Hastings coach Dana Strain doesn't consider himself to be a gambling man.
"If you talked to other people, they would probably tell you that I'm not very aggressive," Strain said.
That perception might be changing after Friday's finish at South St. Paul.
Senior quarterback Daniel Millner hooked up with classmate Johnny Bezdicek on a 10-yard touchdown pass and again on the ensuing two-point conversion, giving Hastings a 28-27 overtime victory over the Packers.
"I wouldn't consider that gambling," Strain said. "We would do that on a normal basis."
Hastings won the overtime toss, electing to take the ball second. South St. Paul scored on its possession and kicked the extra point to take a 27-20 lead.
"The opportunity was right there for us to win it," Strain said. "It was going to end one way or another. Our kids executed to win it."
Bezdicek was in motion and caught the ball in the flat on the two-point conversion. He ran a fade route on the overtime touchdown.
Earlier in the game, Bezdicek took a slant pass 69 yards for a touchdown. He wound up with eight catches for 143 yards, giving him 23 receptions for 445 yards and five touchdowns on the season.
"Johnny demonstrated his versatility," Strain said. "It was a fun game, exciting for the kids."
It also gave the Raiders (2-3) some momentum heading into the second half of the season. Their three losses have come against Class 5A No. 2 St. Thomas Academy and No. 5 Chanhassen and Class 4A No. 3 Simley.
"This was a really big win for us," Strain said. "We had a tough opening half of our schedule."
Stepping up at Mahtomedi
Mahtomedi's starting backfield tandem rushed for nearly 2,000 yards a year ago. Those backs both graduated, leaving the Zephyrs with a big void.
They turned to Corey Bohmert. He has more than sufficed.
After rushing for 181 yards a year ago, Bohmert has already added another digit to the mix in his senior year. The 5-10, 177-pounder turned in his fourth consecutive 200-yard game and third straight three-touchdown game as the Zephyrs beat Spring Lake Park 35-21.
He wound up with 214 yards on 20 carries in a matchup that avenged a 35-7 setback a year ago. The Zephyrs went on to finish 10-3 in 2021, losing to Mankato West 24-10 in the Prep Bowl.
Bohmert has rushed for 1,101 yards on 89 carries, a 12.4-yard average, and 15 touchdowns for the Class 5A No. 4 Zephyrs (5-0). He opened the season with a 195-yard game.
Senior John-Paul Johnson (6-3, 221) leads the offensive line that paves the way for Bohmert. A four-year starter, he also anchors the defensive front.
In the next two weeks, the Zephyrs will face the two toughest defenses on their schedule in No. 2 St. Thomas Academy (5-0) and Simley (5-0). The Cadets are allowing 5.4 points per game, the Spartans are allowing 9.0.
Inside the numbers
0 Seconds left after senior Kaydin Metzgar caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from classmate Ethan Florek on the game's final play as Class 4A No. 7 Grand Rapids beat No. 9 North Branch 27-24 in a battle of unbeatens. They teamed up for a 16-yard touchdown pass earlier in the game.
2 Seconds remaining after senior Aidan Jahns kicked a 20-yard field goal, giving Rochester Lourdes a 24-22 victory over Class 3A No. 1 Cannon Falls. Both teams are 4-1.
4 Passes intercepted by Waconia junior defensive back Tate McDonald in the past two games. He has five interceptions this season.
10/16/2019 The last time St. Cloud Tech won before it defeated St. Cloud Apollo 35-0. The Tigers ended a 20-game losing streak.
22 Seconds left after quarterback Cooper Drews hit wide receiver Jonah Hviding with a 71-yard touchdown pass, giving Princeton a 28-21 triumph over Albany. The Tigers scored 21 unanswered points in the second half.
61 Points scored by Mountain Iron-Buhl in the first half of an 83-0 victory over Ely. The Nine-man No. 4 Rangers have shut out four of their five opponents. They defeated Hill City/Northland 78-0 earlier this season.
80 Yards covered on senior quarterback Dominick Olson's game-winning touchdown pass to sophomore Lawrence Oberg on the game's final play, giving Chisholm a 26-20 triumph over Crosby-Ironton. The Rangers had tied it 20-20 on a 27-yard pass with 13 seconds remaining.
216 Receiving yards on eight catches, including a 79-yard touchdown, for Rochester Mayo junior wide receiver Carter Holcomb in a 28-24 loss to Class 5A No. 1 Mankato West. He has 37 catches for 800 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
351 Rushing yards for Chatfield senior running back Sam Backer on 17 carries in a 51-7 victory over La Crescent-Hokah. He scored four touchdowns on runs of 18, 38, 44 and 89 yards. The Gophers wound up with 456 yards rushing.