In the end, Superman couldn't do everything.
St. Paul Central (5-0) scored on a 2-yard run by quarterback Sam Gubbrud with 27 seconds left, capping a 59-yard drive that took 1:04, giving the Minutemen a wild 36-35 victory over Minneapolis North.
North (4-1), the No. 2-ranked team in Class 1A, nearly pulled out the victory over Central, ranked No. 9 in Class 5A, on the previous drive. Quarterback Tyler Johnson, who missed most of the second half because of severe leg cramps, hit Patrick Dempley with a scoring strike on fourth-and-goal from the Central 6-yard-line. Johnson had saved the drive three plays earlier with a scintillating 27-yard scramble on third-and-20. It was one of many such runs by Johnson, who scored three touchdowns in the first half.
Johnson finished with more than 250 total yards despite missing a large portion of the game.
"I knew he was good, but he made a real believer out of me," Central coach Scott Howard said.
The game was marred by a rash of penalties. There were 25 accepted penalties and half-dozen more that were declined. At least seven personal fouls were called, including a blow to the head of Gubbrud on Central's final scoring drive.
Gubbrud stayed in the game and rescued the drive one play before his touchdown, finding receiver JaQuantay Winston open down the left sideline on fourth-and-12 from the North 18. Gubbrud scored on the next play but was clearly woozy after the game.
"That's senior leadership for you," Howell said. "It wasn't pretty and we have a lot of things to clean up, but this says a lot about our team and the kind of players we have."
Johnson said he knew he might be needed again, so he kept ready despite his sore legs.
"Coach said he might need me, and I wanted to get back in," he said. "It was a disappointing end, but we'll be a better team for it."