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Rochester Lourdes Wins Class 3A Championship

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Leading up to the Prep Bowl, Rochester Lourdes coaches stressed to their team the importance of finishing.

Zach Hillman ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns and the Eagles completed an undefeated season by beating New London-Spicer 35-14 Saturday in the Class 3A championship game.

It was the third state title for the Eagles (13-0) and first since 2010.

"We capitalized when we needed to capitalize," said coach Mike Kesler. "Our kids found a way."

New London-Spicer (11-2) lost the championship game for the second straight season. Ethan Bohlsen was 16 for 30 and 184 yards passing for the Wildcats. He was intercepted three times.

The game turned in a short span in the third quarter.

Down 21-14, New London-Spicer drove to the Eagles' 20, but Adam Ellingson intercepted Bohlsen.

Four Hillman rushes later — including a 65-yard burst and 4-yard touchdown run — Rochester Lourdes led 28-14.

"Anytime you can get two possessions up against a team like that, that's all you need really with the way our defense was playing," Hillman said. "There wasn't much they could do after that."

Rochester Lourdes changed its defensive scheme in the second half, playing more man-to-man coverage.

"It seemed like it caused them some fits and then our front four was able to tee off a little bit," Kesler said. Bohlsen's three interceptions came in the final two quarters.

Both teams had plenty of second half chances, but turnovers became the norm.

The Eagles started drives on their own 42 and the New London-Spicer 49, but both ended with fumbles before first downs could be achieved. The Eagles finished with three fumbles.

Early in the fourth quarter, Bohlsen threw into triple-coverage and his pass was intercepted by Andrew Olson inside the 10-yard line. He was also picked off by Carter Greguson with less than 5 minutes to play.

Greguson's 10-yard run iced the win.

"They were making plays, they have a really good defensive secondary," said Wildcats coach Dan Essler. "They really flushed Bohlsen out of the pocket and made him throw the ball before he wanted to."

A 1-yard run by Noah Hillman and 5-yard pass from Noah Hillman to Greguson gave Rochester Lourdes a 14-0 first-quarter lead, but Shane Zylstra returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards.

Trey Austvold scored from 2 yards out with 4:36 to go in the half to tie the game, but Zach Hillman answered with a 1-yard score to give Rochester Lourdes a 21-14 lead.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)




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