Bethlehem Academy, helped by a 21-point second quarter, knocked off defending state champion Dawson-Boyd 29-20 Saturday, advancing to next Saturday's Class 1A Prep Bowl title game.
The Cardinals scored three touchdowns in a span of a little less than five minutes. Christian Von Ruden returned a punt 50 yards to set up a score, took reverse 53 yards for a touchdown and also placed a 42-yard punt inside the 20-yard line in the period.
The Blackjacks closed the gap to nine points with 7 seconds left in the first half. Justin Lee took a pitch from Joey Lee and lofted a 9-yard pass to Nathaniel Huot for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and the halftime score was 21-12.
Bethlehem Academy's clinching score came at 8:05 of the fourth quarter, as a shanked punt led to a 14-yard touchdown run by Matt Siegfried.
The Cardinals converted a fake extra point kick for two points to take a 17-point lead.
"That's a play we work on in practice," Bethlehem Academy head coach Scott Hanson said. "The players themselves set it up because they sensed that Dawson-Boyd was bringing a lot of pressure up the middle."
Hanson praised his team and cited quarterback Kyle Filzen as a "tremendous leader and example for his teammates."
Filzen scored a 1-yard touchdown to begin the scoring for the Cardinals, and finished the game with 40 yards rushing and one touchdown pass.
"It's been really exciting throughout the year to build this momentum," Hanson said. "These guys are the defending champs, so for us to hang with them was real exciting for our football program."
Filzen said knocking off the defending champs "feels good. It gives us the confidence that we stack up with anyone."
Lee completed 20 of 34 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown for the Blackjacks.