The defending Class 4A football champion SMB Wolfpack don't fall behind often. But when they do, coach Chris Goodwin doesn't panic.
He knows his offense, led by its senior quarterback, can score in a hurry.
"With Jalen Suggs, you always have a chance. Jalen and some of the other guys have been state champions in basketball, too. They know how to come from behind," Goodwin said.
The Wolfpack had to come from behind for the first time this season Friday in the Section 5 title game. SMB overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to beat fellow unbeaten Benilde-St. Margaret's 36-30 and will return to the state tournament riding a 23-game winning streak.
Suggs threw three second-half touchdown passes to lead the rally. With SMB trailing 30-28, his 61-yard scramble set up a 17-yard TD pass to a leaping Terry Lockett with 44 seconds left. Suggs also made a clinching interception in the closing seconds.
"We always knew the game wasn't over. It was never in doubt. We knew each other's strengths and we knew we would all come up big and play for four quarters," said Suggs, holding back tears. "I love my brothers and we've been through so much adversity and been so resilient. I can't help but shed some tears."
SMB (10-0), a cooperative of St. Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy and Blake, scored two first-quarter TDs before the host Red Knights (9-1) picked up a first down. But Benilde responded with 21 points in the second quarter, including a 14-yard throw from Nick Peterson to Jonny Woodford with 24 seconds left in the half.
Benilde still led 30-21 after Louie Hyde's 43-yard field goal with 10:03 remaining in the game.