MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cromwell senior quarterback Jordan Suhonen admitted to being tired in the first half of the Class 9-man state championship on Friday.
Luckily for the Cardinals, Suhonen was able to keep going.
Suhonen set Prep Bowl records with 382 yards and five touchdowns rushing and Cromwell beat Lanesboro 49-42 to capture the school’s fourth state title.
The Cardinals (9-4) needed every bit of Suhonen’s record-setting performance as Lanesboro rallied behind senior quarterback Lucas Johnson. Johnson tied the record with five combined touchdowns as the two teams tied a record for most combined points set in 2006.
“I didn’t expect that type of track meet,” Cromwell coach Jeff Gronner said. “They couldn’t stop us and we couldn’t stop them. The big key was we got turnovers and they didn’t. Both offenses were hard to stop and our picks were the difference.”
The Cardinals intercepted Johnson four times, including two by senior Nick Berg.
Suhonen didn’t need to put the ball in the air. He had 156 yards rushing at halftime on his way to breaking a 17-year record for the most rushing yards in a Prep Bowl game. He also set a record by averaging 13.4 yards per carry and had the longest run from scrimmage in a Prep Bowl game, an 86-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He finished with three touchdown runs of over 50 yards.
“The quarterback keep was open,” Suhonen said. “We were getting yards off that the whole time.”
Berg added two touchdowns runs, including a 72-yarder at the end of the first half, but Suhonen proved how valuable he was to the Cardinals.
While Suhonen was nursing injuries at the beginning of the season, Cromwell struggled to a 2-4 record.
“At the start of the season it looked bleak,” Gronner said. “Ever since he got healthy in game seven, we haven’t lost and you can see why. He’s a special kid.”
Lanesboro (11-3) had its own turnaround led by its senior quarterback.
The Burros lost their first two games of the season before switching Johnson from tight end to quarterback. They had won 11 straight games heading into the Prep Bowl.
Then Johnson helped key another comeback on Friday.
Johnson ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 95 yards and two scores for the Burros, who had trailed by 21 points three times before rallying at the end.
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