The curtain came down on the Metrodome’s 32 year Prep Bowl era as Aaron Peterson scored two touchdowns to lead the Owatonna Huskies to a 24-0 win over the Brainerd Warriors in the Class AAAAA championship game Saturday night.
It was the first state title for Owatonna in their fifth trip to state. They finished second in 1982, 1998 and 2012.
Peterson, the grandson of former Huskie head coach Jerry Peterson, capped a 16 play, 5:47 drive in the first quarter with a five yard gain on fourth and two and scored on a three yard touchdown run.
It was also Peterson (who has the same initials as a familiar Minnesota Viking) who scored four seconds into the second quarter when he scored on a one yard center pitch from Ian Langeberg. The Warriors had an opoortunity to end the Huskie shutout but quarterback Thomas Stoxen, who converted on fourth and eight with a completion to Quinn McElfresh failed to convert on fourth and 13. Owatonna lost receiver Ty Sullivan due to an injury and he was carted off the field. The Huskies led by 14 at the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. Brainerd showed some life after Taylor Streif recovered a fumble at their own 44 yard line and running back Conor Gessell had a 30 yard run but they couldn’t land the ball in the end zone.
In the fourth quarter, Carter McCauley, 0-3 in field goal attempts, booted the ball through the uprights from 25 yards that ended a 12 play 6:08 drive. Sam Fenske would score the final Dome touchdown.on a 39 yard interception of Stoxen.
Peterson led the Huskies with 35 carries for 183 yards. The Warriors were led by Gessell’s 11 rushes for 71 yards.
Kevin Merkle, state football tournament director reflected on the end of the Prep Bowl’s Metrodome run.
“We gonna miss the Dome. It’s worked out fantastic for high school football. ”
The Prep Bowl will take place for the next two years at TCF Bank Stadium before moving to the new Vikings stadium in 2016. ‘TCF will be a great place for the kids,” Merkle said.
David Stead, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League gave his views on the Minneapolis venue’s contribution to Minnesota high school football.
“We have been able to bring people into this venue throughout Minnesota into this venue and let them make memories that last a lifetime.”
Owatonna ended their season 13-0 and Brainerd finished 12-1.
Saturday’s attendance was 12,177 bringing the two day total to 31,848. It’s the highest attendance since 2008 where 32,094 went through the Metrodome’s turnstiles.