After last year's Prep Bowl was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's lived up to the hype.
Five schools became champions for the first time and a pair of records fell as U.S. Bank Stadium served as the backdrop for the first time since 2019.
Class 6A: Lakeville South 13, Maple Grove 7
Lakeville South (13-0) won its first state title but it didn't come in the same way they got to Minneapolis. Maple Grove's defense stifled the Cougars in the first half and went into halftime deadlocked in a scoreless tie.
After the Crimson took the lead on Jacob Klitzer's touchdown pass to Tanner Albeck, Lakeville South quarterback Camden Dean took the game into his hands. The senior ran for two touchdowns including a 52-yarder with 3:05 to go to secure the victory.
Class 5A: Mankato West 24, Mahtomedi 10
The Scarlets (13-0) jumped in front early when Mahtomedi's Gunnar Woods fumbled a punt that was returned by Ryan Haley for a 33-yard touchdown. After a touchdown pass from Zander Dittbrenner to Brady Hagum put Mankato West up 14-0, the Zephyrs mounted a comeback in the second half.
Mahtomedi opened the second half with a touchdown run by Jordan Hull to make it a 14-10 game but Dittbrenner found Blackstad to extend the lead and help the Scarlets finish off a perfect season.
Class 4A: Hutchinson 42, Kasson-Mantorville 14
The Tigers (12-1) ran over the KoMets on Friday, racking up 429 yards on the ground to secure their first state championship since 2013.
Aaron Elliott and Mitch Piehl each ran for 100 yards and jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter. Although Matt Donovan cut into the deficit with a 30-yard touchdown run, Hutchinson put up 22 points in the second quarter to earn their sixth championship in school history.
Class 3A: Dassel-Cokato 28, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 21
The Chargers and Bulldogs put on a show in the first half, battling to a 14-14 tie that was highlighted by a 46-yard hook-and-ladder play before halftime.
While P-E-M's Martin Prieto set a Prep Bowl record with 24 tackles, it was Eli Gilman who took over, carrying 32 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns to help the Chargers win their first state championship.
Class 2A: Chatfield 14, West Central Area/Ashby 13
Chatfield was without starting quarterback Sam Backer after his one-game suspension was upheld but it was a pair of reviews that helped the Gophers win their first state title since 2013.
After Chatfield had a 74-yard scoop-and-score overturned via replay, Evan Paulson plowed in from one yard out to bring the Knights to within a point. The two-point conversion was initially ruled good but it was overturned by replay and led to Chatfield winning the championship.
Class 1A: Mayer Lutheran 20, Minneota 14
Aaron Rybinski put Minneota on the board with a three-yard run in the first quarter but the Crusaders scored two touchdowns in a span of 20 seconds to jump out to a 13-7 lead.
The Vikings jumped back in front on a 22-yard touchdown by Jonah Gruenes but Cole Neitzel scored his second touchdown of the day to put the Crusaders up for good. The score helped secure the first state title for Mayer Lutheran.
9-Man Football: LeRoy-Ostrander 58, Fertile-Beltrami 8
LeRoy-Ostrander quarterback Chase Johnson set a Prep Bowl record with 412 total yards and five touchdowns as the Cardinals rolled to their first state title.
With fullback Tanner Olson adding 110 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on defense, the Cardinals tallied 557 total yards.