MARSHALL -- One play can change a game.
Three plays into the third quarter, Minneota connected on an 85-yard touchdown pass to take the lead away from Dawson-Boyd Friday in the Section 5A football championship at Mattke Field on the Southwestern Minnesota State University campus.
The Blackjacks couldn't muster any sustainable offense in return, losing to the Vikings, 22-13.
Dawson-Boyd (8-3) took a 13-6 lead into halftime and did well to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
"They were beating us up front and taking away the things that we want to do," said Minneota coach Chad Johnston.
Getting the ball to start the second half, Minneota completed a short pass, then quarterback Sam Derynck was sacked for a five-loss, pushing the Vikings back to their own 15. On the next play, receiver Will Kurka broke away from the Dawson-Boyd defense on a go route and Derynck hit him in stride to pull Minneota to 13-12.
Then the Vikings faked the extra point attempt and holder Beau Buysee completed the two-point conversion to Kurka to give Minneota a 14-13 lead.
After that, the Dawson-Boyd offense gained only 80 yards compared to 237 in the first half.
"They hit on a big pass play and it seemed like it sucked everything out of us and we could never get any momentum back," Dawson-Boyd coach Cory Larson said.
Minneota stepped up the pressure on Dawson-Boyd quarterback Ryan Swenson in the second half.
"We picked them apart with our passing game the last time we played them. Our quarterback had been sacked only three time this season. They had to have four or five sacks and did a good job of getting pressure on Ryan," Larson said.
Swenson, who completed 10-of-20 passes for 135 yards, threw two interceptions and was sacked six times.
But the Blackjacks were still in the game late in the fourth quarter, but Minneota scored on a short field, driving 22 yards for a 20-13 lead on Tony Noyes' second touchdown of the game. Even then, Dawson-Boyd still had a chance, but the Vikings converted a second two-point conversion to ice the game.
"I think they just got after it and we didn't," Larson said. "I didn't think they did anything different defensively. Maybe it's because they have a little bit more depth that we do, but at that point you just got to suck it up and play football."
Dawson-Boyd was so good in the first half that even a turnover didn't hurt them. The Blackjacks drove the ball to the Minneota 27 on the first possession of the game but fumbled it away. The defense tightened and forced the Vikings to punt.
It looked like the game was going to be a battle for field position, but Matt Anderson broke away for a 44-yard touchdown with 2:26 left in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead.
Swenson scored on a 13-yard run in the second half after Minneota fumbled again and the Blackjacks recovered at the Viking 25.
But Noyes responded on the next possession with a 20-yard scoring run to cut the lead to 13-6.
Anderson finished with 23 carries for 153 yards. Andrew Roiger caught two passes for 62 yards.
"I'm proud of our kids. It hurts when your season ends, especially when you have lofty goals coming in," Larson said.
Minneota 22, Dawson-Boyd 13
Dawson-Boyd 6 7 0 0 -- 13
Minneota 0 6 8 8 -- 22
DB - Matt Anderson 44 run (kick failed)
DB - Ryan Swenson 13 run (Swenson kick)
Min - Tony Noyes 20 run (kick failed)
Min - Will Kurka 85 pass from Sam Derynck (Kurka pass from Beau Buysse)
Min - Noyes 7 run (Jesus Macias pass from Derynck)
First downs: 11 ... Rushing: 37-182 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 10-20-135-2 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: 3-20
Rushing: Matt Anderson 23-153, Jake Bothun 5-31, Ryan Swenson 9-(-2) ... Passing: Swenson 10-20-153-2 ... Receiving: Zach Stelter 1-25, Andrew Roiger 2-62, Anderson 1-0, Bothun 4-16, Randy Bjerkeset 1-8, Kruiz Lindblad 1-24 ... Punting: Swenson 3-37.3 ... Interceptions: Bothun 1 ... Fumble recoveries: Stelter 1, Esten Weber 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): not available ... QB sacks: not available
First downs: 13 ... Rushing: 35-203 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 8-19-167-1 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: 4-10
Rushing: Brandon Anderson 17-105, Tony Noyes 5-58, Jacob Cheadle 8-28, Sam Derynck 5-17 ... Passing: Derynck 8-19-167-1 ... Receiving: Cheadle 3-38, Will Kurka 2-80, Noyes 1-9, Anderson 2-40 ... Punting: Jesus Macias 5-30.4 ... Interceptions: Brett Przymus 1, Noyes 1 ... Fumble recoveries: Travis Longtin 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): not available ... QB sacks: not available