The Minnesota Army National Guard selects our Two Stars of the Game:
Micah Koehn, HB/CB
108 all-purpose yards, 2TD's - including game winner of final play of the game
Matt Groff, LB/TE
TD, 2-point conversion catch, 13-tackles
It was set-up to be a classic. The 2005 state champion Mahtomedi Zephyrs were facing off against the 2006 state champions, Totino-Grace Eagles. Many expected it to be a tight, close game, but very few could have written a script as classic as the end result.
The game started out as just that, tight, with both teams having their first drives stall out, albeit very well scripted offensive plays, both teams’ defenses had answers to the early game plans.
The Eagles were able to equate points with good possession on their second drive going 82 yards in 13 plays, finally capped off by a two yard Micah Koehn run just at the death of the first quarter.
The second quarter was more of the same as neither team was able to convert good possession into points. The difference in the first half was third down conversions with Totino-Grace converting 3 of 6 and Mahtomedi going 0 for 3.
Both teams continued the trend of tightness after the halftime interval with neither team able to crack the goal line. In Mahtomedi’s second drive of the quarter they were able get their first, third down conversion and then follow it up with a passing play of 52 yards, but the drive would stall out for the second time on the day on fourth down.
You can throw out the first 42 minutes of the game and talk just about the last six. The Zephyrs start a drive on their own 32 yard line and marched all the way down to the Eagles 15. Along the way they completed a third down conversion and an extremely crucial fourth and four play that saw quarterback Vaughn Schmidt complete a 9 yard pass to Justin Gominsky.
The Zephyrs finally got on the board with 52 seconds left and opted to go for a very gutsy two point conversion to take the lead. After three timeouts, one by Mahtomedi and two by Totino, Schmidt rolled out to his right and found a streaking Matt Groff on the side of the end zone for a successful two-point attempt and the lead for the Zephyrs. Finally, the Mahtomedi fans had something to cheer about as their team was ahead and looking good to raise the trophy with under a minute left in the game leading 8-7.
The Eagles start their last drive of the game and the ’07 season on their own 37 yard line with just 45 seconds left. Jordan Marshall completed a pass to Jesse Meagher for 7 yards and then he rushed for 6 to get the Eagles up to the 50 yard line with just 10 seconds left.
Needing only a field goal to win the game and with no timeouts left, everyone expected the Eagles to run a slant to the sidelines to not only get within field goal range, but also to get out of bounds to stop the clock.
Totino-Grace head coach, Jeff Ferguson confirmed that they were looking to get in field goal range, “yes, we were going to get our field goal team out.”
With just ten seconds on the clock Jordan Marshall rolled out to his right looking for sophomore Robert Wicks, but with heavy pressure by the Zephyrs and the ball over-thrown just a touch, Wicks tipped the ball up into a jump ball scenario, as it dropped it bumbled around on a few players from both teams and miraculously dropped in the hands of the Eagles, senior half-back Micah Koehn. Koehn was able to secure the ball and avoid two tackles and the sideline, before flipping himself into the end zone with no time left on the clock to win the 4A Prep Bowl for the Totino-Grace Eagles 13-8.
Commenting on the winning play Ferguson said, “Was it a lucky play? Maybe it was a lucky play, but we made some plays too and those are the ones that were the difference.”
From a chess match to a wild finish Prep Bowl XXVI lived up to all its hype. The Eagles repeat in sensational fashion and leave fans wanting more. They will have to live on the memories and the stories of this game until next August.
Rushing Yards 67
Passing Yards 191
Total Yards 258
Rushing Yards 148
Passing Yards 158
Total Yards 306
RB Stephen Johnson 20 rushes, 58 yards
QB Vaughn Schmid 14-20, 191 yards passing, TD
WR Justin Gominsky 6 catches, 114 yards
Matt Groff 13 tackles
RB Pierce Lubinski 14 rushes, 50 yards
QB Jordan Marshall 12-17, 158 yards, TD
WR Paah Zeah 7 catches, 70 yards
HB Micah Koehn 3 catches, 70 yards, TD
Jake King 5 tackles
Brandon Meath 5 tackles