Maple Grove trailed St. Michael-Albertville 27-10 going into the final minute of Thursday's Class 6A quarterfinal. It was cold out and you can imagine the driver starting the bus getting ready to bring home a despondent group of Crimson football players.
We can't find our own description to do the end of the game justice. So we're going to fall back on words from others and video of the craziness of what turned into a 29-27 victory for Maple Grove.
Maple Grove coach Matt Lombardi fell back on a one-liner, followed by a life lesson, when he talked to his team after the game: “Just like we drew it up. It just shows as bad as things might seem for you, you can never give up. You have to keep playing and hope things fall in your favor.”
"I've never seen anything quite like that," St. Michael-Albertville coach Jared Essler said.
Here's the video, with Sam Ekstrom doing the play-by-play and uttering our favorite line of the week: "Touchdown! Touchdown! Is this really happening?"
Here's the complete game story from our high school football hub, which has complete coverage of this weekend's state quarterfinals. We'll call your attention to a classy quote from Lombardi about St. Michael-Albertville at the end of the story. We're glad the winning coach can feel the losing team's pain.
And here's where you can watch a complete replay, as well as live webcasts of every football playoff game in Minnesota this weekend.