BERTRAND — Teams with a solid rushing attack and stout defense typically are hard to beat, and Shelton’s performance Tuesday night was no exception to the rule.
The sixth-ranked Bulldogs grinded out over 400 yards on the ground in a 48-26 road win over seventh-ranked Bertrand to advance to the Class D2 state semifinals.
“It feels great, especially for our kids,” Shelton coach Mike Lowe said. “All we heard last week was ‘82, 82, can’t be stopped,’ and our kids took that as a challenge. They really stepped up and tried to make a name for themselves, and I think they really did.”
Bertrand had tallied 82 points on 679 total yards the week prior, but Shelton’s defense held the Vikings to under 100 yards of offense and two first downs in the first half to take a 28-6 lead at the break.
“We didn’t make a special gameplan, it just comes down to fundamentals,” Lowe said. “It was tackling and knowing your responsibilities. Our kids did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
Shelton broke the game open when Luke Glenn took a handoff 55 yards to the house on the first play of the fourth quarter. Glenn, who finished with 224 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries, later got free for 48 yards and another score to put the Bulldogs up 48-14 with eight minutes left in the game.
“I told the guys, ‘that’s what the sprints and two-a-days are for,’” Lowe said. “Our offensive line is good enough that we don’t think anyone is going to stop us for that full four quarters, and sure enough, when it got down to crunch time (Glenn) busted a couple big ones.”
Shelton had a few other weapons on the ground. Quarterback Clayton Stoppkotte rushed for 98 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. His longest touchdown run was three yards. David Mueller took 10 carries for 85 yards.
“Luke Glenn gets a lot of attention, so we let them do that and ran with other people,” Lowe said.
Shelton’s first drive of the game ended in a turnover, as Bertrand’s Dustin Langenberg forced and recovered a fumble near midfield. The Vikings weren’t able to capitalize, as they turned the ball over just two plays later on an unsuccessful handoff that was recovered by Glenn.
“We shot ourselves in the foot early, and had some broken plays that we haven’t had all year,” Bertrand coach Brent Streeter said. “Early execution was poor, but you’ve got to give Shelton a lot of credit too. They hit us in the mouth and had a little more speed than we thought they were coming with.”
Ryan Dahlgren, who finished with 93 rushing yards, got Bertrand on the board late in the first quarter on a 52-yard sweep down the sideline. The Vikings just couldn’t find a way to convert on many big plays on the ground, or through the air from there on out.
“(Shelton) was really good at chucking us at the line of scrimmage, which threw off our timing so we missed a couple of those long throws,” Streeter said. “We just got down too early and we didn’t have an answer in the second half to make up that many points.”
The Vikings added a pair of scores in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t recover either of their two onside kick attempts. Shelton was able to end the game with a knee.
Bertrand’s run to the quarterfinals was one not seen by many.
“This season was a blast,” Streeter said. “Doing what we did was totally unexpected to the public and to other teams, so hats off to our guys.”
Shelton, meanwhile, advances to face No. 3-ranked Giltner with a spot in the state championship on the line.
SHELTON (10-1) ................. 14 14 6 14 — 48
BERTRAND (10-1) ................. 6 0 8 12 — 26
SHELTON — Luke Glenn 3 run (Run failed)
SHELTON — Clayton Stoppkotte 2 run (David Jimenez pass from Stoppkotte)
BERTRAND — Ryan Dahlgren 52 run (Pass failed)
SHELTON — Stoppkotte 3 run (Pass failed)
SHELTON — Stoppkotte 1 run (Taryn Hawks pass from Stoppkotte)
SHELTON — Stoppkotte 1 run (Run failed)
BERTRAND — Robert Edgren 20 pass from Nick High (Edgren pass from High)
SHELTON — Glenn 55 run (Stoppkotte run)
SHELTON — Glenn 48 run (Run failed)
BERTRAND — Ryan Dahlgren 6 run (Run failed)
BERTRAND — Tyler Dahlgren 55 pass from High (Run failed)
RUSHING — S: Luke Glenn 35-224, Clayton Stoppkotte 20-98, David Mueller 10-85. B: Ryan Dahlgren 18-93, Tyler Dahlgren 8-58, Nick High 4-36, Robert Edgren 2-12.
PASSING — S: Clayton Stoppkotte 6-9-1, 54 yds; Luke Glenn 1-1-0, 22 yds. B: Nick High 4-15-0, 98 yds. Jake Samuelson 1-1-0, 5 yds.
RECEIVING — S: David Mueller 3-35, Taryn Hawks 2-22, Luke Glenn 2-17, David Jimenez 2-2. B: Tyler Dahlgren 4-83, Robert Edgren 2-20.