Late quarterback Bauer leads North to All-Star victory
COLLEGEVILLE – ROCORI graduate Camdyn Bauer hit three touchdowns in his last high school game in November, helping the Spartans win the Section 34-6 title and an unbeaten season after throwing for 237 yards.
And after months of weighing college football, he seemed determined that this victory was the last time he wore the uniform.
But then he got a text.
Bauer was selected as a late-game addition to the 48th Annual Minnesota High School Football All-Star Game, held as a revised event in St. John’s on Saturday after parents raised funds to keep the game alive.
“I was totally caught off guard,” Bauer said. “At first I was like I wanted to do this… I think I have to do it. I’m glad I did.”
Bauer threw two touchdowns, one of which was a 43-yard bomb to former teammate Tucker Haakonson, as the North team claimed a 25-7 victory over the South.
Bauer and Haakonson were joined by former teammate Luke Humbert in the Northern squad, along with Albany running back Nolan Rueter and Albany offensive linemen Carter Thelen and Devin Ritter.
“We came out and expected to win,” Humbert said. “There was no doubt in our mind… we came out hot.”
Both teams were held scoreless in the first quarter, but an interception from Grand Rapids safety Dane Kennedy put the North in a good position on the field early in the second quarter. St. Michael-Albertville running back David Collins rebounded on the outside for a 16-yard touchdown run and Rueter added the extra point to give the North a 7-0 lead.
Bauer and Haakonson had connected for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns in seven games last season, and an opportunity late in the second quarter gave them a chance to play a big game together.
Pequot Lakes graduate Bode Magnuson, who later caught a 21-yard touchdown from Bauer in the fourth quarter, hot called a hitch route and got safety to move out of position.
“I knew he was going to put (the ball) in,” said Haakonson, who will play UW-Stout next season. “We’ve had this connection all year, and it’s still there obviously.”
Haakonson got the separation he needed and shot the pass, marching intact into the end zone to take a 13-0 lead at halftime.
The South walked deep into northern territory in the third quarter, but the drive stalled at the 2-yard line. The North forced three turnovers and several turnovers on the downs.
Humbert, who is scheduled to play for Minnesota-Duluth next year, froze the game when he responded to an interception return for a touchdown in his junior year against Willmar. Humbert took the pick 60 yards into the end zone, slowing down to return the goal line and take a 25-0 lead.
“They weren’t reading the area very well all day,” Humbert said. “A tilt fell in the middle… (I) read it. Someone bouldered over there, and I knew I was going to come in, so I hit them with the flip.”
The North nearly got a shutout, but a short-time hail attempt was beaten into the hands of Washburn wide receiver Jamarien Wheeler for a touchdown. The South took the opportunity to celebrate with a selfie of the two teams.
Instead of naming an MVP after the game, the parents who helped make the event possible were honored as the true MVPs.
And for Bauer, their efforts to create an unexpected opportunity could lead to trying to keep playing football. He plans to attend North Dakota State University, but doesn’t rule out the idea of continuing.
“I don’t know if I can let go of him yet,” Bauer said. “(This game) kind of rekindles that flame; it’s hard to put it out after that.”
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