The Star Tribune is celebrating 50 years of high school football state tournaments one day at a time for 50 days.
"It's a lot more fun out there when you know that things are going your way." — Jordan nose tackle Lee Kes
Jordan and Southland rode strong defensive units and Coon Rapids turned to its offense in the 1983 finals, each team winning its first and still only state championship.
Jordan registered its fifth consecutive shutout, defeating Breckenridge 27-0 in Class B. Southland stopped Bird Island-Lake Lillian 28-0 in Class C. Coon Rapids outlasted Bloomington Jefferson 34-31 in Class AA.
The Hubmen outscored their opponents 113-0 over the five-game streak and led 21-0 at halftime of the final.
"It's a lot more fun out there when you know that things are going your way," said Jordan nose tackle Lee Kes, a 190-pound senior who had 10 unassisted tackles, including three sacks, and blocked a punt in each half. "When we scored our first touchdown, we knew it was going to be that way."
Southland made an offensive switch after a scoreless first half to take the pressure off its defense. The Rebels switched to a power-I formation from their wishbone-T. It produced 14 points in each quarter.
"We've been a second-half team all season," Southland coach Dick Strand said.
Coon Rapids held off a late Bloomington Jefferson rally when John Degnan intercepted a pass on fourth-and-8 from the Cardinals 10-yard line with 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining to play.
"It got weird out there," said Coon Rapids quarterback Chris McCartney, who threw for one score and ran for another. "We learned not to give up in the first game of the year."
Hutchinson in Class A and Silver Lake (later combined with Glencoe) in Nine-Man won their initial state titles in building state powerhouses. Both relied on their ground games, with Hutchinson compiling 346 rushing yards.
State championship games
Class AA: Coon Rapids 34, Bloomington Jefferson 31
Class A: Hutchinson 36, Park Rapids 14
Class B: Jordan 27, Breckenridge 0
Class C: Southland 28, Bird Island-Lake Lillian 0
Nine-Man: Silver Lake 27, Norman County West/Climax 12