Kent Kitzmann knows how to put a team on his back and carry them.
The senior running back rushed for 195 yards on 40 carries and had over 200 total yards and six touchdowns, carrying Rochester John Marshall to a 41-19 victory over Bloomington Jefferson for the Class AA championship.
"He is the best we've seen this year," Bloomington Jefferson coach Bruno Waldner said. "There's no doubt."
Kitzmann scored on runs of 1, 3, 4, 6 and 10 yards and caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. He also had an interception.
"I did start getting some cramping in my legs," Kitzmann said. "But I'm not too tired."
New Prague senior fullback Harold Stevens tried to match Kitzmann. Stevens rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns, caught two passes for 65 yards and returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, leading the Trojans to a 41-12 triumph over Caledonia in the Class B finals. He also played middle linebacker on defense.
Alexandria end/offensive back Dan Clarquist was dominant in a much different way. Clarquist caught a 51-yard touchdown pass while setting a championship game record with four interceptions as Alexandria won its first and only championship with a 26-7 victory over Chaska in Class A.
"I have been in the right place at the right time," Clarquist said. He finished with 13 interceptions for the season.
In two other finals:
Quarterback Mark Hustad's fourth touchdown pass, a 10-yarder to John Shorter on a fourth down-and-4 call in the second overtime, gave Battle Lake a 34-26 victory over Bird Island in the Class C championship. Hustad hit Mike Flemming with a 15-yard scoring strike with 46 seconds remaining to tie the score at 20-all and force overtime. Both teams scored in the first overtime, but failed on their two-point conversion passes.
"This is the biggest win ever for me in my life," Battle Lake coach Tony Thiel said. It was the first of two championships for the program.
State championship games
Class AA: Rochester John Marshall 41, Bloomington Jefferson 19
Class A: Alexandria 26, Chaska 7
Class B: New Prague 41, Caledonia 12
Class C: Battle Lake 34, Bird Island 26 (2 OT)
Nine-Man: Lake Benton 36, Fisher 6