2019 Prep Bowl Summary
Caledonia captures fifth consecutive Class AA crown; Three teams win first championships
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 8:08 AM
The Caledonia Warriors completed another undefeated season (14-0) and claimed their fifth consecutive Class AA title after defeating Minneapolis North Community 26-0. Mountain Lake Area (Class Nine-Man), Blooming Prairie (Class A), and Chaska (Class AAAAA) were all first-time champions.
In Class AAAA, Rocori scored on a two-point conversion in overtime and defeated the defending champions from SMB 22-21.
Class Nine-Man - Mountain Lake Area 22, Hancock 14
Mountain Lake Area emerged as the only undefeated team in Class Nine-Man following a 22-14 victory over Hancock in the Prep Bowl championship game on Saturday, Nov. 30 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Wolverines (14-0) atoned from a loss suffered in the title game in 2018 with a rushing performance that rolled up 241 yards and nearly 100 more through the air. Senior quarterback
Abraham Stoesz rushed for 140 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown. His 5-yard scoring run with 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter followed by a two-point conversion pass to senior wide receiver Brett Willaby gave the Wolverines an eight-point advantage they would defend the rest of the way.
Junior running back Mace Herrig chipped in 97 yards and a touchdown, and Stoesz passed for 92 yards and another score.
In addition to the runner-up finish in 2018, Mountain Lake was the Class C runner-up in 1980, two seasons before the Prep Bowl era began.
Hancock (13-1) was making its second state tournament and first since 1990. Senior running back Tyler Timmerman rushed for 89 yards as the Owls were held to just 155 total yards.
Class A - Blooming Prairie 41, BOLD 15
Blooming Prairie capped a storybook season with a 41-15 victory over BOLD in the Class A Prep Bowl championship game on Friday, Nov. 29 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The victory not only avenged a loss to BOLD in the Class A semifinals in 2018, but also gave the Awesome Blossoms (13-0) an undefeated season and the school’s first football championship in nine state tournament appearances.
Senior quarterback Kaden Thomas powered the Awesome Blossoms by completing 23 of 30 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Gabe Hagen was the recipient of eight of those passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He made a spectacular, sprawling one-handed grab of a 12-yard pass from Thomas that gave Blooming Prairie a 28-15 lead with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter.
Blooming Prairie kept BOLD’s potent offense in check by limiting the output to 238 yards. Senior quarterback Jordan Sagedahl completed 15 of 37 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns for the Warriors (13-1). He was held to 10 yards rushing on 15 carries and was sacked six times.
Thomas completed 13 of 17 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns in propelling the Awesome Blossoms to a 21-15 halftime lead. He connected with Hagen on a 25-yard scoring play that gave Blooming Prairie a 21-8 lead with 4:02 remaining in the second quarter.
But the Warriors pulled to within six when Sagedahl found senior halfback Blake Plass on a 25-yard scoring play with 27 seconds remaining in the first half. Sagedahl completed 10 of 19 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. He also was intercepted once, by Hagen, a defensive lineman, who returned it 18 yards for the game’s opening touchdown.
Blooming Prairie sacked Sagedahl six times in the first half and held BOLD to minus 17 rushing yards.
Class AA - Caledonia 26, Minneapolis North Community 0
Caledonia extended its supremacy in the Class AA field with a 26-0 victory over Minneapolis North Community in the Prep Bowl championship game on Friday, Nov. 29 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The victory was the 68th in a row for the Warriors (14-0) and ties a state record for consecutive crowns. Stephen-Argyle was the first Minnesota prep football team in the Prep Bowl Era to accomplish the feat winning five Class Nine-Man titles in a row from 2003-07. Caledonia’s latest championship is the 10th Class AA crown. It also draws Caledonia to within one of Eden Prairie’s all-time mark for football championships. The Eagles have won 11 crowns during the Prep Bowl Era.
Senior quarterback Noah King powered the Warriors with 138 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 82 yards. Caledonia ran just 33 offensive plays and generated 213 total yards.
Caledonia senior punter Elias Dvorak set a Prep Bowl record for punting average. He had four punts for 186 yards, an average of 46.5 yards per boot. He had a long of 52 yards and dropped three of them inside the 20-yard line. His mark topped the previous record average of 44.25 yards set in 1993 by Apple Valley’s Brad Defauw.
Junior running back Terrance Kamara led the Polars (12-1) with 146 rushing yards.
Class AAA - Pierz 28, Dassel-Cokato 27
Pierz led just twice in the Class AAA championship game, and the second was when it mattered most en route to a 28-27 come-from-behind victory over Dassel-Cokato on Saturday, Nov. 30 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Senior running back Matthias Algarin rushed for 165 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 3-yarder with 38 seconds left in regulation time to lift the Pioneers (14-0) to their second Class AAA crown since 2017 and fourth overall. After Algarin’s third touchdown, the Pioneers had to turn their attention to defense where it was able to hold back any late heroics by the Chargers (10-4).
In their game-winning drive, the Pioneers moved 80 yards in 13 plays and took 3 minutes, 16 seconds off the clock. The big strike was a 22-yard connection from senior quarterback Peter Schommer to Algarin down the left sideline to the 3-yard line.
In the final minute of the third quarter, Dassel -Cokato had regained the lead it lost one possession earlier when senior quarterback Sanders Asplin weaved his way 32 yards for a touchdown and a 27-22 advantage.
Pierz grabbed its first lead, 22-21, when junior running back Michael Leidenfrost scored from four yards out on the opening drive of the second half. He also tacked on the two-point conversion attempt. On the 15-play, 85-yard drive, he had five carries for 53 yards. Leidenfrost finished with 101 rushing yards.
Dassel-Cokato built a 21-14 halftime lead behind a running attack that generated 220 yards on 34 carries. Sophomore running back Eli Gillman led the way with more than half of that output with 116 yards on 11 carries. His long gain was a 71-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the game. He also had a 37-yard touchdown reception from Asplin.
Gillman was held in check in the second half and finished with 150 rushing yards. Asplin had 105.
It was senior back Josh DeBoer that gave Dassel-Cokato a touchdown advantage when he scored on a 3-yard run with 1:19 remaining in the second quarter.
Class AAAA - Rocori 22, SMB 21, OT
Rocori pulled off two stunning plays in a heart-stopping finish to defeat SMB 22-21 in overtime to capture the Class AAAA Prep Bowl championship on Friday, Nov. 29 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
After pulling to within two points following a 15-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jack Steil to junior wide receiver Jayden Phillippi on a 4th-and-goal play, the Spartans didn’t hesitate, and opted to go for the two-point conversion attempt and take a shot at its first Class AAAA championship since 2011.
Steil delivered again, finding senior wide receiver Andrew Anderson in the front right corner of the end zone to trigger a frenzied celebration after knocking off the defending Class AAAA champions.
Moments earlier, SMB snapped a 14-all tie when senior wide receiver Terry Lockett caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jalen Suggs. Senior kicker Theo Crosby then tacked on the extra point.
It was the seventh overtime game in the Prep Bowl Era, which began in 1982. The last was in 2014 when Holdingford defeated BOLD in two overtimes for the Class AA crown.
Steil accounted for 213 total yards for the Spartans (11-2). He gained 102 rushing yards and scored twice. He also completed 8 of 13 passes for 111 yards.
Suggs threw for 157 yards and a touchdown to lead the Wolfpack (12-1), but was sacked five times.
Class AAAAA - Chaska 10, St. Thomas Academy 7
Chaska handed St. Thomas Academy its second loss of the season, this time with a championship at stake, following a 10-7 victory on Saturday, Nov. 30 at U.S. Bank Stadium. It is the first football championship for the Hawks (12-1) in four state tournament appearances. In 1974, Chaska was the Class A runner-up.
Chaska capped its third state tournament trip during the Prep Bowl era in dramatic fashion. Senior running back Stevo Klotz capped a Hawks’ last-ditch rally on a 1-yard run with 42 seconds remaining in regulation time. His powerful surge into the end zone ended a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took 2:11 off the clock.
Midway through the drive, it appeared the Cadets (11-2) would be perhaps running out the clock and celebrating their first state crown since 1975, but St. Thomas Academy was flagged for pass interference on the 4th-and-9 play. Four plays later, the Cadets were whistled for a personal foul the put the ball on St. Thomas Academy’s 5-yard line. Three plays later, Klotz burrowed his way into the end zone.
STA, which lost to Chaska 20-0 in the regular-season finale, regained possession with 42 seconds remaining, but was turned back by Chaska on downs.
Klotz was the leading ground gainer with 48 yards on 15 carries.
St. Thomas Academy created a 7-3 lead at the half behind a 1-yard run from junior quarterback Baker Reding with 32 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The sneak amid a mass of defenders completed a 7-play, 32-yard drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock.
It was the most productive drive for the Cadets in the first half when they were held to 38 yards of offense in 16 plays.
Chaska mustered 95 yards of offense on 24 plays in the quickly-paced first half. Junior wide receiver Nic Snuggerud opened the scoring for Chaska on a 42-yard field goal with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Class AAAAAA - Wayzata 35, Champlin Park 20
Wayzata rushed to the Class AAAAAA championship with a 35-20 victory over Champlin Park in the Prep Bowl title game on Friday, Nov. 29 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Senior Christian Vasser, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound workhorse running back, was the Trojans’ trailblazer with a Prep Bowl-record 49 carries that produced 285 yards and a record-tying five rushing touchdowns in powering Wayzata (13-0) to their first big-school state championship since 2010. The Trojans also claimed big-school championships in 2005 and 2008.
Vasser scored three touchdowns in the second half, including a 2-yard run with 2:49 remaining in regulation time that secured the Trojans’ victory. His workload eclipsed the previous mark of 44 carries set by Joel Bauman of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in 2008. His five rushing touchdowns equaled the mark first set by Cromwell’s Jordan Suhonen in 2010 and then equaled by Owatonna’s Jason Williamson in 2017.
Vasser averaged 5.8 yards per carry with a long run of 37 yards.