South St. Paul running back Quinn Christoffersen strained for an extra yard near the goal line as St. Paul Johnson defenders Angelo Gomez (5) and Eduardo Pacheco (54) push back. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
A loss to end the season often sits vividly in the mind of high school football players, especially when the defeat happens in a section championship game.
While a season-ending loss stings, few teams get the chance for some revenge in the playoffs just a season later. But that is what South St. Paul (6-3) accomplished with a 29-6 victory over St. Paul Johnson on its home field Saturday afternoon.
The Governors ended South St. Paul's run of making five consecutive state tournaments with a 12-7 defeat of the Packers in the Class 4A, Section 3 title game last season.
As the section bracket began to take shape this fall, returning Packers like senior quarterback Mitch Felton started to realize the rematch potential.
"That was our goal for this year," said Felton, who ran for three touchdowns Saturday. "If we met Johnson again, to really take it to them and get some momentum."
While the Packers’ offense was able to produce points Saturday, the team’s defense also kept St. Paul Johnson off the board for most of the day.
South St. Paul's Sam Dwelle wrapped up St. Paul Johnson quarterback Jovanni Gonzalez (1) for a first-half loss. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
A new season, and a new outcome for South St. Paul in the Class 4A, Section 3 playoffs.
Last season, St. Paul Johnson defeated South St. Paul 12-7 in the section title game — ending a five-year run of state tournament qualification for the Packers.
But on Saturday, it was the Packers' turn to end St. Paul Johnson's season as quarterback Mitch Felton's three touchdown runs led South St. Paul (6-3) to a 29-6 home section playoff semifinal win over the Governors (5-5).
Felton and running back Quinn Christoffersen teamed up to lead the Packers' ground attack. Christoffersen rushed for 105 yards and also scored a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Along with his three rushing TDs, Felton completed four passes for 74 yards.
Joe Moberg caught St. Paul Johnson's lone touchdown, a 6-yard reception from quarterback Jovanni Gonzalez in the fourth quarter.
St. Paul Johnson quarterback Jovanni Gonzalez looked for a receiver in the fourth quarter. He eventually found Joe Moberg for a short touchdown pass. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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