MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s hard to believe the prep football season came to a close with the Prep Bowl last weekend at the Metrodome.

Six games were played over a two-day stretch in downtown Minneapolis. When it was all over, six teams were hoisting a state championship trophy. Out of all the high school football teams in the state, it was only those six who could leave the field on the season’s final day with a victory.

Over the course of those two days, there were several individual performances that stood out as the state champions were crowned. Here’s a look at who had big games in the biggest football game of their career so far.

Larson Leads Eden Prairie Over Wayzata

Eden Prairie senior running back Andrew Larson was contained for the most part when the Eagles lost to Wayzata 9-0 during the regular season. That wasn’t the case as Eden Prairie got revenge with a 13-3 win over the Trojans Friday night in the Class 5A Prep Bowl. Larson was the team’s horse and catalyst with 33 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown in the win. Many times when it looked like he was bottled up, Larson fought for the extra yardage. It was a gutsy performance for a kid who spent most of the year battling injuries. Both schools as well as 30 others will move up to Class 6A next season.

 QB Has Monster Game As Edgerton/Ellsworth Wins 9-Man Title

It’s pretty rare to see a dominant passing attack in 9-Man football, which makes Isaac Heard’s performance that much more impressive as Edgerton/Elllsworth beat Wheaton-Hermon-Norcross 36-20 in the 9-Man Prep Bowl. Heard threw for 368 yards and five touchdowns in the game. The touchdown passes went for 13, 45, 18, 73 and 17 yards.

Dual Rushing Attack Helps Dawson-Boyd To 1A Prep Bowl Title

Esten Weber and Justin Lee carried the load as Dawson-Boyd beat Mahnomen 35-20 in the Class 1A Prep Bowl. Weber ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns, and Lee ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Dawson-Boyd built a 21-6 lead by halftime and took advantage of five Mahnomen turnovers in the game. Weber also led his team’s defense with 10 tackles, and Lee had five tackles, including one for a loss.

Pedroza Makes Big Plays To Give Rocori Prep Bowl Win

It’s not the normally filled stat sheet that you might see in a state championship victory, but Christian Pedroza made the big plays as Rocori beat Bemidji 17-10 in the 4A Prep Bowl to win its first state championship. Pedroza had just one catch in the game, but it was a 27-yard touchdown that tied the game 7-7 in the second quarter. He also kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter that gave Rocori a 17-7 lead. Pedroza also had six tackles, forced and recovered a fumble and had two pass break-ups.

Tucker, Goplen Lead St. Croix Lutheran Over Fairmont

Wesley Tucker and Jackson Goplen have been the two-man running machine for St. Crox Lutheran all season, and there was no reason to change that in the 3A Prep Bowl against Fairmont. Tucker grinded out 180 yards on 16 carried and had a touchdown, and Goplen had 103 yards on 16 carries and scored twice in the 34-32 shootout victory. Goplen also had one catch for a 28-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Now the two have a state championship trophy to celebrate for all their hard-earned work running the ball.

McCormick Runs Caledonia To 2A Title

Connor McCormick was a dominant force as Caledonia cruised to a 27-0 win over Moose Lake/Willow River in the 2A Prep Bowl. McCormick had 23 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. The scores went for 1, 12 and 28 yards and the last two came in the fourth quarter. The Warriors ran for 282 yards as a team in the victory. He also had three tackles on defense and broke up a pass.


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