Minot High rallies to win AAA football title

FARGO – Minot High's Kellan Burke kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired to give the Magicians a thrilling 38-35 come-from-behind win over Fargo Shanley in the AAA Dakota Bowl on Friday, Nov. 10 in Fargo.

Burke's foot also kicked away 43 yards of frustration for the Magicians program. For the first time since 1980, Minot High was on top in the state's highest football classification. Since winning the title over the Deacons' four-plus decades ago, Minot High had returned to the title game seven other times only to be denied another title. 

This year's team was different. It possessed talent, depth and perhaps most importantly grit. A characteristic that proved invaluable the last two games. The Magi trailed Shanley, 28-7, early in the second half. But like they did a week earlier vs. WF Sheyenne in the semifinals, the squad didn't fold. Minot High would outscore the Deacons 31-7 after falling behind by that 21-point margin. The offense moved the ball and closed out drives with some big plays. The defense bent, but did not break also turned in a big play to tie the score in the final quarter. Minot High racked up 424 yards of total offense, a season-high 269 coming in the air. But it was the ground game in the final minutes that positioned the team for the winning field goal. The Magicians' impact players rose to the occasions and the program ended its season with a 11-1 record. And for the first time since the fall of 1980, it won the final game of the state football season.

Photo: Kellan Burke (3) celebrates with teammates after the game-winning field goal at the Fargodome vs. Shanley. Photo courtesy of Dave Samson