MINNEAPOLIS - Properly executing a play that they were hesitant to use worked wonders for Rochester Lourdes on Saturday.
Jake Groteboer's 6-yard touchdown run with 25 seconds remaining was the final score in a back-and-forth game that ended with the Eagles defeating St. Croix Lutheran 42-35 in the Class 3A title game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Neither team led by more than a touchdown.
The win was the second state title in three years for the Eagles (13-0) and their fourth overall.
That winning rush was set up by a 59-yard completion that included a double-lateral on 3rd-and-22.
Ed Caples caught a 14-yard pass from Noah Hillman at midfield and lateraled to Pat Leary who ran 20 yards before lateraling to Carter Greguson, who advanced the ball to the 6. Replays showed the second lateral went forward by at least 5 yards.
"In practice that play hasn't worked that well, but luckily it worked when it mattered," said Hillman, who was 12 of 16 for 270 yards. "We actually have a nickname for it: 'Annexation of Puerto Rico.' I think our coach said it's from a movie. It's just kind of a crazy play."
Coach Mike Kesler said the play is a big gamble, "but I thought we'd take a shot there and try to do something."
St. Croix Lutheran coach Carl Lemke did not call for a video review.
"Where do you see the angle? Who's going to make the call? That happens. There might have been calls during the game that went our way and we don't even know it," he said.
Greguson had 280 all-purpose yards and scored twice for Rochester Lourdes. He also had two interceptions and a Prep Bowl-record 20 solo tackles.
"I was just glad to get through the game without cramping up," he said.
Daniel Rust rushed for 134 yards and Mike Stern 109 for the Crusaders (12-1).
Hillman's 66-yard run midway through the fourth quarter capped a Prep Bowl record-tying 99-yard drive, but covering that distance in four plays is a new record. The drive began when Hillman intercepted a St. Croix Lutheran pass at the Eagles 1.