Posted On: 11/23/18 7:56 PM
Alex Folz’s career for Spring Grove is one for the storybooks and the last chapter covered a lot of ground Friday as he led the Lions to a 40-18 9-man state title over Mountain Lake Area at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Folz ran for four touchdowns and finished with 263 yards rushing on 29 carries. He threw for 90 yards on 10 of 19 passing in leading Spring Grove to back-to-back state titles. Folz had touchdown runs of 88, 50, 7 and 4 yards to continue Section 1’s dominance at the state tournament. Teams from Section 1 have won the last six state titles and the Lions extended their winning streak to 28 games with the victory.
Folz, who has more than 13,000 career yards of total offense, set the tone with a game-opening drive that concluded with a 7-yard touchdown run by him.
Folz finished his senior season with 2,711 rushing yards, 42 rushing touchdowns to go with 2,309 yards passing and 28 passing touchdowns.
Folz had competition early from Wolverines junior quarterback Abe Stoesz, who scored on a 52-yard touchdown run with 7 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 7-6.
But Folz showed he isn’t always just about big numbers when he engineered a drive that started at Spring Grove’s 15-yard line. On a fourth-and-1 from the Lion’s 24-yard line they faked a punt with Folz running for a first down. Four plays later Tyler Kersten ran in from 58 yards out to put Spring Grove up 14-6 with 3:58 left in the first quarter following the extra-point kick.
The defenses showed up for both teams in the second quarter and both held each other from scoring as the Lions took a 14-6 lead into halftime.
Mountain Lake Area did have a touchdown called back shortly before halftime after a wide receiver stepped out of bounds prior to catching the pass.
Folz jump started Spring Grove in the second half on the team’s first possession with a six-minute drive that ended with a Karsten 2-yard touchdown run that made it 20-6.
Folz started to put the game away in the fourth quarter with an 88-yard touchdown run with 9:58 left to play and a 4-yard touchdown run with 7 minutes left as the lead swelled to 32-6.
The Wolverines got to within 14 after Stoesz found Drake Hader for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 5:25 to play and then ran in from 51 yards out with 2:03 left.
But Folz’s 51-yard run with 1:08 left put the game away for good.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
Spring Grove spent five years falling to Grand Meadow in the section title game before breaking through last season to defeat the Superlarks in the section semifinals en route to the school’s first state title.
The Lions returned just three starters from last year’s state championship team, which makes this year’s title all the more impressive.
Stoesz finished with 244 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Mountain Lake Area as he nearly matched Folz’s effort. Stoesz finished the year with 1,911 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He threw for 1,211 yards with 11 touchdowns.
The Wolverines finished with four turnovers — two interceptions and two lost fumbles. Mountain Lake Area intercepted three Spring Grove passes. The Wolverines surrendered an average of 8.5 points per game, the second-best mark in the state.