St. Ansgar jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter and started off the second half with the first kickoff return for a touchdown in a Class 1A championship game as the Saints won their first state football title with a 25-15 win over Council Bluffs St. Albert.
St. Ansgar held St. Albert to 57 yards in the first half while building their lead by scoring off of a turnover deep in St. Albert territory early in the game, followed up by a 11 play, 73 yard drive.
St. Ansgar coach Drew Clevenger says a number of people counted his team out of a bid for the championship, but his team stepped up when they needed to. Clevenger says people counted them out when they looked at their record and many thought the state title was decided in the game between St. Albert and Emmettsburg.
After Kyle Hanson returned the opening kickoff of the second half 93 yards to give St. Ansgar an 18-0 lead, St. Albert responded with two scoring drives to cut the lead to 18-15. Clevenger says his team maintained their composure despite the tough second half start.
Fullback John Sievert finished the day with 125 yards on 27 carries, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter as well as a 22 yard run to cap off the scoring late in the third quarter.
Quarterback Cael Halfman had 62 yards rushing and a touchdown as the Saints had all of their 234 total yards on the ground.
By Bob Fisher ,KRIB, Mason City