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Grand Meadow wins first state football championship

Photos from the Grand Meadow/Underwood state 9-Man championship game, November 29, 2013 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Photos from the Grand Meadow/Underwood state 9-Man championship game, November 29, 2013 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.Dan Hinrichs

Last season, the Grand Meadow Superlarks made their first state championship game in 25 years, only to come up short in a 40-22 loss to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.

Quarterback Trenton Bleifus led Grand Meadow to their first state football title.
Quarterback Trenton Bleifus led Grand Meadow to their first state football title.Dan Hinrichs

Trenton Bleifus made sure the story had a different ending for the Superlarks in 2013.

Bleifus, the Superlarks’ quarterback, threw for a touchdown pass and added two more on the ground as Grand Meadow won their first state football championship in school history with a 28-6 victory over Underwood. The Superlarks ran up 320 yards of total offense against 189 for Underwood, including 123 yards on the ground from running back Landon Jacobson and 83 from Bleifus.

While Grand Meadow was dominant statistically in the first half, they held just a 7-0 lead over the Rockets with under a minute to go in the half. A fumble by Underwood, however, gave the Superlarks possession of the ball on the Rockets’ 36-yard-line. On the very next play, Bleifus hit Blake Olson on a 36-yard touchdown pass to give Grand Meadow’s a 13-0 halftime. Grand Meadow received the second half kickoff and went on a 10 play, 57-yard drive culminating in Jacobson pounding in a 2-yard touchdown run. Wyatt Richardson’s extra point made the score 20-0 and put the Superlarks on their way to the title.

Bleifus then capped the Superlark scoring with a 33-yard touchdown scramble early in the fourth quarter to make the score 28-0 after the successful two-point conversion. Offensively, Bleifus was responsible for 194 total yards- 111 passing and 83 rushing. Jacobson led the way for Grand Meadow with 123 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown, while Blake Olson led the Superlarks with three receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown.

The defense for the Superlarks was outstanding all game long, limiting the Rockets’ offense that was averaging 32.2 points per game to just 9 first downs and keeping them off the scoreboard until there was 4:24 remaining in the contest. Bleifus led the way with 10 tackles, while Isaac Tangen had the big fumble recovery that turned the game in Grand Meadow’s favor late in the first half.

Underwood broke the shutout with 4:24 remaining in the game when LeRoy Hauge hauled in a 32-yard touchdown pass from Adam Creek. He led the Rockets’ receivers with three catches for 52 yards and score, while Creek completed six of 13 pass attempts for 94 total yards. Noah Thompson led Underwood on the ground, picking up 35 yards on 13 carries.

Grand Meadow, the champions of Section 1, was appearing in their sixth state football tournament; they had runner-up finishes in 1987 and again in 2012. Underwood, the Section 4 champs, was making their fifth appearance at state and their first in a championship game.