ST. CLOUD – Minneapolis North trounced Braham 61-30 on Saturday night in the Class 1A semifinals to advance to its first football state championship game.
The Polars (12-0), led by quarterback Tyler Johnson, scored six unanswered touchdowns from the first quarter into the third quarter. Johnson, who has committed to the Gophers, scored twice on runs of 1 and 14 yards, threw two touchdown passes and also scored on a 70-yard punt return.
The Polars, who lost to Dawson-Boyd in last year's semifinals, scored first on a 10-yard run by Patrick Dempley to take a 6-0 lead. Braham answered when quarterback John Larson found Ryan Riesing on a 47-yard touchdown pass. A two-point conversion gave the Bombers (11-1) an 8-6 lead.
The Polars responded with 36 points, six on Dempley's 103-yard interception return, to take a 42-8 halftime lead. Dempley also caught a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Johnson threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Ahzerik Rodgers in the second half.