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Chaska claims first state championship with 10-7 win over St. Thomas Academy

Updated: November 30, 2019 07:39 PM

Chaska handed St. Thomas Academy its second loss of the season, this time with a championship at stake, following a 10-7 victory on Saturday, Nov. 30 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

It is the first football championship for the Hawks (12-1) in four state tournament appearances. In 1974, Chaska was the Class A runner-up.

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Chaska capped its third state tournament trip during the Prep Bowl era in dramatic fashion. Senior running back Stevo Klotz capped a Hawks last-ditch rally on a 1-yard run with 42 seconds remaining in regulation time. His powerful surge into the end zone ended a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took 2:11 off the clock.

Midway through the drive, it appeared the Cadets (11-2) would be perhaps running out the clock and celebrating their first state crown since 1975, but St. Thomas Academy was flagged for pass interference on the 4th-and-9 play.

Four plays later, the Cadets were whistled for a personal foul the put the ball on St. Thomas Academy's 5-yard line. Three plays later, Klotz burrowed his way into the end zone.

STA, which lost to Chaska 20-0 in the regular-season finale, regained possession with 42 seconds remaining, but was turned back by Chaska on downs.

Klotz was the leading ground gainer with 48 yards on 15 carries. St. Thomas Academy created a 7-3 lead at the half behind a 1-yard run from junior quarterback Baker Reding with 32 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The sneak amid a mass of defenders completed a 7-play, 32-yard drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock.

It was the most productive drive for the Cadets in the first half when they were held to 38 yards of offense in 16 plays. Chaska mustered 95 yards of offense on 24 plays in the quickly-paced first half.

Junior wide receiver Nic Snuggerud opened the scoring for Chaska on a 42-yard field goal with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter.

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