The Star Tribune is celebrating 50 years of high school football state tournaments one day at a time for 50 days.
"We proved tonight that we can play with anybody north, south, east or west." — Crookston coach Les Drechsel
A dream came true for senior Tom Thompson.
The 155-pound reserve defensive back made two interceptions and a fumble recovery in a six-minute span, helping Burnsville to a 23-6 victory over Cambridge in the 1980 Class AA finals.
"Hit me, someone," Thompson said. "Am I still sleeping?"
Jon Dolney, a 170-pound fullback, rushed for 139 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. He scored on runs of 3 and 9 yards.
"If we wouldn't have thrown so much, we'd have given you a better ballgame," Cambridge coach George Larson said to Burnsville coach Dick Hanson afterward.
In Class B, Mahnomen began a tradition, defeating Austin Pacelli 34-0 for its first state championship and Ken Baumann's 100th career victory. Mahnomen, at times melded with Waubun, is up to nine titles in program history now.
"It's been a long time coming, I'll tell you," Baumann said. "Those other years I think we just got beat by better ballclubs. Tonight, we were the better ballclub. This was super."
Mahnomen 15-year-old quarterback Ken Muckenhirn ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third.
"We wanted it for ourselves but mostly for the coach for his 100th win," Muckenhirn said.
In Class A, running back Steve Johnson rushed for 200 yards on 22 carries and scored on a 60-yard run as Crookston won its only state championship with a 32-6 victory over Pipestone. His scoring run gave Crookston a 17-0 lead and ended any title hopes for Pipestone.
"We proved tonight that we can play with anybody north, south, east or west," Crookston coach Les Drechsel said. "I'm just so happy for the kids. Everyone played just super."
State championship games
Class AA: Burnsville 23, Cambridge 6
Class A: Crookston 32, Pipestone 6
Class B: Mahnomen 34, Austin Pacelli 0
Class C: Bird Island-Lake Lillian 20, Mountain Lake 7
Nine-Man: Hoffman-Kensington 18, Toivola-Meadowlands 14