreaks a chance. Barnesville averages 48 points per game, but had a tougher time finding the end zone against Osakis. The Silverstreaks held the Trojans to a season low in points and created three turnovers on two fumbles and an Imdieke interception.
It was still a three-score game after a scoreless third quarter before Barnesville scored early in the fourth on Tonsfeldt’s third rushing touchdown. This one was a designed pass, and Osakis had it covered. The rush got to Tonsfeldt before he scrambled his way up the middle and into the end zone.
“We did a great job in everything we wanted to do with the exception of tackling Tonsfeldt,” Infanger said. “He had a great game…you got to give him credit for being a hell of a running quarterback. The things he did with his feet today, some of them were just flat out impressive. There were a couple times when I was a little bit in awe of the plays that he made. You just shake your head and try to make the next play.”
The Silverstreaks’ only touchdown came on a run from junior Isaac Hetland. Imdieke set things up with a long run into Barnesville territory, and Hetland did the rest as he broke free a play later for a 25-yard touchdown run.
It wasn’t the ending the Silverstreaks wanted, but this group put itself into program history by becoming the seventh Osakis football team to make state and the first to do so in more than a decade.
“This whole week has been amazing, just seeing the support from all of our teachers and everybody in this community has been unreal,” Moore said. “To get back here and make a difference and show the younger kids how it’s done is amazing. We’ve been dreaming about this for a long time.”
Infanger was thankful for the seniors on this team that led the way to an 8-3 record.
“I’m just so grateful to have gotten to coach these seniors,” Infanger said. “They’re a great group of kids, and such great competitors. For them to lose in that section championship game last year to Pillager and knowing Pillager had everyone back from that team, to work as hard as they did and create the culture for us on how hard we need to work in the offseason, I’m so thankful for that group of guys that I got to coach.”
The hope for the Silverstreaks is that this season is the start of more frequent trips to this tournament in the near future.
“Hopefully our younger guys will learn to set high goals for themselves and put in all that effort that’s necessary to achieve that goal,” Infanger said.
OSAKIS 0 0 0 6 - 6
BARNESVILLE 14 6 0 8 – 28
SCORING – FIRST QUARTER – Barnesville – Adam Tonsfeldt 3-yard run; Conversion no good; Barnesville – Tonsfeldt 8-yard run; Cameron Heng 2-point conversion run
SECOND QUARTER – Barnesville – Tonsfeldt 8-yard pass to Hunter Zenzen; Conversion no good
THIRD QUARTER – No scoring
FOURTH QUARTER – Barnesville – Tonsfeldt 5-yard run; Aaron Schiefert 2-point conversion run; Osakis – Isaac Hetland 25-yard run; Missed conversion run