“I was in,” Minneapolis North quarterback Ahzerick Rodgers said, pleading his case after he heard the referee’s whistle during the Polars’ Class A state football semifinal 16-8 victory over Wabasso. “I was in.”
Rodgers had just kept the ball on a keeper and was tightroping his way down the sideline toward the end zone when the whistle blew, indicating that he had stepped out of bounds at the 12-yard line.
The next play — with the score tied 8-8 — running back Jamin Smith scored and Rodgers provided the two-point conversion to put North up for good early in the third quarter. With the win, the Polars find themselves in a title matchup with Rushford-Peterson this Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Polars, who were runners-up in last season’s title game, took an 8-0 lead after Rodgers — who later provided the two-point conversion — connected with wide receiver Isaac Johnson from six yards out.
Wabasso tied the game after running back Mitchell Fulton’s 41-yard run and Jared Welsh’s two-point conversion.
Defensive back Tayler Johnson sealed the Polars’ victory after intercepting a pass on North’s 11-yard line with 46 seconds remaining.
Defensively, the Polars were led by Nate Wheeler’s seven tackles; Odell Wilson and Jamire Jackson each had five, and Phillip Scott, Smith, and Isaac Johnson chipped in four each.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.