For the first time in nearly a decade and a half, O’Gorman wins a state football championship. The Knights defeated the Brandon Valley Lynx 21-16 on Friday night to claim their first ever 11AAA crown.
O’Gorman got the ball first in the contest, but it was spoiled when a Teegan Schlimgen pass was intercepted by Damion Schunke near midfield. This gave Brandon Valley a short field to work with for their first drive of the game.
The Lynx would capitalize on the Knights turnover with a Jorey Sorenson 25-yard field goal. This put Brandon on top early 3-0.
Both teams were cold on offense through a majority of the first quarter. The Knights went the entire opening period with no passing yards, while Brandon Valley had 34 total yards from scrimmage through the first 12-muntes of play.
End of the 1st Quarter: Brandon Valley 3 O’Gorman 0
O’Gorman missed an opportunity to tie it early in the second quarter when a 34-yard field goal attempt by Conor Pavelko missed the mark and went left of the uprights.
The Knights would find the end zone on their next possession to take a 7-3 lead. Zach Norton connected with Tip Reiman for a 30-yard touchdown with 5:12 to play until halftime.
Brandon Valley got a spark on defense with just over two-minutes to play in the second quarter when Jesse Steffel got a strip sack to give the Lynx the ball deep in O’Gorman territory. Two plays later and Brandon Valley’s Tate Johnson strolled into the end zone from 3-yards out to give the Lynx the lead back at 10-7.
Halftime: Brandon Valley 10 O’Gorman 7
The Lynx got the ball to start the second half, but the Knights defense held strong to force an early three-and-out.
O’Gorman retook the lead on their first possession of the third quarter with a 28-yard swing pass from Teegan Schlimgen to Zach Norton that went for six. This made it a 14-10 game with 8:53 to play in the third.
At the 6:29 mark, Tate Johnson jumped over a pile at the goal line to put the Lynx back in front. However, the extra point was blocked. Brandon Valley led O’Gorman 16-14.
Tate Wishard would give the Knights the lead back at 21-16 with 2:55 to play in the third quarter – he pushed through at the one-yard line and into the end zone.
End of the 3rd Quarter: O’Gorman 21 Brandon Valley 16
Brandon Valley had a promising drive deep into the fourth quarter, but penalties backed them into a fourth and long that resulted in a sack. With the clock on their side, and a few key first downs on the ground, the Knights ran out the clock.
Final: O’Gorman 21 Brandon Valley 16
This is the ninth state football championship in O’Gorman Knights history. It’s also their first in 11AAA and first since 2005.
Outstanding Lineman: Jonah Wuebben (O’Gorman)
Outstanding Back: Zach Norton (O’Gorman)
Jim Langer Player of the Game: Zach Norton (O’Gorman)