The Star Tribune is celebrating 50 years of high school football state tournaments one day at a time for 50 days.
"These are a bunch of kids who would run through a brick wall." — Holdingford coach Gary Roebuck
Rosemount wide receiver Rich Barnes wasn't trying to sound conceited. It was honesty at its best.
The Irish scored on five consecutive possessions in the second half, overcoming a one-point deficit (7-6) to down Moorhead 40-14 for the Class AA title. It remains the only championship for the Irish, but they've qualified to play for another this year, against Maple Grove in the Prep Bowl.
"We couldn't believe that they kept it that close as long as they did," Barnes said. "We had a better team by far."
Rosemount junior quarterback Brett Sadek completed nine of 16 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns and had two scoring sneaks as well. Barnes caught five passes for 103 yards, and running back Mark Tousignant rushed for 133 yards on 20 carries, scoring on a 2-yard run and 14-yard pass.
"Too many weapons," Moorhead first-year coach Dan Kostich said.
Holdingford also had too many weapons in the running tandem of Dan Stich and Brian Reis for Pine Island. The Huskers rolled up 447 yards on the ground in a 39-0 whitewash for the Class B crown. It was the program's first state title.
Stich carried 14 times for 246 yards and three touchdowns while Reis ran 23 times for 182 yards and two scores. Stich scored on runs of 26, 35 and 60 yards, and Reis had touchdown runs of 12 and 14 yards. The tandem rushed for over 3,500 yards on the season.
"These are a bunch of kids who would run through a brick wall," Holdingford coach Gary Roebuck said.
Medford in Class C and Argyle in Nine-Man also won their first state titles. It remains Medford's lone crown.
Five Tigers players scored, including a 92-yard interception return by Pat Smith, in a 33-28 victory over Clarkfield for the Class C title.
Little-used running back Paul Maynard scored on a 5-yard run with 3 minutes, 57 seconds remaining, giving St. Peter an 18-14 victory over Hermantown for the Class A championship.
"He hasn't had much chance to play, but he has played some in every game," Saints coach Frank Fredlund said. "We always knew what Paul could do."
State championship games
Class AA: Rosemount 40, Moorhead 14
Class A: St. Peter 18, Hermantown 14
Class B: Holdingford 39, Pine Island 0
Class C: Medford 33, Clarkfield 28
Nine-Man: Argyle 31, Starbuck 19