MINNEAPOLIS – LeRoy-Ostrander senior Chase Johnson is never one to brag, but he allowed himself a smile after breaking a Prep Bowl record for total yards on Saturday to make the Cardinals their first State title at US Bank Stadium.
Johnson and the Cardinals were as perfect as they could when they stormed past Fertile-Beltrami 55-8 in the Class Nine Man Championship.
Johnson laughed to himself when he learned that his total of 421 yards was a new prep bowl record.
“This is crazy. Every time I threw the ball the receivers caught it and my line made blocks in front of me” Johnson said. “Everyone on this field is giving it their all, every single game, no matter how tired they are. It makes everyone work harder.”
Johnson ran 272 yards, threw four TDs, and ran for another score the Falcons (13-1 overall) with his arms and legs as he made three passes over 25 yards and alone produced three runs over 20 yards in the first half.
“We were prepared. I don’t know if we can perform better, ”said L-O head coach Trevor Carrier. “We had a defensive game plan to take away some of the things they wanted to do. They did some out routes but we did the tackles. On the offensive, if you have zero punts and 58 points, this is a good day. We’re state champions so the answer is probably yes (if we’ve played as perfectly as possible). We’re out of games. “
The Falcons advanced into LO’s red zone three times in the first half, but Olson picked up a screen pass to end the first threat and Gavin Sweeney produced a sack on the fourth Place to stop the second drive. The Falcons finally hit the board when Everett Balstad hit from three yards to make 34-8 with 1:06 in the first half.
The Cardinals had a quick reaction when Johnson Layne Bird hit the halfway point 41 seconds on a 55-yard TD pass over the middle.
“We practice one minute every day,” Carrier said. “Chase thought we could change the security of this game and he threw the ball better than ever. “
The Cardinals (12-2 total) opened the scoring when Johnson dropped a cent in the back end zone on Tristan Lewison, who made it for caught a 29-yard TD and made it 7-0, which Johnson wove on L-O’s second possession Field for a 54 yard TD run that made it 14-0. Lewison caught a pair of TDs and picked up a pass too.
Things didn’t start well for the Cardinals this fall as Peyton Roe was lost in the first game of the season for the year. LO also suffered regular season losses against Grand Meadow and Lanesboro before Olson, a stellar lineman, had to run back for the final stretch, giving the team a power rusher to offset Johnson’s speed.
LO was ahead of the Injury to Roe low numbers but was able to overcome other minor injuries to various players, including linemen Memphiz Gomez and Morgan Jasper, to finish strong.
“These guys are all struggling with injuries. That means a lot to our church. We don’t do this every day, it’s the first title in school history, ”said Carrier. “We are proud of it. I wouldn’t trade my 18 boys for another 60 anywhere. They play with all their hearts. “
The 58 points scored by LO are the most that a team has scored in a nine-man championship game since 1976.
LO prepared for Saturday’s game, by training at the Packer Dome in Austin and working on cardio in their pool at LO High School. The L-O community helped pay for the offices in the dome.
Hurry: Chase Johnson, 18-for-272, TD; Tanner Olson, 18-for-116, 3 TDs; Carson Roe, 3-for-14; Layne Vogel, 2-for-6; Lewison, 1-for-0
Defense: Tanner Olson, 1 interception, 1 sack; Tristan Lewison, 11 tackles, 1 interception; Hayden Sass, 1 sack; Gavin Sweeney, 2 bags; Hayden Sass, 1 Fumble Recovery
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