On Thursday, November 14, the SMB Wolfpack traveled to US Bank Stadium for the MSHSL Class 4A State Semifinals against a very tough Hutchinson High School team (#1 QRF ranking).
Hutchinson earned the first possession of the game and marched their way down the field to the Wolfpack's 16 before being picked off by the impressive Jalen Suggs. Despite an obvious momentum shift on the turnover, SMB struggled to get things going and heading into the second quarter, it would be the Tigers who would get on the board first following two impressive completions for 44 yards. The Wolfpack didn't allow that lead to last for long, however; on their next outing, SMB went 58 yards and scored on a 12-yard pass and 2-point conversion (caught by SPA's Judah Thomas '22). Penalties riddled the Tigers for the remainder of the quarter and a Suggs interception and fumble kept the Wolfpack at bay. At halftime, the score was tied, 8-8.
After the break, the Wolfpack received the ball first and made a strong push down the field before the ball was intercepted for a touchback. Hutchinson used the stop as momentum and put together a strong string of plays before Suggs returned the favor and intercepted the ball, returned it to the Hutchinson 35-yard line, and, a few plays later, threw a 24-yard touchdown to SPA's Thomas to put the team up, 16-8. The lead didn’t last, however; Hutchinson drew even on a nine-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 15-yard touchdown run by the quarterback. With 4:51 remaining on the game clock, SMB had confidence they could get the edge over the Tigers if they played smart and used the clock wisely. Following an 11 play drive, which included a close, chain-measured third-down conversion, Suggs made the game’s last big play and threw a 14-yard touchdown to Savion Robinson with 50 seconds to play, extending the Wolfpack’s season and 25-game winning streak.
Read more in the Star Tribune's recap.
SPA had a strong presence in the Semifinal game:
- Judah Thomas '20 recorded a two-point conversion, a touchdown reception, and two punt returns.
- Senior captain Tommy Stolpestad had 8 total tackles, including a few key, third-down stops.
The Class 4A Prep Bowl State Championship will take place on Friday, November 29 at US Bank Stadium at 4 p.m. against the winner of Rocori vs. Winona. If the Wolfpack wins, they will be named back-to-back State Champions.
The Prep Bowl Championship will be available, free of charge, for live webcast at www.prep45.com and will be televised by 45TV. Tickets for the state tournament can be purchased at U.S. Bank Stadium or on Ticketmaster.com ($16 adults; $7 students).