Trojans return to state with 24-14 win

New Prague earned a return trip to the State Class 4A football tournament with a 24-14 win over Waconia in the Section 6AAAA championship game Friday at Trojan Field.

The Trojans will play the Section 8AAAA champion, Sartell-St. Stephen, with the game scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at St. Cloud State University.

Things didn't look good early for the Trojans. Waconia took the opening kick and drove inside the Trojan 10. On a fourth down play, New Prague's Ryan Witty intercepted a Kevin Ebert pass at the 1 yard line to stop the drive.

It was scoreless until the opening minute of the second quarter. That's when Ross Skluzacek lofted a pass to Brad Weiers, who made a great catch in the corner of the end zone for a 6-0 lead.

On New Prague's next possession, Skluzacek threw a pass to Kubes on a slant pattern, and the senior took it the distance for a 34-yard touchdown. The Trojans would get a two point conversion on a pass from Skluzacek to Marcus Pleiss, and on the final play of the half they added a 21-yard field goal by Kubes to make it 17-0.

New Prague made it 24-0 in the third when Kubes took a pitch, stiff-armed a defender in the backfield, avoided a tackle with a spin move on the sideline and then sprinted 82 yards for a touchdown.

Waconia would score twice in the fourth quarter, including a Hail Mary pass with 11 seconds left to keep their slim hopes alive, but the Trojans sacked Ebert on a two-point conversion to keep the Wildcats at bay.


First round pairings for the state tournament

Mankato West (8-2) at Totino-Grace (11-0)

New Prague (8-2) vs. Sartell-St. Stephen (10-1) at St. Cloud State University

Northfield (8-3) at St. Thomas Academy (10-1)

Benilde-St. Margaret's (8-3) at Grand Rapids (7-4)

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