Minneapolis North marches on

Minneapolis North’s defensive unit
Minneapolis North’s defensive unit (Mitch McDonald/MSR News)

“Calm down,” Minneapolis North Head Football Coach Charles Adams told his team as they trailed Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 13-0 in the Class A state semifinals last Friday evening. “Stay focused,” he said.


The Polars took their coach’s advice, regrouped, and scored 24 points in the third quarter en route to a 32-13 victory and a date this Saturday against Wabasso in the semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium.

After spotting their opponent a 13-point lead and a scoreless second period, North came out in the second half ready to go.

Running back Jamin Smith’s 34-yard run and a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Azherik Rodgers to Western Illinois boys’ basketball signee Isaac Johnson made it a 13-8 contest.

Two minutes later, Rodgers connected with Corleon Powell from 10 yards out and Smith provided the two-point conversion to give North a 16-13 lead.

The Polars never looked back.

Three minutes after the second touchdown, Kehyan Porter scored on a two-yard run, and Rodgers connected with Powell for the two-point conversion for a 24-13 advantage.

The Polars provided the exclamation point with a one-yard touchdown courtesy of Isaac Johnson and Smith’s two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

Jamire Jackson, Phillip Scott, Phaizon Scott and Tayler Johnson led a North defensive unit that held the Bulldogs scoreless for three periods.


Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com.