Maple Grove football coach Matt Lombardi considers himself a nerd for finding oddball statistics others might overlook.

He shared one after the Crimson beat Rosemount 27-10 and won the school's first Class 6A Prep Bowl championship.

"I went back, and I figured out that since the winter of their junior year all the way through this game, that I've been fortunate enough to have been with them for 86 weeks out of the 101 weeks they've lived. They truly have become a part of my family."

These family members are yoked for life as champions. Top-ranked Maple Grove (13-0) defeated No. 2 Rosemount (12-1), coming all the way back from second place last fall to champions for the first time.

The Crimson were more physical than Rosemount. They used big plays on offense and an opportunistic defense to deny the Irish a first state title since 1981.

Senior Jacob Anderson authored many of those key moments. He caught a touchdown pass for a 7-3 lead. His big run set up the touchdown to make it 14-3. And he forced and recovered a fumble to put a third Maple Grove scoring drive in motion. He also intercepted a pass.

Until Friday, no one put 21 points on Rosemount's defense all season. Maple Grove, courtesy of Anderson, did it in less than two minutes of game action.

Not bad for a senior who missed multiple weeks this season with an injury.

"He's absolutely everything," senior quarterback Jacob Kilzer said. "He can play any position and make plays. He's really a game changer. And without him, we would not be the same team."

Looking down a 17-point deficit, Rosemount was a different team, too. Down 11 points, there was still hope. Another touchdown meant desperation. Against their best opponent this season, Rosemount struggled to gain separation with its power-T scheme. Facing a sizable deficit against Maple Grove only made Rosemount's offense less effective. It's an offense for putting away an opponent, not playing catchup.

"We kept hammering and we thought, 'One more drive and, and we're right back in this thing,' " Rosemount coach Jeff Erdmann said. "But we ended up not getting that score, which obviously made it hard. We felt like at halftime that we'd given them 14 points."

Rosemount did produce a touchdown later in second quarter. Starting with possession in the second half, Maple Grove opened with a drive lasting about seven minutes. A bad snap on a short field goal attempt, however, meant the Crimson came away with zero points.

But Maple Grove leaned on its defense to keep Rosemount from harnessing momentum and converting it into points.

"We knew they had a great defense," said Lombardi, who served as defensive coordinator at Wayzata and won three Prep Bowls. "But ours ain't bad."