Grand Meadow, Caledonia Win Football Titles; Winona Falls in Tight Game
The first day of the first Prep Bowl to be held at US Bank Stadium featured a pair of tight games and a blowout or two. Section 1 teams fared well.
Benilde-St. Margaret's won a back-and-forth battle with Winona for the Class 4A championship 31-28. The Red Knights opened the scoring with a field goal and the teams traded touchdowns the rest of the way. The game had eight lead changes. The final one gave BSM (10-3) their first state football title. The Red Knights' top running back Ricky Floyd suffered a shoulder injury early in the game. Winona (11-2) scored touchdowns on three long pass plays. Each team had a defensive touchdown.
Totino-Grace captured their 10th football title with a come-from-behind 28-20 victory over Eden Prairie in Class 6A. Totino-Grace (13-0) recovered from a pair of seven-point deficits and converted a pair of Eden Prairie (11-2) turnovers into points in the second half. Both of Eden Prairie's loss this season came to Totino-Grace.
Caledonia (14-0) went to an air attack in the first half of their 61-12 win over Eden Valley-Watkins (11-2) in the Class A title tilt. Warriors quarterback Owen King tossed five first-half touchdown passes. That was one shy of the Prep Bowl record of six in a game, held by Triton's Kirk Midthun set in 1994. It was the eighth overall title for Caledonia and their second in a row.
Grand Meadow (14-0) won their fourth straight title and their 50th consecutive game, beating Cleveland 41-21 for the nine-man title. Stephen-Argyle holds the record for consecutive nine-man titles with five straight from 2003 through 2007. Christopher Bain lugged the ball 36 times for 278 yards and four touchdowns for the Superlarks.
Second 1 teams went two-for-three Friday with two more southern Minnesota teams scheduled to hit the turf on Saturday. Rushford-Peterson (13-1) plays Minneapolis North (12-0) in the Class A game. Rochester Lourdes (12-0) squares off with St. Croix Lutheran (12-0) for the AAA title. Elk River and Spring Lake Park seek the 5A championship.