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Minneota football controls clock, second half to win Class 1A Prep Bowl over Springfield

The Vikings dominated on the ground in the second half to win the eighth title in school history

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneota Vikings defeated the Springfield Tigers 38-21 in the Class 1A Prep Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday.

Springfield’s quick-strike offense could not match Minneota’s long drives. The Vikings running game chipped away at the Springfield defense throughout the game, and they were able to have key drives to churn clock and keep the ball out of the hands of the Springfield offense. Minneota won the time of possession battle 34 minutes, 19 seconds to Springfield’s 13:31.

“It just came down to them wearing us out,” Springfield coach Adam Meyer said. "The time of possession was really lopsided. We had some struggles getting our run game going."

Springfield scored first late in the first quarter on a long drive of its own. Ashtin Johnson rushed for a 1-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

Minneota answered with a 9-yard touchdown by Ryan Meagher early in the second quarter to tie the game. Viking kicker Peyton Gillund kicked a 28-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead with 1:14 remaining in the first half.

Springfield’s offense showed its efficiency with a 6-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in 42 seconds. Quarterback Jakob Nachreiner completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Carter Olson for a 13-10 lead and momentum heading into halftime.

But Minneota used halftime to make an adjustment on offense.

“We went back to our bread and butter,” Minneota head coach Chad Johnson said. “We went back to what got us here. They didn’t really adjust too much defensively, and that gave us some gaps and we were able to build momentum.”

Minneota scored the next three touchdowns with two of them on 9-play drives just over 60 yards.

“Our offensive line kept getting holes and kept wearing people out,” Minneota running back Zack Fier said. “The holes just started getting bigger and bigger.”

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Fier finished with 133 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 30 attempts.

The Vikings scored just after the start of the fourth quarter for a 31-13 lead, but Springfield reminded the Vikings of their ability to score quickly.

In six plays and in two minutes, Springfield’s Nachreiner completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Sam Pidde. The Tigers’ 2-point conversion attempt was completed, and it