With two offenses that rely on deception and option plays, good ball handling is one of the most important aspects of offense. In a game with ten total turnovers, the Holy Angels’ offense did a better job converting on those turnovers, and the defense came up with more big plays to secure a 14-0 state championship for the Academy of Holy Angels. Here are five key moments from the Stars’ Prep Bowl victory.
On third and 20, under pressure, Joseph Heimbold, rolled to his right and heaved a bomb downfield to Ryan Mazurek. Mazurek yanked the ball away from the defensive back on a go route. Until that point, neither offense had threatened to score, but Holy Angles found some room off the left side behind Hunter Lutgen and Lars Hanson for a pair of first downs. Those Mazurek runs set up the touchdown pass.
A series of mistakes led to the Holy Angels’ defense making a goal-line stand. A running into the kicker gave Cloquet new life, but later on the drive, the Stars forced a 4th and 8. Stars’ defensive back Keontay Shorter broke up a crossing route giving the Stars the ball in good field position. Cloquet intercepted an underthrown ball, but Cloquet was then forced into a fourth and one. The Lumberjacks moved the ball into a first and goal situation, but the Holy Angels’ defense stepped up. Stars’ Alex Gillard had a tackle for loss on 1st and goal, setting up an interception by Shorter in the end zone.
Turnovers in the third quarter kept the Cloquet defense on the field almost the entire quarter. Although the Stars would only score one touchdown the Lumberjacks’ defense had to work so hard they had trouble stopping the Stars. Holy Angels were on offense almost the entire 3rd quarter. They were successful running on the outside with sweeps and jet sweeps, which opened up the middle. Heimbold converted two third downs with quarterback draws. That set up a field goal attempt. The 26-yard field goal hit the upright. The Stars defense stepped up again with a fumble recovery. The Stars finally cashed in on a turnover with a one-yard touchdown run by Thomas Shelstad. The touchdown was set up by a twenty-yard option keeper by quarterback Heimbold.
Down 14-0 and midway through the fourth quarter, Cloquet set up a first and goal from the 8. That eventually turned into a fourth and goal at the five. On third down, Lumberjack quarterback Tim Pokornowski saved his team by tracking down a bad snap and instead of taking a 15-yard sack he threw an incomplete pass giving his offense a chance on fourth down. Defensive lineman Abraham De Luna deflected the fourth-down pass to give the ball back to the offense and ending Cloquet’s’ only real offensive threat the rest of the game and ultimately gave the Stars their first state title with a 14-0 win.