Road to Prep Bowl Championships: 2002-2011
Posted: Monday, November 21, 2022 - 8:44 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 third decade of MSHSL Prep Bowls Championships
Prep Bowl XXX
Date: Nov. 25-26, 2011
- Class Nine-Man: Edgerton/Ellsworth 36, Wheaton/Herman-Norcross 28 --- Edgerton/Ellsworth was the first of four teams to win its first football state championship following a victory over Wheaton/Herman-Norcross. Junior quarterback Isaac Heard threw five touchdown passes and set a Prep Bowl record with 368 yards. In the 2010 tournament, the Flying Dutchmen lost in the quarterfinals.
- Class A: Dawson-Boyd 35, Mahnomen 20 --- Dawson-Boyd completed its historic season with a 14-0 record and a first football crown. Esten Weber and Justin Lee had two rushing touchdowns each. Weber was also a standout on the defensive side of the ball with 10 tackles. Jacob Pavek rushed for 153 yards on 20 carries.
- Class AA: Caledonia 27, Moose Lake/Willow River 0 --- Caledonia successfully defended its state title and claimed a crown for the fifth time overall in a shutout victory over the Rebels. Caledonia’s Connor McCormick rushed for 283 yards on 24 carries and scored three touchdowns.
- Class AAA: St. Croix Lutheran 34, Fairmont 32 --- It took some late game defensive heroics for St. Croix Lutheran to finish 14-0 with its first state title. Senior Matt Olson came up with the decisive play when he swatted a way a potential game-tying two-point conversion pass. There were a combined 30 points scored in the fourth quarter. Jackson Goplen scored with 2:28 remaining in regulation that gave the Crusaders a 34-26 advantage.
- Class AAAA: Rocori 17, Bemidji 10 --- Senior Sean Terres intercepted a pass and returned it 53 yards with 56 seconds left in the first half that gave the Spartans a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Lumberjacks climbed to within 17-10, but the Spartans thwarted any hopes of a rally with interceptions.
- Class AAAAA: Eden Prairie 13, Wayzata 3 --- Eden Prairie dethroned the defending big-school champion with a victory over its Lake Conference foe. Adam Larson scored on a 10-yard run to give the Eagles the definitive margin they were seeking. The decisive TD was preceded on a flea-flicker from junior quarterback Grant Schaefer that put the ball on the 5-yard line. Larson finished with 124 yards on 33 carries.
Did you know?
- Edgerton/Ellsworth’s Devin Hulstein had a Prep Bowl record 198 receiving yards on seven receptions.
- Dawson-Boyd’s Evan Robertson tied a Prep Bowl record with three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter to preserve the Blackjacks’ victory.
- In the semifinals, Eden Prairie defeated Totino-Grace, 49-7. Totino-Grace, a longtime Class AAAA power, opted up to the big-school class.
- Fairmont’s Bryce Holm tied a Prep Bowl record with four touchdown receptions.
Prep Bowl XXIX
Date: Nov. 26-27, 2010
- Class Nine-Man: Cromwell-Wright 49, Lanesboro 42 --- Senior quarterback Jordan Suhonen set five Prep Bowl records in powering Cromwell-Wright to its fourth state title. He rushed for 374 yards and scored five touchdowns. His longest scoring run was an 86-yarder that gave the Cardinals a 42-21 advantage. Earlier, he had a 55-yard gallop. Lucas Johnson rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns for Lanesboro.
- Class A: New Ulm Cathedral 19, Barnesville 13 --- New Ulm Cathedral claimed its first football state title behind two touchdown runs from Eric Hauser in the first quarter. A staunch defense took over from there to preserve the victory. He had 120 yards on 14 carries.
- Class AA: Caledonia 28, Triton 7 --- Caledonia won the Class AA championship for the third time in four seasons and fourth overall to finish a 14-0 season. Junior Connor McCormick rushed for 153 yards on 17 attempts, including touchdown runs of 39 and 12 yards, respectively, that sent the Warriors to a 21-0 lead.
- Class AAA: Rochester Lourdes 41, Holy Family Catholic 13 --- Rochester Lourdes first won a football state championship in 1979. That trophy has company behind the Eagles’ offensive effort in capturing the Class AAA crown. Adam Lentz rushed for 220 yards on 24 carries and had three touchdowns, including scoring runs of 78 and 27 yards, respectively, in the second quarter. Quarterback Nic Jensen added 110 yards rushing and threw for two touchdowns.
- Class AAAA: Totino-Grace 34, Rogers 14 --- Totino-Grace completed a successful title defense while winning a state championship for the eighth time in the Prep Bowl Era. During the 2009 state tournament, Totino-Grace defeated Rogers, 56-14 in the quarterfinals. A touchdown connection between Alex Kreuser and Nick Frandsen was followed by a short touchdown run from Ashford Kromah that give the Eagles a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Later, Tom Laventure scored on a 59-yard run to send Totino-Grace to a 28-7 lead. He rushed for 140 yards on 15 carries.
- Class AAAAA: Wayzata 31, Rosemount 14 --- Wayzata claimed a third championship to go with ones won in 2005 and 2008. Sophomore Mitch Underhill rushed for 247 yards on 12 carries and scored four touchdowns, including two from long distance. Of Wayzata’s 350 total yards of offense, 300 of it was via the run.
Did you know?
- Here’s the tally on Jordan Suhonen’s Prep Bowl records: Most yards rushing (374); Best rushing average (13.4 yards); Most Touchdowns Rushing (five); Longest run from scrimmage (86 yards); Most touchdowns rushing/receiving/passing (five).
- Lanesboro’s Lucas Johnson etched his name in the Prep Bowl record book, too, by tying the mark of five touchdowns. He had three rushing touchdowns and threw for two.
Prep Bowl XXVIII
Date: Nov. 27-28, 2009
- Class Nine-Man: Stephen-Argyle 37, Nicollet 22 --- Stephen-Argyle got back to its winning Prep Bowl ways in 2009 with a victory over Nicollet. In addition to scoring on each of their first three drives, the Storm set six team Prep Bowl records, including 33 first downs; 34 total first downs; 94 total plays; 88 rushing attempts; 569 rushing yards and 616 total yards. Jamison St. Germain rushed for 193 yards to pace the Storm.
- Class A --- Minneota 42, Adrian 21 --- Minneota also added to its championship trophy case with the fourth crown in program history. Senior quarterback Sam Derynck completed 9 of 11 pass for 159 yards and four touchdowns for the Vikings. Brandon Anderson led Minneota in the ground game with 160 yards and three touchdowns.
- Class AA --- Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 33, Moose Lake/Willow River 22 --- The Bucs won another championship to go with the one in 1989 when the program played as Waterville-Elysian. Reid Roemhildt paced the Bus with 138 yards. Quarterback Conrad Masberg completed just four passes, but they were for 129 yards and two went for touchdowns. Moose Lake/Willow River scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to make a run at the Bucs.
- Class AAA --- New London-Spicer 28, Glencoe-Silver Lake 21 --- New London-Spicer scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to rally past Glencoe-Silver Lake. Jayme Moten helped engineer the comeback by completing 14 of 17 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Aaron Jenny had five receptions for 100 yards and also had two two-point conversion receptions. Kyler Anderson led Glencoe-Silver Lake, throwing for 143 yards and running for another 49.
- Class AAAA --- Totino-Grace 45, Sartell-St. Stephen 7 --- The Eagles took control early and never looked back in winning its seventh state championship. The tone was set when Jeremy Klein scooped up a dropped lateral and raced 76 yards for a touchdown. John Crockett added two first-half touchdowns. He finished with 145 yards on 17 carries and scored four TDs.
- Class AAAAA --- Cretin-Derham Hall 16, Eden Prairie 5 --- Cretin-Derham Hall quarterback Mark Alt connected with Brooks Hitchcock on a thrilling 75-yard scoring play that helped send the Raiders past the Eagles in a showdown of big-school powers. Later, they connected again for a 44-yard gain on a third down play. Cretin-Derham Hall’s defense was equally impressive, limiting Eden Prairie to three yards per play until the last desperation drive in the fourth quarter.
Did you know?
- Stephen-Argyle gained positive yardage on 34 of its first 35 plays.
- Three touchdown drives by Waterville-Elysian-Morristown averaged 13 plays and 86 yards.
- Moose Lake/Willow River’s Michael Unzen averaged 14.7 yards per carry in the Rebels’ loss in the Class AA game.
- Jayme Moten of New London-Spicer set a Prep Bowl record for pass completion percentage (.824) when he connected on 14 of 17 attempts.
- Totino-Grace’s John Crockett played collegiately at North Dakota State and signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2015.
- Cretin-Derham Hall’s Mark Alt went on to play collegiate hockey for the University of Minnesota and professionally in the NHL.
- The fathers of Cretin-Derham Hall’s Mark Alt and Brooks Hitchcock were both offensive linemen in the NFL: John Alt with the Kansas City Chiefs and Ray Hitchcock with the Washington Redskins.
- Nicollet’s Jared Blackwell equaled a Prep Bowl record with 18 unassisted tackles.
Prep Bowl XXVII
Dates: Nov. 28-29, 2008
- Class Nine-Man: Houston 22, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 16 --- Houston punctuated a 14-0 season with its first football state championship. The Hurricanes built a 7-0 halftime lead behind a 24-yard screen pass from quarterback Andy Sires to senior Trent Kerrigan on a 3rd-and-16 play. Later, Sires gave Houston the lead for good on a 1-yard run with 2:25 remaining in regulation. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 121 yards. Running back Levi Nelson led Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley with 63 rushing yards and Zach McNally threw for 109.
- Class A: Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 33, Royalton 22 --- Junior Joel Bauman was in the spotlight throughout as he rushed for 289 yards on a Prep Bowl-record 44 carries to power Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg past Royalton for its first football crown. The victory also avenged a loss earlier in the season to Royalton during the Prairie South Conference schedule. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg took control in the third quarter behind touchdowns from quarterback Kevin Steinhaus and Bauman.
- Class AA: Caledonia 47, Luverne 7 --- In a rematch of the season prior, the result was the same with Caledonia clinching its second consecutive championship and third overall. The Warriors built a 17-0 margin at the break behind two touchdowns from Casey Bauer, one rushing and the other through the air. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns.
- Class AAA: Glencoe-Silver Lake 42, DeLaSalle 21 --- This was also a rematch with the same ending. This time, Glencoe-Silver Lake notched its third consecutive title started quickly with two quick touchdowns behind senior Mitchell Nowak and sophomore Kyler Anderson. But DeLaSalle answered with three of the next four touchdowns to forge a 21-all tie at the break. But the Panthers responded with three touchdowns in the second half to provide the separation on the scoreboard they were seeking. Anderson led the Panthers with 135 yards on 13 carries. Teammate Aaron Lueders added 103 yards on 13 carries. DeLaSalle’s Evan Williams rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
- Class AAAA: Mankato West 33, Northfield 14 --- Mankato West bolted to a 20-0 halftime lead en route to its third Prep Bowl title. Senior Paul Berndt tied a Prep Bowl-mark with four rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Ray Teachout completed 14 of 17 passes for 250 yards for the Scarlets. Mike Richter had 112 receiving yards.
- Class AAAAA: Wayzata 27, Blaine 7 --- Wayzata won another championship to go with the one captured in 2005. Senior quarterback John Ries threw for 205 yards to send the Trojans to the 13th victory of the season with no defeats. Wayzata converted on a key 4th-and-10 play in the third quarter when Ries lateraled to Fritz Rock, who in turn, tossed a 14-yard scoring strike to Matt Tarpley.
Did you know?
- Joel Bauman and Kevin Steinhaus of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg were standout prep wrestlers that would lead Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg to the Class A championship later that school year. Both also won Class A individual titles.
- Michael Weick of Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley set a Prep Bowl record for most unassisted tackles with 18.
Prep Bowl XXVI
Dates: Nov. 23-24, 2007
- Class Nine-Man --- Stephen-Argyle 43, Waubun 21 --- Stephen-Argyle won its fifth consecutive state title and extended its state-record winning streak to 67 games. The Storm rushed 60 times as a team for a Prep Bowl-record 426 yards. Three running backs topped 100 yards: Brandon Sorenson (107), Taylor Swanson (103) and Mathew Borowicz (101). Stephen-Argyle had three touchdown drives to end the first half to build a 36-15 lead.
- Class A --- Goodhue 28, Adrian 7 --- Goodhue used the running game to secure its second football state crown. Eric Ryan rushed for 141 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns while backfield mateMicah Huneke had 26 rushes for 167 yards and one TD.
- Class AA --- Caledonia 14, Luverne 7 --- Caledonia turned a loss in the Prep Bowl final from a year earlier into a championship behind a stingy defense and an opportunistic offense. Zach Gran was the workhorse for the Warriors with 151 yards on 30 carries. Kody Moore threw for two touchdowns. Luverne’s Phil Paquette rushed for 110 yards on 19 carries.
- Class AAA --- Glencoe-Silver Lake 56, DeLaSalle 20 --- Glencoe-Silver Lake’s Matthew Muenchow had a banner day in powering the Panthers with four touchdown passes and rushing for another. His five-touchdown output tied the mark previously set by Cory Hackett of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in 1999. Muenchow was 7 of 10 passing for 203 yards. On the ground, he covered 118 yards on 22 carries. Jeremy Randle paced DeLaSalle with 153 yards on 19 carries, including a 77-yard TD sprint.
- Class AAAA --- Totino-Grace 13, Mahtomedi 8 --- Without a doubt, this is the most stunning and dramatic championship game in Prep Bowl history. As time expired, Totino-Grace quarterback Jordan Marshal lofted a Hail Mary pass from midfield aimed at the near sideline. In a congestion of players, the ball was tipped by Mahtomedi defender Nick Cedargren and then tipped again by the intended receiver, Jade King. The live ball ended up in the hands of Micah Koehn, who tip-toed down the sideline with a stunning touchdown, and for a touch of panache, he ended his scoring scamper with a forward flip. Just moments earlier, Mahtomedi had taken its first lead of the game when Vaughn Schmid hit Matt Groff on a 15-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Groff, a standout linebacker on defense, also caught the successful two-point conversion.
- Class AAAAA --- Eden Prairie 50, Cretin-Derham Hall 21 --- In a much-anticipated showdown between two 13-0 teams, Eden Prairie won its sixth state crown and second in a row. If you were late to the game, you missed some opening theatrics. Cretin-Derham Hall’s Marcus Binns returned the opening kickoff for a Prep Bowl-record 98-yard touchdown. The Eagles responded by scoring on five first-half possessions. Eden Prairie’s Scott Lindner rushed for 155 yards on 30 carries and scored a touchdown. Quarterback Ryan Grant completed 9 of 12 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Did you know?
- This was the first season of a two-day tournament. Four games were played on Day 1 and the final two on Day 2.
- In Goodhue’s victory, the Wildcats had a Prep Bowl-record 26 first downs, including 22 by rushing.
- Later during the winter season, Mahtomedi’s Matt Groff used the devastating loss to Totino-Grace, as motivation during the wrestling season. He would become the school’s first-ever wrestling state champion.
Prep Bowl XXV
Date: Nov. 24, 2006
- Class Nine-Man: Stephen-Argyle 42, Wheaton 15 --- Stephen-Argyle won a record fourth consecutive Prep Bowl title to run its consecutive winning streak to 54 games. Senior Blake Sczepanski continued his run of Prep Bowl heroics by rushing for 171 yards on 32 carries and scored two touchdowns. Junior Kyle Gratzek added 90 yards on 11 carries. Wheaton had success against Stephen-Argyle’s defense, compiling 330 yards of total offense, but two fumbles lost and an interception stalled drives.
- Class A: Rushford-Peterson 20, New Ulm Cathedral 7 --- Rushford-Peterson used a quick opening touchdown to build an early lead en route to another Class A crown. Parker Brand paced the Trojans with 101 rushing yards on 14 attempts, and he also threw for a touchdown.
- Class AA: Triton 70, Luverne 21 --- In its sixth state tournament appearance, Triton not only captured its third championship, but the Cobras also set a new single-game standard for scoring. In amassing 503 total yards, Triton shattered the previous Prep Bowl mark of 57 points set by Totino-Grace in 2003. Caleb Rissman had four touchdowns --- two rushing, one receiving and one on a punt return. Jake Harmon added three rushing touchdowns. The Cobras led 35-0 after the first quarter, 47-7 at the half and 62-14 after three quarters of play.
- Class AAA: Glencoe-Silver Lake 42, Becker 20 --- Glencoe-Silver Lake also won a third title after dethroning the defending champs. The Panthers erased a 14-0 deficit with three touchdowns in the second quarter. Glencoe-Silver Lake took the lead for good when Chip Maresh returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown. Becker would pull to within 25-20, but Glencoe-Silver Lake stood strong by creating defensive turnovers. Jonathan Hoese scored twice for the Panthers. Quarterback Matt Muenchow had a rushing touchdown and threw for another.
- Class AAAA: Totino-Grace 40, St. Thomas Academy 25 --- Totino-Grace won its third championship in four years and fifth overall by racing to an early lead and extended the advantage to 17-0 on a field goal by Justin Rajtar. But the Cadets pulled to within 17-15 before halftime behind two touchdown passes from Tim McManus. St. Thomas Academy scored the next 10 points in the third quarter before Totino-Grace mounted a comeback. Quarterback Jordan Marshall triggered the surge with a 1-yard leap into the end zone on fourth down. Two more St. Thomas Academy turnovers would result in scoring for Totino-Grace.
- Class AAAAA: Eden Prairie 21, Lakeville South 14 --- Eden Prairie capped a 14-0 season with its fifth big-school championship in 11 years. Both teams knew each other well after tying for the Lake Conference crown. After trading touchdowns in the first half, the teams continued to trade scoring and key defensive stops. The eventual game-winner came in the third quarter when Zack Armstrong completed a seven-play, 51-yard drive with a two-yard run. Eden Prairie’s Ryan Grant completed 12 of 16 passes for 168 yards. Lakeville South’s Marcus Brumm countered with 185 yards passing on 16 of 32 completions.
Did you know?
After 25 Prep Bowls, the longest individual records still standing were:
- Aaron Oden, Stillwater --- Total yards for kickoff returns (146)
- Matt Jarland, Harmony --- Most unassisted tackles (18)
The longest record still standing:
- Longest scoring drive (elapsed time) --- Stillwater, 9:36, 1984
Prep Bowl XXIV
Date: Nov. 25, 2005
- Class Nine-Man: Stephen-Argyle 45, Cromwell 15 --- Stephen-Argyle captured its fourth consecutive Class Nine-Man crown with a decisive victory over Cromwell, also no stranger to the championship game. Junior Blake Sczepanski scored the first of his four rushing touchdowns just 42 seconds into the game. The Storm compiled 460 yards of total offense and averaged 11.5 yards per play. Sczepanski led the way with 129 yards on 11 carries. The Storm also had three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.
- Class A: Springfield 21, Goodhue 16 --- Much like Stephen-Argyle, Springfield dashed to an early lead, scoring just four plays in, en route to the Class A crown. Springfield relied on its ground game, gaining 287 yards on 56 carries. Chris Moritz finished with 112 rushing yards on 12 carries.
- Class AA: Eden Valley-Watkins 21, Caledonia 7 --- Eden Valley-Watkins defeated two undefeated teams on the way to its first football state championship. The final foe was Caledonia, who in the next decade would become a Minnesota powerhouse. Caledonia’s Karl Klug tied the scored on its first possession of the second on a 71-yard run. But Eden Valley-Watkins quickly answered on a 4-yard run by Adam Hiltner and would not surrender the lead. He had 125 yards and two touchdowns. Caledonia was held to 259 offensive years, 100 below its per-game average.
- Class AAA: Becker 28, Albany 0 --- Following four runner-up finishes, Becker climbed that next step to win the Class AAA title. Ryan Thompson led a balanced attack with 99 rushing yards on 18 carries and Tim Langer had five receptions for 136 yards. Becker tied a Prep Bowl record with a 99-yard drive, capped by a rushing touchdown by Mike Rittenour.
- Class AAAA: Mahtomedi 27, Holy Angels 26, OT --- Mahtomedi finished the season (13-0) undefeated, but it took a dramatic effort to get past upset-minded Holy Angels. In the extra session, Holy Angels scored on a 1-yard run by Rob Tennuyson, but Mahtomedi’s Matt Symanietz blocked the extra-point attempt. Moments later, Mahtomedi tied the score on a pass from Matt Jeans to Sam Moen. Sean Barrett, who earlier had a 29-yard field goal, tacked on the extra point.
- Class AAAAA: Wayzata 28, Cretin-Derham Hall 24 --- Wayzata’s Joey Miller rushed for 256 yards, including 73 on a game-winning drive that paved the way for the Trojans’ winning touchdown. Cretin-Derham Hall scored the first 17 points of the second half to take a 24-21 lead.
Did you know?
- Eden Valley-Watkins’ Adam Hiltner had six punts for 200 yards.
- Cretin-Derham Hall’s Matt McQuillan set a Prep Bowl record for punt return yards with 121 on five returns.
- Mahtomedi also had a Prep Bowl record 99-yard scoring drive.
- Cretin-Derham Hall’s Michael Floyd, who would go on to star at Notre Dame and play professionally, had an 82-yard touchdown reception from John Nance.
Prep Bowl XXIII
Date: Nov. 26, 2004
- Class Nine-Man: Stephen-Argyle 25, Bertha-Hewitt 6 --- Stephen-Argyle scored 18 points in a six-minute span in the third quarter to successfully defend the Class Nine-Man crown. Included in the spree was a field goal, a blocked punt and an interception. Blake Sczepanski finished 93 yards and Riley St. Germain threw a touchdown pass for the Storm.
- Class A: Rushford-Peterson 20, Otter Tail Central 6 --- Senior Dan Boyum rushed for 99 yards in the second half to spark the Trojans past the Bulldogs. He finished with 142 yards on 18 carries. Teammate Tyler Drinkall had three interceptions, including a 41-yarder that he returned for a TD.
- Class AA: Pierz 39, Eden Valley-Watkins 14 --- Pierz defeated Eden Valley-Watkins twice during the 2004 season, the penultimate one for a state championship. Senior Christian Evan ran for two touchdowns, threw for a third and had three receptions to pace the Pioneers.
- Class AAA: East Grand Forks 31, Becker 14 --- Nick Mertens was Mr. Everything for East Grand Forks. He threw a touchdown pass, ran in a two-point conversion, ran for a touchdown, intercepted a pass and returned it 33 yards and kicked a 26-yard field goal. That was all in the second quarter.
- Class AAAA: Totino-Grace 27, Sartell-St. Stephen 6 --- Sartell-St. Stephen was unable to muster much on offense in the face of Totino-Grace’s vaunted defense. Totino-Grace limited Sartell-Saint Stephen to 59 yards rushing and seven first downs. Totino-Grace quarterback Tony Pastoors threw for a TD and scampered in for another.
- Class AAAAA: Minnetonka 23, Wayzata 14 --- Minnetonka rumbled for a Prep Bowl record 519 yards of total offense in capturing the school’s first state championship. Leading the way was Javon Hopkins, who had 27 carries for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Included in that dominance was an 84-yard run from scrimmage, a Prep Bowl record.
Did you know?
- Otter Tail Central had a 3-to-1 margin in time of possession in the first half against Rushford-Peterson to hold a 6-0 lead.
- In the week following the Prep Bowl, Nick Mertens of East Grand Forks was selected Minnesota’s Associated Press Player of the Year. He finished his sterling career with 94 touchdowns. He played collegiately at North Dakota State.
Prep Bowl XXII
Date: Nov. 22, 2003
- Class Nine-Man: Stephen-Argyle 39, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 7 --- Stephen-Argyle rushed for 232 yards in the first half, including 150 in the first quarter to pave the way to a second state title. The Storm also had three interceptions in the first half. Stephen-Argyle rushed for 414 yards on 54 attempts to set a Prep Bowl record for team rushing. John Gostanzik led the way with 139 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.
- Class A: Goodhue 20, Medford 8 --- Brandon Vth rushed for 94 yards and Tyler Lodermeier paced the defense with eight tackles as the Wildcats forced six turnovers.
- Class AA: Breck 51, Kingsland, Spring Valley 14 --- Breck quarterback Liam O’Hagan entered the Prep Bowl with a Minnesota single-season record of 51 touchdown passes and he added five more to complete a stellar year. He finished with 285 yards on 18 completions. The Mustangs tied the Prep Bowl record for passing first downs with 15, a mark first set by Minneota in 1986.
- Class AAA: Glencoe-Silver Lake 21, Delano 0 --- Nick Johnson hooked up with Eric Patino for a 61-yards touchdown pass, and the duo later combined on a 57-yard play in the Wildcats’ title victory. Willie VanDeSteeg led a defensive unit that held Delano to 88 total yards. He had six tackles and three sacks.
- Class AAAA: Totino-Grace 57, Hutchinson 13 --- The top-ranked Eagles raced to five first-half touchdowns on the way to a powerful victory over Hutchinson. Jon Azmann scored four touchdowns --- three rushing and one receiving --- to pace Totino-Grace. The Eagles held Hutchinson to 66 yards rushing on 37 attempts.
- Class AAAAA: Lakeville 34, Hastings 9 --- Senior running back Brylee Callendar rushed for 226 yards on 26 carries and scored two touchdowns as the Panthers capped a 14-0 season.
Did you know?
- Twelve different players carried the ball for Stephen-Argyle in its victory in the Class Nine-Man championship game.
- Stephen-Argyle’s Reece Henrickson set a Prep Bowl record with 120 return yards on two interceptions. His longest was 61 yards.
- Totino-Grace did not need to punt during its Prep Bowl victory.
Prep Bowl XXI
Date: Nov. 23, 2002
- Class Nine-Man: Verndale 21, Nicollet 14 --- Casey Finck rushed for 103 yards, including a 26-yard dash with 5:15 remaining in regulation time to lift the Pirates past the Raiders. Teammate Kyle Ashman had 112 rushing yards and a TD.
- Class A: Rushford-Peterson 14, Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin 7 --- Rushford-Peterson returned home with its first state title in just the fourth year of a co-op. Quarterback Jacob Merchlewitz provided what would prove to the be the winning margin on a 25-yard scoring pass to Jason Hall that gave the Trojans a 14-0 lead at the break.
- Class AA: Kingsland, Spring Valley 35, Norwood-Young America 7 --- Kingsland added a Class AA crown to the one it won in Class B in 1995. The Knights scored on each of their first five possessions en route to a decisive victory. Dustin Kimball scored three touchdowns and Chad Strike added another TD. On the defensive side, Brad Bernard had six tackles and two interceptions.
- Class AAA: Plainview/Elgin-Millville 24, Glencoe-Silver Lake 21 --- Plainview/Elgin-Millville made its first state tournament trip a memorable one by completing a 14-0 season and a state crown. The Bulldogs needed to rally, though, with a 42-yard scoring play from Mike Reiter to Michael Kasten.
- Class AAAA: Mankato West 17, Mahtomedi 7 --- Mankato West used efficient offense and smothering defense to secure a second Class AAAA championship. Quarterback Jordan Stolp had 95 passing yards and made a field goal. Nick Jost returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown.
- Class AAAAA: Eden Prairie 21, Champlin Park 0 --- Eden Prairie capped an undefeated season with its trademark offense of scoring in different way and a defense that surrendered little. Mark Mullaney ran in for a TD, Nick Olson caught a scoring pass from Matt Bykowski and Isaac Bandy returned a fumble 32 yards for the final score.
Did you know?
- Plainview/Elgin-Millville’s Randy Spring rushed for 2,274 yards and scored 30 touchdowns.
- Plainview/Elgin-Millville’s Cesar Magallon was 4 of 4 on kicks, field goals and extra points, in the Class AAA championship game.
- Mankato West outscored the postseason opposition by a cumulative 103-28.
- Eden Prairie was the first school to shutout an opponent in the big-school championship game since 1978.