Lakeville South quarterback Reid Patterson (10) scored the Cougars' first touchdown early in the fourth quarter against St. Michael-Albertville. Photo: AARON LAVINSKY • email@example.com
Officially, the game-winning scoring drive Lakeville South engineered to make its claim for mythical state champion status went 80 yards.
But the journey through a season marred by a global pandemic required the top-ranked Cougars to go a greater distance.
They built strength for their final drive last summer, in a makeshift weight room set up outdoors under the stadium bleachers. Earlier this week, their previously scheduled opponent, Edina, canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
No. 4-ranked St. Michael-Albertville also needed an opponent after Minnetonka dropped out for the same reasons. Group text chats blew up as both the Cougars and Knights welcomed a high-stakes meeting. They got their wish Friday.
Top-ranked Lakeville South scored a touchdown with 20.9 seconds remaining to edge St. Michael-Albertville 14-13 at home Friday.
The Cougars’ 16-play drive resulted in their second touchdown of the fourth quarter and made them a Class 6A section championship winner. But they had to sweat out a Knights’ 40-yard field goal try with two seconds remaining.
The Knights took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when quarterback Jack Drobinski scored on a 10-yard run.
They extended the lead in the third quarter when Max Keefer scored from one yard out. A two-point conversion attempt failed, making it 13-0.
Cougars quarterback Reid Patterson scored on a 5-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to narrow the Knights' lead to 13-7.
That set the stage for the final drive, capped by a 2-yard touchdown by Josh Jacobson. The extra point kick by Justin Loehr gave the Cougars a 14-13 lead.
St. Michael-Albertville took the ensuing kickoff and completed two passes to the Cougars' 23-yard line, setting up the final field goal try, which fell short.
No. 1 Lakeville South (8-0) matched up with No. 4 St. Michael-Albertville (6-2) after both teams lost opponents to COVID-19 concerns.
Check back later for more on the game.