MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Known for its basketball prowess, Minneapolis North can add a football championship to its trophy case.
Taylor Johnson scored twice and the Polars beat Rushford-Peterson 30-14 in Saturday’s Class 1A title game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
North is the first Minneapolis public school to win a state football title since Washburn in 1977.
“A lot of people probably might think it’s a misprint tomorrow, but read it and weep. This is what it is. We’re North Minneapolis and we are state champs,” said coach Charles Adams.
Minneapolis North (13-0) was in the championship game for the second straight year; it lost 35-18 to Minneota last year.
“The talent is there in North Minneapolis. I just feel I was the person to get kids come out to play football and try the best I can with the help of the community to build a respectable football program,” Adams said.
“I also reached out to a lot of basketball players last year. I just said, ‘Let’s bring some of that championship mojo here this year.'”
The Polars won the Class A boys basketball title in March, the school’s sixth state title.
Johnson was part of both title teams. He caught a 13-yard touchdown pass and returned a fumble 56 yards for a 16-7 lead midway through the second.
“I feel like it’s actually kind of better than basketball. Winning basketball with my brother was really good, but I feel like we had a lot more seniors on this team,” Johnson said.
Noah Carlson ran for 161 yards and one touchdown to lead Rushford-Peterson (12-2); however, just 21 of those came in the second half.
“They won more battles than we did today,” said Trojans coach Davin Thompson.
Carlson, who won the Class A 200-meter dash state title in June, showcased his speed on the game’s second play as he sprinted 74 yards for a score. He caught an 11-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to get the Trojans within 16-14.
Minneapolis North put together a pair of long second-half scoring drives to cement the win.
Kehyan Porter capped a 14-play, 86-yard drive with an 8-yard run late in the third quarter and Corleon Powell caught a 13-yard touchdown pass with 2:14 to play. The drives took 6:28 and 4:31 respectively.
“Our offensive line was beautiful,” said Zeke Rodgers, who threw two touchdown passes. “I pulled them together and told them we were going to pound them like they were pounding us.”
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