Rochester Lourdes Brings Home Another Championship Trophy
Minneapolis ((KROC AM News) - The Rochester Lourdes High School football team has now won state championships at the Metrodome, TCF Bank Stadium and US Bank Stadium. Here’s a summary of the team’s crazy championship victory Saturday from the Minnesota State High School League.
Years from now in Rochester Lourdes in football lore, it likely will be remembered simply as “The Play.” It was zany play that not only made jaws drop, but also paved the way for Rochester Lourdes’ 42-35 victory over top-ranked St. Croix Lutheran in the Class AAA championship game Saturday, Nov. 26 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
While sophomore running back Jake Groteboer scored on a 5-yard run with 25 seconds remaining in regulation snapped a back-and-forth thrill ride of offense, it was the preceding play that will be remembered most.
Using one last-ditch effort to end the game in regulation, the zaniness started with a 14-yard pass from senior quarterback Noah Hillman to senior wide receiver Ed Caples. At midfield, Caples lateraled the ball to sophomore receiver Pat Leary. He ran the ball to the 30 before lateraling to a streaking senior running back Carter Greguson, who extended the play to the 5-yard line.
It helped seal the Eagles’ quest for their fourth state championship. Rochester Lourdes was the Class AAA champion in 2010 and ’14, and the Class A champion in 1979.
Hillman completed 12 of 16 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Hillman rushed for 102 yards on seven carries and scored a TD. Groteboer had two touchdown runs.
Senior running back Daniel Rust rushed for 134 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns for St. Croix Lutheran. Junior running back Mike Stern added 109 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Isaac Tietz completed 6 of 18 passes for 119 yards and a TD.
St. Croix Lutheran was attempting to win the Class AAA crown for the third time since 2011.
An evenly-played first half by both sides was reflected on the scoreboard in a 21-all tie.
St. Croix Lutheran forced the deadlock when Tietz scored on a 1-yard run with no time remaining in the first half. Just 35 seconds earlier, Rochester Lourdes had snapped a 14-all tie when Greguson caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Hillman.
St. Croix Lutheran produced 212 yards of total offense and Rochester Lourdes had 161. Hillman led Rochester Lourdes by completing 6 of 9 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Stern had 61 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Tietz had 102 passing yards on four completions.
Two records were set during the Class AAA championship game:
• Greguson set a record for unassisted tackles with 20. That broke the old mark of 18 shared by Matt Jarland, Harmony (1984); Michael Weick, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (2008), and Jared Blackwell, Nicollet (2009).
• Rochester Lourdes tied a record for the longest scoring drive with a 4-play, 99-yard drive with 8:02 left in the fourth quarter. The Eagles now share that mark with Hastings (1999), Mahtomedi (2005), Becker (2005), Mankato West (2008), and Wayzata (2008).
Meanwhile, a football championship is coming back to the Minneapolis City Conference for the first time since 1977. Minneapolis North took care of that with a 30-14 victory over Rushford-Peterson in the Class A championship game on Saturday, Nov. 26 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Polars used a dominating second-half performance on both sides of the ball to win the school’s first-ever MSHSL football championship and first for the Minneapolis City Conference since Washburn won the second of two Class AA titles in 1977. Washburn also won the first Class AA title in 1972, the first year of a Minnesota State High School League-sponsored tournament.