Road to Prep Bowl Championships: 1982-1991
Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 9:30 AM
Editor’s Note: On Dec. 2 and 3, the Minnesota State High School League celebrates the 40th edition of the Prep Bowl. Join the League as we take a daily journey through four decades of football state championships leading up to this season’s festive seven-game event. The League is certain you will enjoy this opportunity to look back and recall the incredible moments during the Prep Bowl Era.
Read below for recaps of the first 10 MSHSL Prep Bowl Championships
Prep Bowl X
Date: Nov. 29, 1991
- Class Nine-Man: Chokio-Alberta 7, Grygla/Goodridge 6 --- Chokio-Alberta stopped a two-point conversion attempt early in the fourth quarter to preserve a narrow victory. Jon Hallman scored for Chokio-Alberta and Eric Tomoson booted the extra-point, which proved to be the difference.
- Class C: Mahnomen 42, Mankato Loyola 0 --- Mahnomen won four consecutive Class C titles from 1990-93 and Jason Miller was a big reason why. In this title game, he rushed for a then-record 252 yards and scored four touchdowns in the victory over Mankato Loyola.
- Class B: BOLD 14, Deer River 0 --- Chad Gomarko scored on a 35-yard punt return, and later, defensive back Jason Harrier returned an interception 30 yards for another score.
- Class A: Spring Lake Park 20, ROCORI 0 --- Joel Makala scored two touchdowns and Scott Muyres had two field goals to spark the Panthers. Mark Smith had two interceptions, both in the end zone.
- Class AA: Burnsville 10, Lakeville 7 --- Burnsville won its third big-school crown in the first 10 years of the Prep Bowl Era with a narrow victory over its suburban neighbor to the south. The Braves rallied from a 7-0 deficit behind quarterback Bob Kenney and Tony Deldotto’s 20-yard scoring strike and a 23-yard field goal from Matt Johnson.
Did You Know?
- The famous Halloween blizzard forced postponement of most section final games. Many were rescheduled and played inside the Metrodome, followed shortly thereafter by the quarterfinals. Snow also blanketed the Metrodome on the day of the Prep Bowl, too. Metrodome workers had to scale the inflated roof to remove heavy snow and lessen the chance of a collapse.
- Spring Lake Park’s Scott Muyres set a Prep Bowl record for longest field goal with a 40-yarder.
- BOLD’s Guy Osterfeld set a Prep Bowl record with a 63-yard punt return.
Prep Bowl IX
Date: Nov. 23, 1990
- Class Nine-Man: Hills-Beaver Creek 28, Argyle 21 ---Chad Miller set a Prep Bowl record with 217 rushing yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns to send Hills-Beaver Creek past Argyle.
- Class C: Mahnomen 27, Becker 7 --- Jason Miller rushed for 176 yards, which gave him more than 2,000 for the season, and scored three times to send the Indians past the Bulldogs.
- Class B: BOLD 15, DeLaSalle 14 --- BOLD finished the season 14-0 when it decided to fake an extra-point kick into a two-point pass from Tom Burkhart to Jamie Steffl in the final seconds.
- Class A: Fridley 34, Sartell 12 --- Paul Sczepanski scored on a 72-yard run while Mike Hermanson would later add two more TD’s to power the Tigers past the Sabres.
- Class AA: Anoka 19, Elk River 14 --- Anoka held on to defeat its Highway 10 rival behind two touchdowns from Mike Rudnick and a timely defense that kept the Elks at bay.
Did you know?
- Anoka’s Pete Roback set a Prep Bowl record with three interceptions. He is now an administrator in District 196.
Prep Bowl VIII
Date: Nov. 25, 1989
- Class Nine-Man: St. Clair 47, Albrook 12 --- Sean Bezdicek was a dominant force on both sides of the ball as St. Clair rolled to the Class Nine-Man crown. He had a receiving touchdown, a conversion reception and kicked an extra point. On defense, he compiled three sacks, had an interception and recovered two fumbles, one that he returned for a 22-yard touchdown.
- Class C: Waterville-Elysian 14, Mahnomen 7 --- Waterville—Elysian overcame seven turnovers while Tauston Taylor accounted for both Bucs’ touchdowns.
- Class B: Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 27, Perham 15 --- Jeff Deming scored two touchdowns for G-F-W and Matt Miller scored late on a 27-yard run to secure the victory. Perham’s Charlie Nelson returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
- Class A: Albany 41, Totino-Grace 32 --- Halfback Darryl Goebel rushed for 158 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Huskies held off the Eagles in a see-saw battle. Teammate Erik Wimmer, who contributed 142 rushing yards, scored on a 1-yard plunge late to preserve the victory.
- Class AA: Burnsville 21, Stillwater 7 --- Burnsville quarterback Chad Emond completed six passes for 108 yards and rushed for 46 yards to send the Braves to a 21-0 lead in the fourth quarter. Burnsville’s defense yielded an average of 5.2 points per game during the season.
Did you know?
- Seven Prep Bowl records were tied or set during this edition. Among them was a 90-yard completion from Perham quarterback Charlie Nelson to Jon Toedter.
- Albany set a Prep Bowl record with 510 total yards.
- Six member schools had marching bands performing during the games. The Coon Rapids High School choir performed as did dancelines from Wayzata, Apple Valley, Brainerd, Richfield, Alexandria, Totino-Grace, Waconia and Crosby-Ironton.
Prep Bowl VII
Date: Nov. 26, 1988
- Class Nine-Man: Hallock 35, Stewart 34 --- J.T. Anderson rushed for 168 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns to
- Class C: Minneota 42, Rushford 28 --- Minneota became the first school to win three consecutive championships during the Prep Bowl Era following its victory over Rushford. Fullback Mark Tillemans rushed for 157 yards and scored three touchdowns in leading the Vikings to their 37th consecutive victory.
- Class B: Breckenridge 21, Morris 7 --- After two previous losses in Prep Bowl championship games, the Cowboys found the winners circle. Quarterback Jeff Vizenor threw for two touchdowns, and on the other side of the ball, returned an interception for a touchdown.
- Class A: Lakeville 35, Staples-Motley 28 --- Quarterback John Guentzel passed for a Prep Bowl-record 288 yards and three touchdowns to help the Panthers hang on to defeat the Cardinals.
- Class AA: Blaine 25, Cretin-Derham Hall 24 --- Blaine quarterback Tom Newman scored on a two-point conversion run with two seconds remaining in regulation time to lift the Bengals to arguably the most dramatic victory in Prep Bowl history. On the play that still draws debate all these years later, Newman was stopped near the goal line, but credited with breaking the plane.
Did you know?
- Cretin-Derham Hall’s Chris Weinke set a Prep Bowl record with an 80-yard completion to Ted Johnson. Weinke went on to play professional baseball before winning the Heisman Trophy at Florida State and then a career in the NFL.
- In winning the Class AA crown, Blaine was ranked 24th nationally, the first time a League school had achieved that status.
Prep Bowl VI
Date: Nov. 28, 1987
- Class Nine-Man: Silver Lake 30, Verndale 14 --- Quarterback Jeff Monahan passed for a touchdown and ran for another, and teammate Tim Rumrill also had two TDs on a run and a recovered fumble in the end zone to lead the Lakeites.
- Class C: Minneota 27, Grand Meadow 7 --- Quarterback Chris Meidt finished his prep career with 8,533 passing yards in propelling the Vikings. He had three touchdown passes and became the first high school player in the nation to record 100 TD passes.
- Class B: Granite Falls 43, Ely 20 --- Quarterback Tony Ladner and all-state tight end Dave Anderson connected for three touchdowns to power the Kilowatts.
- Class A: Cambridge 28, Lakeville 14 --- The Bluejackets made their 26th consecutive victory a big one by successfully defending their Class A crown. Pete Larkin had two field goals for Cambridge and Jeremy Wicht rushed for 110 yards to help lead the way.
- Class AA: Moorhead 13, Winona 7 --- Kicker Greg Greg Reinhiller made two field goals in the second half to help the Spuds hold off the Winhawks for the big-school crown.
Did you know?
- It was the first time in the Prep Bowl Era that all five class champions finished the season undefeated.
- The Class AA matchup between Moorhead and Winona was the first in the big-school class featuring both schools from Greater Minnesota.
- For the second consecutive season, Minneota’s Chris Meidt set Prep Bowl records for passing attempts (41), completions (26) and yards (262).
Prep Bowl V
Date: Nov. 29, 1986
- Class Nine-Man: Argyle 32, Silver Lake 7 --- Tom Durand scored three touchdowns to power Argyle.
- Class C: Minneota 52, Sherburn-Dunnell 19 --- Minneota’s Chris Meidt set Prep Bowl records for passing attempts (35), completions (25) and passing yards (259) in leading the Vikings to the state crown. Three of those completions went for touchdowns.
- Class B: Watertown-Mayer 29, Granite Falls 6 --- Jason Hahn’s 17-yard TD run and a 57-yard scoring connection between Darren Schuler and Bruce Wandersee sent Watertown-Mayer past Granite Falls.
- Class A: Cambridge 24, Stewartville 0 --- Quarterback Wade Labatt accounted for three touchdowns to spark the Bluejackets, and legendary head coach George Larson, to the school’s first Prep Bowl crown.
- Class AA: Apple Valley 35, Osseo 6 --- Apple Valley scored three touchdowns in the game’s first 10 minutes to cruise past the Orioles. Jason Skapyak started the spree with a recovered blocked punt in the end zone.
Did you know?
- Longtime current MSHSL official Pete Larkin made a 26-yard field goal in Cambridge’s victory.
- Prior to the 1986 season, the League expanded the playoff system that included 294 of the 423 programs an opportunity to make the postseason.
Prep Bowl IV
Date: Nov. 29, 1985
- Class Nine-Man: Westbrook 45, Norman County West 18 --- David Weiske scored four touchdowns to help power the Wildcats, who scored a combined 36 points in the second and third quarters.
- Class C: Glyndon-Felton 38, Zumbrota 14 --- Running back Tom Moll rushed for a Prep Bowl-record 170 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Glyndon-Felton. Brad Pake contributed three touchdowns.
- Class B: Jackson 26, Mahnomen 20 --- The Bluejays scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and then used an interception in the final minute to secure the Class B title. Jeffrey Brown had two touchdowns for Jackson.
- Class A: New Prague 16, Mora 12 --- Steve Tupy made a 27-yard field goal and Brad Biehn had a dazzling 74-yard return for a TD in the fourth quarter to help the Trojans rally past the Mustangs.
- Class AA: Burnsville 27, Apple Valley 21 --- Burnsville upended top-ranked Apple Valley behind Matt Larson, who threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for an 11-yard touchdown.
Did you know?
- Mahnomen’s Frank Burdick set a Prep Bowl record for Longest Run from Scrimmage with a 71-yard touchdown dash.
- Jackson quarterback Wade Wacker was drafted by the Minnesota Twins.
Prep Bowl III
Date: Nov. 24, 1984
- Class Nine-Man: Norman County West 37, Silver Lake 20 --- In a rematch of Prep Bowl II, this time it was Norman County West that earned the right to hoist a championship trophy. Running back Brett Storsved scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and added another later to help the Panthers hold on to snap Silver Lake’s 26-game winning streak.
- Class C: Harmony 20, Glyndon-Felton 14 --- Quarterback Tim Burkholder connected with Chris Martin on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give the Cardinals the victory.
- Class B: Granite Falls 13, Breckenridge 7 --- Paul Bronson scored his second touchdown of the game, this one from two yards out in the fourth quarter, to give Granite Falls a narrow victory over Breckenridge, which finished as the Class B runner-up for the second consecutive season.
- Class A: Hutchinson 32, Centennial 7 --- Andy Rostberg led the Tigers to their second consecutive championship by running for a touchdown and throwing for two others.
- Class AA: Stillwater 36, Burnsville 33 --- All-state sensation Aaron Runk scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the final minute to not only give the Ponies a thrilling victory over Burnsville, but their second big-school championship in three seasons.
Did you know?
- Andy Rostberg was selected Minnesota’s co-player of the year along with Cretin’s Steve Walsh.
- Of the 40 schools that qualified for the state tournament, 14 were making their first appearance.
Prep Bowl II
Date: November 25, 1983
- Class Nine-Man: Silver Lake 27, Norman County West/Climax 12 --- Jim Hemerick and Bob Yurek scored touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to propel the Lakeits. Norman County West/Climax quarterback Darin Loe ran for a touchdown and threw for another.
- Class C: Southland 28, Bird Island-Lake Lillian 0 --- Southland was in control from the start behind short touchdown runs from Neal Kosberg and Todd Linaman in completing a perfect season.
- Class B: Jordan 27, Breckenridge 0 --- Quarterback Pete Dymit threw two first-half touchdowns, including a 73-yarder to Gary Fahrenkamp, to power Jordan. On defense, Lee Kes blocked two punts and three sacks.
- Class A: Hutchinson 36, Park Rapids 14 --- Fullback Paul Lenz powered his way to three touchdowns in leading the Tigers to the first of many state championships. Hutchinson quarterback Andy Rostberg, who later would replace his father as the Tigers’ head coach, ran for a pair of late touchdowns.
- Class AA: Coon Rapids 34, Bloomington Jefferson 31 --- Quarterback Chris McCartney and receiver Ken Awalt had two touchdowns each to help the Cardinals hang on to defeat the Jaguars.
Did you know?
- Norman County West/Climax receiver Mike Kolness, who scored on a 22-yard reception, now serves as the Region 8A Administrative Secretary.
Prep Bowl I
Date: November 20, 1982
Site: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis
- Class Nine-Man: Westbrook 34, Fergus Falls-Hillcrest Academy 12 --- Steve Elzenga threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to power undefeated Westbrook to the first-ever championship in the Prep Bowl Era.
- Class C: Truman 16, Belgrade 14 --- Ron Peterson booted a 29-yard field goal with just under a minute remaining to complete a come-from-behind victory for the Bluejays. Bruce Duevel had two touchdown runs for Belgrade.
- Class B: LeCenter 12, Mahnomen 6 --- LeCenter capped an undefeated season with its 12th consecutive victory following a tense championship matchup. Quarterback Todd Anderson had two second-half touchdown passes for LeCenter.
- Class A: Brooklyn Center 30, East Grand Forks 8 --- Kermit Klefsaas powered his way to four touchdown runs in leading the Centaurs past the Green Wave.
- Class AA: Stillwater 34, Owatonna 27 --- Stillwater won the first championship in its rich football tradition when quarterback Eric Thole hit Terry Runk with a 54-yard scoring play with less than five minutes remaining in regulation time. Stillwater’s Scott Clemons rushed for 126 yards.
Did you know?
- Nearly 43,000 fans attended the first Prep Bowl that featured a salute to the Minnesota State High School League’s music programs. More than 2,400 band members and 1,000 choral singers, along with dancelines and cheerleaders made for a festive first chapter in the Prep Bowl Era.