While former Minneapolis North football and basketball standout Tyler Johnson, a senior receiver, was helping the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team upset number-four Penn State at TCF Bank Stadium last Saturday, his high school coach, Charles Adams, was preparing the Polars for a Class 2A state quarterfinal showdown against Blue Earth—which the Polars won 26-20—at Kasson-Mantorville High School that evening.
Johnson, who led North to the Class A state crown in 2015 as a quarterback, caught seven passes for 104 yards and one touchdown, as the then-number 17 Gophers (now ranked number seven) remained undefeated at 9-0 and earned one of the school’s most important victories in a dominant fashion.
His former team wasn’t as dominant in their victory.
Blue Earth jumped out to a 14-0 second-quarter lead before quarterback Zach Yeager connected with receiver Dominic McMillan for a 40- yard score to make it 14-6 at halftime. Blue Earth boosted their lead to 20-6 late in the third period, but North responded by scoring 20 unanswered points.
Quientrail Jamison-Travis recovered a fumble in the endzone right before the end of the period. Terrance Kamara scored from four yards out midway through the final period, and Yeager connected with McMillan again for a 23-yard touchdown that put the Polars up for good.
One would think that after such a win the coach would celebrate the victory with rest and relaxation. Yet the following Sunday afternoon there was Adams, a veteran Minneapolis police officer—and also the police officer liaison at North—working security detail at the Target Center as the Minnesota Timberwolves took on the Denver Nuggets in NBA action.
“It never stops,” Adams said with a smile. “I was up late last night breaking down .”
When asked about his former player, Adams let it be known that Johnson remains close to the program. “He’s been to every game he could make,” Adams said. “I just talked to him last night. I’m very proud of him.”
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.