Da'Shaun Brown goes in for the game-winning two-point conversion
The WIAA Division 4 state championship game was scoreless at halftime, and Racine St. Catherine's did not lead for 47 minutes, 48 seconds, but the Angels were ahead when the final seconds ticked off for an 8-7 victory over Saint Croix Central.
The teams combined for 303 yards of offense in the first half but neither could find the end zone despite both teams making multiple trips into opposing territory.
The stalemate continued into the third quarter, when, after forcing a Racine St. Catherine's punt, Saint Croix Central finally put together a quality drive. The 14-play, 64-yard march was capped when Keagen Berg went in for a one-yard touchdown, putting the Panthers up 7-0 with 3:36 left in the third quarter.
St. Catherine's answered with a red zone drive of its own, but Saint Croix Central freshman defensive lineman Carson Hinzman forced a fumble by Angels running back Isaiah Dodd which was recovered by the Panthers at the 12-yard line.
Both teams had drives early in the fourth quarter that went into opposing territory, but neither could convert into points. On Saint Croix Central's possession, the Panthers went for it on fourth and two from the St. Cat's 42-yard line, only to be stuffed and turn the ball over.
Racine St. Catherine's took over with 4:57 left on the clock, needing to put together a scoring drive or face the possibility of Saint Croix Central running out the clock.
Despite facing a first and 20 situation at one point after back-to-back false starts, the Angels made their way into scoring position behind senior quarterback Da'Shaun Brown, who hit on a pass and also did damage with his legs.
On third and goal from the three-yard line, Brown took a keeper in for a score to pull the Angels within 7-6 with just 12 seconds remaining.
Faced with the oft-discussed decision of whether to kick the extra point and play for overtime or go for two and the likely win, St. Catherine's head coach Dan Miller chose to take his chances at the victory.
The Angels spread out with five receivers, leaving Brown alone in the backfield. He took the shotgun snap and raced off left end for an easy uncontested conversion, which proved to be the game and championship winner.
Saint Croix Central could do nothing on a final desperation play from its own eight yard line, and Racine St. Catherine's claimed its first-ever WIAA state title with an 8-7 victory.
Brown finished with 86 yards and a score on the ground with 122 passing yards. Isaiah Dodd was very good as well for St. Cat's, rushing for 85 yards. The Angels defense limited the powerful Saint Croix Central running game to just 3.4 yards per carry.
Panthers senior Ryan Larson left the game with injury a couple different times, but had a gritty performance with 70 rushing yards and a team-best 11 tackles.
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