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Elk River steals Class 5A quarterfinal win from Moorhead with last-second TD in dramatic fashion

By Josh Dungan, SportsEngine, 11/09/19, 2:15PM CST


Carter Otto caught a 57-yard pass — the Elks' lone pass of the game — and ran into the end zone as time ran out.

Elk River's Carter Otto (25) makes a catch leading to the game-winning 57-yard touchdown in the final seconds of Saturday's matchup against Moorhead. Otto's fifth TD capped a 58-55 win in the Class 5A quarterfinal. Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine

Joe Nordstrom (3) finds a hole and scores on a 32-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. Nordstrom found the end zone three times in Elk River's 58-55 win over Moorhead. Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine

Move over, Minneapolis Miracle. It’s the Monticello Miracle that’s the new game-winning touchdown pass in town.

Fans in Monticello’s Memorial Stadium who stayed despite Saturday’s wind and rain were treated to a Class 5A semifinal that everyone there will remember, as a 57-yard touchdown pass from Elk River senior quarterback Beau Ruby to junior running back Carter Otto in the closing seconds stunned Moorhead in a 58-55 Elks’ win.

After Moorhead went ahead for the first time on a Trey Feeney pass to Blake Walthall with 13 seconds remaining, the Spuds kicked off to the Elks. Otto caught the lone Elk River pass of the game, breaking a few tackles to sprint into the end zone and carry the Elks into the Class 5A semifinal at U.S. Bank Stadium next week.

“[Otto] was our best player last year as a sophomore,” Elk River coach Steven Hamilton said. “Having both Otto and [senior running back] Joe [Nordstrom], who missed last season with an illness, was big for us. In my 22 years, I’ve never won a game like that.”

Blake Walthall (8) scores on a 32-yard reception that gave Moorhead a 55-52 lead over Elk River with 13 seconds left. The Spuds fell to the Elks 58-55 in the final seconds of the Class 5A quarterfinal Saturday. Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine

First report

Move over, Minneapolis Miracle, you’ve got some high school competition. Elk River knocked off Moorhead, 58-55, on a last-second 57-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Beau Ruby to junior running back Carter Otto on Saturday in Monticello.

After a 99-yard drive in the closing minute, Moorhead (8-4) took its first lead of the game with 13 seconds left on the clock on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Trey Feeney to junior receiver Blake Walthall. But then Ruby and Otto connected to help the Elks advance to the Class 5A state semifinals.

Otto had a monster game for the Elks (11-1), finishing with 20 carries for 265 yards, five TDs and four two-point conversions. He caught the lone Elk River pass of the game.

Feeney, Moorhead’s junior quarterback, completed 33 of 46 passes for 436 yards and five TDs with two interceptions. He also rushed 18 times for 84 yards and three TDs.

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