Jacob Citterman returns a second quarter blocked punt.
Minneota's swarming defense limited Dawson-Boyd to only three first down en route to a 19-8 victory in the final regular season game Thursday night at K.P. Kompelien Field.
"Our defense is pretty experienced," said Coach Chad Johnston. "They have been playing well most of the season."
The win gave the Vikings the district title with a 6-0 record during this pandemic season that limited teams to six games in the regular season.
Top-seeded Minneota (6-0) will now take on MACCRAY in the Section 3A quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at K.P. Kompelien Field. The Vikings would also host the semifinals against the winner of Lakeview and Lac qui Parle Valley at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21. The championship will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at Southwest Minnesota State University.
On Thursday, Dawson-Boyd had trouble moving the game most of the game. Quarterback Micah Olson broke free one time for a 20-yard run, but the Blackjacks were held in check throughout.
Jacob Hennen passed for one touchdown and ran for another as Minneota amassed 252 total yards.
The Vikings opened the scoring when Hennen connected with AJ Myhre on a 17-yard scoring strike for a 6-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Hennen scored on an 18-yard keeper to increase the Vikings' lead to 12-0 at halftime.
Minneota kicker was instructed to "pooch kick" to a spot 25 yards upfield to start the second half.
"He placed it exactly where he was told to try and kick it," said Johnston. "And AJ Josephson made a great play and recovered it for us."
That recovery eventually led to Conner Sik's nine-yard scamper into the end zone in the third quarter and Peyton Gillund's conversion kick capped the Vikings' scoring.
The Blackjacks got their lone score on a three-yard run by quarterback Micah Olson in the third quarter. That score came after Dawson-Boyd blocked a punt, resulting in excellent field position.
Fifteen players recorded at least one tackle for Minneota. AJ Josephson led the way with 11 tackles. Cale Sorensen had two interceptions, a blocked kick and three tackles. Jonah Gruenes had nine tackles, Beau Banish eight, Tucker Thooft seven, and Hennen and AJ Myhre six each. Myhre also had an interception.
"We have a lot of experience up front with our front four and linebackers," Johnston noted. "We have been able to move some players around to strengthen other areas and it's worked out well."
Hennen completed 7 of 15 passes for 135 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Josephson led the rushing attack with 63 yards in only six carries, including a 34-yarder. Joey Rybinski caught three passes for 93 yards, including one that went for 48 yards. Gerardo Gutrierrez nabbed two passed for 21 yards.
Minneota 19, Dawson-Boyd 8
Dawson-Boyd.........................0 0 8 0 - 8
Minneota...............................6 6 7 0 - 19
Min - AJ Myhre 17 pass from Jacob Hennen (kick failed)
Min - Hennen 18 run (run failed)
Min - Conner Sik 9 run (Peyton Gillund kick)
DB - Micah Olson 3 run (run good)
Total plays: Minneota 51, Dawson-Boyd 59 ... Total yards: Minneota 247, Dawson-Boyd 166 ... Passing yards: Minneota 133, Dawson-Boyd 86 ... Rushing yards: Minneota 114, Dawson-Boyd 80 ... First downs: Minneota 11, Dawson-Boyd 3 ... Penalties: Minneota 8-39, Dawson-Boyd 3-25.
Rushing (att-yds-td): AJ Josephson 6-63, Jacob Hennen 8-30, Conner Sik 13-19, Anthony Rybinski 1-4, Jonah Gruenes 3-1
Passing (att-com-yds-td-int): Hennen 7-15-135-1-1
Receiving (no-yds-td): J.Rybinski 3-93, Gerardo Gutierrez 2-21, AJ Myhre 1-17, Cael Sorensen 1-4
Tackles (solo-asst): AJ Josephson 3-8, Hennen 2-4, Gruenes 2-7, AJ Myhre 2-4, Sorensen 2-1, Jacob Citterman 2-2, Sik 1-2, Gutierrez 1-2, Beau Banish 1-7, Kade Lozinski 1-1, J.Rybinski 0-4, Jayden Gamrak 0-3, Zack Fier 0-3, Tucker Thooft 0-7, Jackson Esping 0-1
Interceptions: Sorensen 2, AJ Myhre 1
Punting (no-avg.): A.Rybinski 6-31.0
Kickoff returns (no-avg.): Gutierrez 1-18.0