November 16, 2017 09:24 PM
(ABC 6 News) – After an early scare in their Class 9-Man semifinals football game, the Spring Grove Lions will play in their first Minnesota Prep Bowl in school history during Thanksgiving weekend.
After trailing 7-0 early, the Lions scored 27 unanswered points and defeated the Stephen-Argyle Central Storm in the Class 9-Man Semifinals on Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium, 27-7.
“We didn’t play our best football in the first-half,” Lions head football coach Zach Hauser said. “We were able to move the ball, but our drives kind of fizzled out. We’ve played some state ranked teams this year, so it helped.”
Once again, the Lions were led by junior quarterback Alex Folz, who completed 17 of 23 passes for 214 yards, threw one interception, rushed for 175 yards, and scored all four Lions touchdowns.
“It’s getting routine for Alex to have these kinds of performances,” Hauser said. “Any time the ball is in his hands, we feel pretty good. He gives us a chance to move the chains and score a touchdown at any time. Everything is clicking right now for Alex, and hopefully it is next week."
“It’s a good feeling know that any time, he can break a play off and score,” Lions offensive guard and nose-tackle George Boyd said. “I try my best every single play, if one of us offensive lineman mess up, we pick each other up and move on to the next play.”
“It all goes to the linemen,” Folz said. “They’re the ones who get the job done, as well as the receivers. Sometimes I don’t make good throws, our receivers go get it and my linemen give me time.”
Lions wide receiver Noah Elton caught six passes for 127 yards to lead all receivers.
After allowing an 84-yard touchdown run by the Storm in the first quarter, the Lions defense buckled down defensively, allowing the Storm to compile only 81 yards of total offense following the Storm’s lone touchdown.
“We just got pissed off after that (touchdown run),” Boyd said. “We came out flat right away, that happened, and we all realized this could be our last game and we got mad and made stuff happen.”
“I didn’t think our defense would be so gritty in the second-half,” Hauser said. “I was really impressed with the way they came out and played in the second-half.”
The Lions will play either Russell-Tyler-Ruthton or Nevis for the Class 9-Man Prep Bowl back at U.S. Bank Stadium—it’s unlike anything the Lions said they’ve never experienced before.
“We’ve never played indoors like this before,” Boyd said. “We’re always outside on grass in a mud pit or in a blizzard or something, and now it’s 60-70 degrees, no wind, perfect conditions.”
“This is definitely the best feeling I’ve ever had,” Folz said. “This is a great team, we’re all get together. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had. We’re just a nice, close, team and I wouldn’t change this team for anything.”
“Eight days from now, it’s going to end, whether it’s holding a state championship or going home with a loss,” Hauser added. “Either way it’s going to be hard to let these guys go.”
The 9-Man State Championship game is scheduled for 10 a.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday, Nov. 24.
Updated: November 16, 2017 09:24 PM
Created: November 16, 2017 05:13 PM
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