Gophers defense holds on to secure Class AA Football Championship 14-13

(ABC 6 News) – The Chatfield Gophers are now Class AA State Football Champions.

Chatfield faced *West Central Area/Ashby on Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium in the state football championships and won in a dramatic fashion, 14 to 13.

Chatfield was without star quarterback Sam Backer after a judge upheld his suspension in U.S. District Court early Friday morning.

Backer was suspended by Minnesota State High School League officials because of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in Chatfield’s semi-final game against Barnesville.

Sophomore Parker Delaney took the helm for the Gophers. On the Gophers opening drive, Delaney led his team on a 36-yard scoring drive, capped off with a dive into the endzone from 6 yards out. After failing to convert the two-point conversion, Gophers led 6-0.

The Knights answered right back with a 30-yard pass from Evan Paulson to Cole Anderson, to take the lead 7-6.

After exchanging interceptions in the second quarter, Gophers defense popped the ball loose and Carter Daniels scooped and scored for six, Gophers took the lead 14-7.

The Knights nearly coughed up a fumble in the 4th quarter which was returned for a touchdown by Eli Hopp, but officials reviewed and reversed the call. Later on the same drive, Evan Paulson punched it in from 1-yard out.

The Knights chose to go for the 2 pt conversion to take the lead, but a huge stop by the Gophers defense stopped Anthony Sykora from converting.

West Central Area/Ashby had one last chance late but Isaac Erding would seal the game with his second pick of the game. Gophers defeat *West Central Area/Ashby 14-13.

Gophers worked the ground game totaling 171 yards led by a pair of sophomores, Parker Delaney had 35 yards and a touchdown and 67 yards through the air and Kailan Schott finished with 71 yards and the ground. Junior Jackson Schild added 32 yards as well as 17 from senior Grady Schott.

Gophers notched its fifth school title and their first title since 2013.