The Cloquet Lumberjacks and Academy of Holy Angels Stars entered the 2017 4A State Football Championship with a shared storyline: Both teams have been to championship games, but nether had a title. That was guaranteed to change for one of those teams on Friday afternoon.

The first half was largely a defensive battle, with Cloquet surrendering only 7 points on a 46-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, while collecting a fumble and two interceptions on defense.

A couple of key turnovers, including a red zone interception, hurt Cloquet’s second half attempts to get on the scoreboard. Holy Angels would go on to score a second touchdown off a goal line run to extend the lead to 14-0, which is what the final score would ultimately be.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Offensively, Lumberjacks quarterback Tim Pokornowski would lead the team in rushing with 113 of the team’s 173 yards on the ground while also throwing for 43 yards. The Cloquet defense ended the game collecting a total of 5 turnovers, with fumble recoveries by Bryce Turnbull and Alex Leuzzo and interceptions by Tyler Moose, Alex Leuzzo, and Riley Leslie.

While Cloquet’s perfect season ended with a loss, the team can proudly own the fact that after 41 years of falling short of the State Championship, the 2017 Lumberjacks made their return to the big stage.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth