Cromwell QB too much for Lanesboro

MINNEAPOLIS — Lanesboro had no answer for quarterback Jordan Suhonen on Friday.

The senior ran through and past the Burros all game long en route to a record-setting performance as Cromwell captured the the Nine-Man state football championship with a wild 49-42 victory over the Burros at the Metrodome.

Suhonen set championship-game records for yards rushing (374), touchdown runs (five), longest TD run (86 yards) and yards per carry (13.4) to lift the Cardinals to their fourth Nine-Man state championship.

"It's amazing right now," Suhonen said. "I can't believe I scored five times, but the way our line was blocking, I believe it."

The Burros were also in disbelief as Suhonen exploded for one big play after another. He quickly got into the Lanesboro secondary, and once he did, he was off to the end zone.


"We didn't expect them to be so good on the offensive line," Lanesboro coach James Semmen said. "Their quarterback is fast and we took some bad angles."

Suhonen had scoring runs of 33 and 58 yards in the first quarter, scoring runs of 55 and 86 yards in the third quarter and added a 20-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. He carried 28 times and often

took off after a fake to a running back.

"Our twin quarterback keeper was open," Suhonen said. "We were getting yards off that every time."

WIth the Burros worried about Suhonen, Nick Berg broke loose for a 72-yard TD run in the final minute of the first half. That came just one offensive play after Lanesboro's Justin Gudmundson caught a 52-yard scoring pass.

"We had to stop them on defense and it didn't happen," Lanesboro quarterback/defensive back Lucas Johnson said.

Johnson rushed and passed for 264 total yards for the Burros. The quarterback ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more as the Burros almost rallied from a 49-28 deficit in the fourth quarter.

"He played his heart out, as did all our kids," Semmen said.


Johnson rushed for 169 yards and pased for 95. Freshman Niko Anderson, who rushed for 101 yards, had a 61-yard TD run for the Burros in third quarter as Lanesboro tried to match touchdowns with Cromwell. But the Cardinals answered each time.

"We just couldn't stop them until their eighth possession," Semmen said.

Suhonen's fifth TD, just six seconds into the fourth quarter, put Cromwell up by three touchdowns and appeared to seal the win. He then ended the next Lanesboro possession with an interception in the end


But the Burros made a final run, after they finally made a defensive stop. Johnson and Hanson hooked up for an 11-yard scoring pass, their second TD of the day, with 3:54 left.

Johnson then recovered an onside kick and capped a 48-yard run with a 2-yard TD run with 1:57 to play.

"We started to get going and thought it could be our game," Johnson said.

But Suhonen, who was slowed early in the year with an ankle injury as Cromwell started 2-4, made one final big play. He recovered an onside kick after Lanesboro pulled within 49-42 to seal the victory.


"It's just a disappointment," Johnson said.

"We left it all out of the field," Lanesboro senior tight end/defensive end Shane Austin said.

The Cardinals (9-4), who finished with seven straight wins, had 527 yards in the game, all on the ground.

Lanesboro concludes the season 11-3 after starting 0-2. The Burros had 473 total yards.

"We're proud of our season," Johnson said.

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