ST. CLOUD - Say hello to Providence Academy.
Only six years into its varsity football program, the Lions showed they mean business by beating Perham 28-19 in the Class 3A state quarterfinals Saturday at Husky Stadium.
The 10-year-old Catholic prep school in Plymouth had won only one playoff game in team history before this year. But the Lions looked like anything but novices Saturday, taking control with a 21-point second quarter.
As it has been all season, Providence (10-2) was paced by Marshall Klitzke. The senior running back scored three touchdowns in the first half and milked the clock in the second, rushing for 133 of his 227 yards after halftime. Klitzke's biggest run came moments after Perham (8-4) had cut the Providence leads to 21-19 early in the second half. He scooted through the left side of the line, broke a tackle and raced 55 yards before being chased down on the Perham 22-yard line, effectively stealing the momentum back from the Yellowjackets.
But Klitzke had help, largely in the form of quarterback Jackson Canfield. Canfield passed for 133 yards in the first half as the Lions needed to keep Perham from focusing solely on Klitzke. In the second half, Canfield threw only two passes but rushed 10 times for 58 yards and the Lions' game-clinching touchdown.