After struggling with a slow start, St. Thomas Academy scored 28 unanswered points — 22 in a 5-minute, 45-second stretch in the second half — and cruised to a berth in the Class 5A state tournament. Quarterback Andrew Tri connected on an 8-yard touchdown pass to Sean McFadden and scored another touchdown on a 6-yard run. The Cadets forced three turnovers to slow an Eagles offense that showed the ability to pick up yards in a hurry.

Key to the game: St. Thomas scored touchdowns on three consecutive possessions to start the second half — all while Apple Valley ran just two plays from scrimmage. The Cadets opened the third quarter with a 6½-minute scoring drive. The Eagles took the ensuing kickoff and fumbled on their second play. After another St. Thomas touchdown, Apple Valley fumbled on the kickoff. Three plays later, the Cadets' Dan Gehrz scored on an 18-yard run, and the rout was on.

Quote: "Our offensive line just started controlling everything, making huge holes and giving us plenty of time. [The backs] didn't have to do a lot of work." — Cadets senior QB Andrew Tri

One thing to know: Beyond losing three fumbles, the Eagles also squandered three trips inside the Cadets 30-yard line. They turned it over on downs twice — once in the first quarter and once on fourth-and-goal from the 9 in the fourth quarter — and missed a field goal in the second quarter.