MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mahnomen started fast and never looked back Saturday en route to its second straight state title.
Quarterback Tom Pavek rushed for 179 yards and two scores and caught a touchdown pass to lead the Indians past Dawson-Boyd 46-13 in the Class 1A Championship game — the school’s eighth championship overall.
Kody Lefebvre added two rushing touchdowns and threw one scoring pass for the Indians (14-0), winners of 28 games in a row.
“This one is pretty special because last year my brother (Jake) won it and this year I kind of took it over,” Pavek said.
Joey Lee was 27-of-52 for 230 yards and two scores for the Blackjacks (12-2). The number of pass completions and attempts are Prep Bowl records. His cousin, Michael Lee, set a record with 12 receptions.
“They’re a great connection, but it was not good enough today,” said coach Cory Larson.
Mahnomen had a 482-251 advantage in total yards, including 399-21 rushing.
“We knew we were going to be able to run the ball, but I don’t think we thought we’d be able to run the ball that easily, but it worked out greatly,” Pavek said.
Mahnomen, which outscored its opponents 638-57 this season, scored twice before Dawson-Boyd’s offense was on the field.
Lefebvre completed the game’s opening drive with a 7-yard run and Nathan Hanson recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Dawson-Boyd 40. Pavek ran for 30 yards on the first play and 10 yards to paydirt on the second to make it 12-0.
“We trust our defense so much that we’re not afraid to give ourselves a short field,” said coach John Clark Jr. “When you look back it’s probably a pretty big play in the game, but who knows what happens if we don’t get it. … When we scored after that I could just see our confidence swell.”
Following a three-and-out by the Blackjacks, Bob Bjorge’s 36-run little more than 2 minutes made it 18-0.
Michael Lee scored on a 9-yard reception for the Blackjacks early in the second quarter, but Mahnomen responded when Lefebvre and Pavek connected on a 44-yard double pass to make it 25-7 midway through the frame.
Pavek took the snap and threw right to Lefebvre, who strode a couple steps to the left before flinging the ball deep down the left side to Pavek who made a fingertip catch and ran into the end zone.
“We worked on that pretty much every day in practice, but that’s the first time we’ve run it,” Lefebvre said.
One play after the Lees teamed up for a 7-yard reception to get Dawson-Boyd within 31-13, Pavek went 61 yards for Mahnomen late in the third quarter. Lefebvre scored from the 1 in the fourth quarter.
“We knew they were physical, and that’s the story,” Larson said. “When you’re more physical you control the line of scrimmage and good things are going to happen.”
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