Carr leads Hazen to Class 1A semisWhen Stetson Carr stepped onto the field to start as a sophomore, Hazen head football coach Rick Philion knew he had a special player.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
When Stetson Carr stepped onto the field to start as a sophomore, Hazen head football coach Rick Philion knew he had a special player.
During his three years of playing quarterback and defensive back for the No. 4-ranked Bison, the now 6-foot-2, 187-pound senior and his teammates are on a revenge tour. They travel to No. 1-ranked Stanley-Powers Lake for the Class 1A state semifinals at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
“Without a doubt, I think they are the team to beat,” Philion said. “They return a lot of good kids from last year’s team. They are the team to beat if you want to call yourself a champion.”
Stanley-Powers Lake and Hazen have a history. The Blue Jays’ (11-0) last loss was to Hazen during Carr’s sophomore season.
“They want it just as bad as we do,” Carr said. “Their last loss was to us at our home field. I know our guys want it. We’ve talked all year about revenge after we dropped the game against Heart River.”
Hazen senior lineman Michael Maas said to be the No. 1-ranked team, you have to beat the No. 1-ranked team.
“Our coaches have brought it up, we talk about it, we think about it,” Maas said. “Since they move up to double-A next year, it would cool to be the team to beat them the last two times in Class A.”
Carr has the respect of his teammates, coaches and other coaches around the league. When other teams game plan against Hazen, their upmost concern is “How do you we stop Carr?”
“I think he’s better than any quarterback in Class A right now,” Maas said. “I think we’re kind of used to it, but what he does on the field is ridiculous. He almost just fools with the defense with our option offense.”
Carr has compiled 110 carries for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground, while going 52 of 119 for 891 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has 21 punts for 856 yards for a 40.8 average and three punt returns for 77 yards.
“I haven’t had one like him,” Philion said. “I’ve had some good quarterbacks, but I don’t think I’ve one with his football knowledge.”
When the question was proposed to Philion: “Does Carr make everyone better?” He said, without hesitation, he spoke definite yes.
“He does,” Philion said. “He doesn’t accept anything but the best out of the rest of the team.”
Carr said the biggest influence when he was growing up was his older brother Baylee Carr, a sophomore defensive back for the University of North Dakota. Stetson has decided whether or not UND offers him a scholarship, he’ll be going to Grand Forks for college.
Other schools that Carr had been talking to were North Dakota State and the University of Minnesota. He said UND is the best fit for him for educational proposes.
“A lot of people assume that I’m going to play there because my brother plays there, and I would love to play there,” Carr said. “Honestly, throughout this football season I haven’t talked to many colleges. I’ve put it off to focus on school. I’ve talked to UND and that’s where I plan on attending. If I don’t earn scholarship, I’m playing on perusing an education at UND as well. There isn’t any set in stone.”
Whether it is at practice, watching game film or on the field for a game, Carr said he wouldn’t be anywhere without his supporting cast. Briar Bornemann, who sat out the first half of the season, has 52 carries for 617 yards and 13 TDs, while Connor Doll leads Hazen’s receivers with nine catches for 215 yards and four TDs.
“Briar adds a whole spark,” Carr said. “Basically every time he gets the ball, the linemen are excited, because he’s going to get something done. They make him look good and he makes them look good.”
Through Carr being a leader on and off the field, he said winning a state championship would be a nice ending to his career, but football isn’t always about leaving as state champions. It’s about life lessons.
“Everyone team goal at the beginning of the season is to win a state championship,” Carr said. “As a team, you need to learn to overcome adversity. It’s not just about the state championship. A lot of kids learn a lot of things playing football.”
However with the Bison getting this far, Carr knows a state championship is within grasp.
“When it gets to this part of the season it becomes business,” Carr said with a smile. “The main goal is state championship no matter what.”