Mahnomen's Trevor Haugo fumbles as he is hit by Dawson-Boyd's Nathaniel Huot. Photo by Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune
Evan Robertson couldn’t even stand on one leg after taking a helmet to the knee in last Saturday’s Class 1A semifinal victory. Coaches and players weren’t sure if he could play in Friday’s championship game until a few days ago.
“We figured even with a little adrenaline today that he’d be just fine,” Dawson-Boyd coach Cory Larson said.
Robertson was more than fine. He was fantastic.
Robertson tied a prep bowl record with three interceptions and Dawson-Boyd forced five turnovers in a 35-20 victory over Mahnomen at the Metrodome on Friday, Nov. 25.
The Blackjacks won the state title in their first state tournament appearance.
Mahnomen landed the first punch with a 75-yard opening drive capped by a rushing touchdown from Avery Fairbanks, the Indians' star running back who was battling an ankle injury.
Dawson-Boyd responded with 21 unanswered points amidst three rare Indians turnovers. Mahnomen finished with 56 more yards of total offense, but couldn’t hold on to the football.
“They can capitalize on anything,” Indians coach John Clark Jr. said. “We made some mistakes, and they capitalized on them, and that’s what state champs do.”
Mahnomen fumbled four times, losing two of them. Joey Lee’s 1-yard rushing touchdown started the Blackjacks’ rally. Esten Weber and Justin Lee each scored their first of two rushing touchdowns on the afternoon to put Dawson-Boyd up 21-6.
Robertson tallied his first interception on a deep Mahnomen pass with 56 seconds left in the half to quell another Indians scoring drive. His second and third picks deflated the Indians in the fourth quarter and his three interceptions tied a prep bowl record. He finished the season with 12, including six in the state tournament alone.
“Credit the lineman with getting pressure on the quarterback,” Robertson said.
Dawson-Boyd's Evan Robertson (7) comes up with one of his three interceptions. Photo by Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune
With Nathaniel Huot as another dangerous defensive back, the Blackjacks' secondary has been forcing turnovers all season. Larson was hoping the defense could hold the run-happy Indians and force them to throw.
“Mahnomen’s a team that really takes care of the football,” Larson said. “Maybe if we got them in situations where they had to pass we’d feel very comfortable because our secondary has been solid all season. It worked.”
Mahnomen quarterback Jacob Pavek jumpstarted the Indians' offense in the third quarter with a 79-yard scoring drive and his first of two rushing touchdowns to make it 21-14.
Dawson-Boyd answered with two more touchdowns, keeping Mahnomen in a hole.
-- By Aaron Paitich, Special to the Star Tribune
|Most Interceptions||Evan Robertson
|Most Interception Yards||Reece Henrickson||Stephen-Argyle Central||120 Yards (2 INTs)||2003|
|Unassisted Tackles||Matt Jarland
|Total Tackles||Joel Staats||Winona||21 Tackles||1987|
Senior defensive back Evan Robertson tied a Prep Bowl record with three interceptions as Dawson-Boyd beat Mahnomen 35-20 in the state Class 1A championship game on Friday, Nov. 25, at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The 6-foot-4, 181-pound Robertson snared two of his interceptions in the fourth quarter as the Blackjacks (14-0) surged to a two-touchdown lead.
Thanks largely to the leaping, stick-mitted Robertson, Dawson-Boyd snuffed any hope of a Mahnomen comeback.
Robertson’s three interceptions give him six in three state tournament games. He shares the Prep Bowl single-game record with five players. The feat hadn’t been accomplished since Tyler Drinkall of Rushford-Peterson and Matt Risinger of Minnetonka each had three interceptions during the 2004 Prep Bowl.
Justin Lee and Esten Weber each rushed for two touchdowns for Dawson-Boyd. Weber had 90 rushing yards and Lee 87.
Jacob Pavek rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns for Mahnomen (13-1), which was seeking its seventh state title.
-- Loren Nelson, MN Football Hub staff
1. Evan Robertson, Dawson-Boyd
A 6-foot-4, 181-pound senior defensive back, Robertson had three interceptions to bump his season total to 12. Six of Robertson’s picks came in three state tournament games. His three interceptions tied a Prep Bowl record held by five other players.
2. Esten Weber, Dawson-Boyd
A 5-10, 195-pound senior, Weber rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. He also had a game-high 10 tackles.
3. Jacob Pavek, Mahnomen
The Indians’ senior quarterback rushed for 153 yard and two touchdowns on 20 carries and had two of his six tackles register a loss, including a sack.
-- Loren Nelson, MN Football Hub staff