Catholic Schools Big Prep Bowl Winners
November 2016

Fridley Grace High School usurped Eden Prairie as the premiere football prep powerhouse in Minnesota by defeating the Eagles, 28-20, in the finals of the 6A tournament at U.S. Bank Stadium.

As part of the bill that initiated construction of the stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, legislators specified a rent-free venue there for the Minnesota State High School League’s (MSHSL) annual Prep Bowl tournament. The cavernous purple palace thrilled the 28 teams involved in the event and served as a fitting venue for the ascension of the 749-student Fridley Grace, a private school that “plays up” two levels to the 6A classification.

The finals game proved to be a rematch of the 2014 championship where Eden Prairie eked out a 28-27 victory. This time, however, the tables were turned with Fridley Grace winning by 28 to 20.

The game was tied at halftime, 7-7, but a 28-yard touchdown pass from Cole Kramer to Kyle Connelly gave Eden Prairie a 14-7 lead in the third quarter. Fridley Grace came roaring back on a four-yard fourth-down touchdown pass from Kyle Halverson to the lanky 6-8 Rocky Kreuser, and the score was tied again. It was all Fridley Grace from there as first Gayflor Flomo and then Ivan Burlak burst through the Eden Prairie line on fourth-quarter touchdown runs. Eden Prairie scored a late touchdown as time ran out.

Another Twin Cities metro Catholic high school, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, (a private school that doesn’t “play up”) captured the 4A championship on a 24-yard run by Liam Ford in the fourth quarter to outlast Winona, 31-28. Catholic schools hit the trifecta on championship weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium when Rochester Lourdes ousted St. Croix Lutheran, 42-35, in the Class 3A finals.

Public schools from Grand Meadow, Caledonia, Minneapolis North, and Elk River also were victorious in their championship classifications. For Grand Meadow, it was the Superlarks’ 50th win in succession. To get to the finals, Grand Meadow defeated Waubon 35-0.

Other U.S. Bank Stadium game results saw Minneapolis North downing Wabasso, 16-8, in the semi-finals prior to the Polars’ 30-14 championship win over Rushford-Peterson.

Caledonia steamrolled past Barnesville 55-20 and Eden Valley-Watkins 61-12 to take the 2A title, its first since 2012. Rochester Lourdes registered wins over Dilworth, 43-21, before vanquishing St. Croix Lutheran. Benilde-St. Margaret’s downed Marshall, 44-34, prior to its win over Winona.

Elk River won the 5A championship by smashing Spring Lake Park by 42 to 14 to finish with a 13-0 record. In the semis, the Elks outlasted Owatonna 19-7.

Totino Grace barely made it to the finals after Blaine failed to score on a two-point conversion attempt with 59 seconds left in their semi-finals game. The Eagles won, 21-20, after linebacker Joe Linders sacked Blaine quarterback Connor Melton as the latter attempted to score what likely would have been the winning points.

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