St. Thomas Academy quarterback Thomas Dolan threw two circus touchdown passes in under 90 seconds to tie the Cadets' game against Park of Cottage Grove 14-14 at halftime.
Determined to not break like it did to end the first half, the Wolfpack didn't allow a second-half score, beating the Cadets 28-14 in a Class 5A, Section 3 semifinal Saturday.
"I felt like we dominated a first half and now we were going in [to half] 14-14," Park coach Darin Glazier said of the Cadets' two second-quarter scoring plays. "Giving up passes like that is frustrating, but I thought we played outstanding defensively compared to where we have been in the past."
Park senior running back Lucas Liljedahl scored the game's first points on a 3-yard rushing touchdown three minutes into the first quarter. Liljedahl set up his own score by catching a 12-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Alt two plays prior.
Alt found Liljedahl in the flats after a play-action run fake. With no Cadets defenders near him, Liljedahl turned up the right sideline before being tackled near the goal line.
Liljedahl finished with 79 rushing yards, two touchdowns and more than 100 total yards. His final score, a 1-yard rush with 3:27 remaining, sealed the outcome.
The Wolfpack defense sacked Dolan three times, forced three turnovers on downs and recovered one fumble. It dominated the line of scrimmage and didn't allow St. Thomas Academy (6-4) near the end zone after halftime.
A missed 22-yard field goal attempt by Devon Kennedy in the third quarter was the closest the Cadets got to scoring in the second half.
"I think we have struggled with this all year," St. Thomas Academy coach Jason Sedlak said. "Just the lack of consistent execution.
''We'd get things going and then there would be an offsides, penalty or negative play. In playoff football, mistakes are what ends seasons."