This story was originally published in the Northfield News in 1994 and has been edited for length and clarity.

<&firstgraph>The Northfield Raiders liked their overtime experience last week against International Falls so much, they decided to do it again.

<&firstgraph>And once again the Raiders came up with the big plays to win the game as Hokan Bengston scored two touchdowns and intercepted a Hutchinson pass in overtime to help propel Northfield over Hutchinson 23-17. The win advanced the Raiders to their second straight Class A championship game.

<&firstgraph>“It’s tough on the heart for a young guy,” Northfield coach Bubba Sullivan said. Swarmed by media, Sullivan explained that the whole team made the plays Thursday night.

<&firstgraph>“The guys made the plays when they had to,” he explained. “Hokan has been coming up with big plays like this for the last two years.”

<&firstgraph>For Bengston, the end result was an example of defensive savvy.

<&firstgraph>“I watched (Hutchinson quarterback Ryan) Dolder,” Bengston said. “As he rolled out and he dropped back I saw (Hutchinson receiver Nate) Pearson coming right behind me and another receiver deeper than him. I kind of had a feeling he was behind me and I watched Dodler’s eyes.”

<&firstgraph>Hutchinson scored first with a nine-play, 72-yard drive, capped by a 40-yard touchdown run on third-and-two by Nate Pearson with 2:41 left in the half. The run was set up by a Hutchinson gamble on fourth and inches from the 50-yard line three plays earlier.

<&firstgraph>But Bengston answered the Tiger score seconds later. On the first play after the kickoff, the 6-2, 200-pound senior scampered 69 yards to tie the score and swing the momentum back to the maroon and gold sideline.

<&firstgraph>Not only did Bengston tie the score with 2:10 left in the half, but it propelled him to his second straight season rushing for more than 1,000 yards.

<&firstgraph>Northfield grabbed its first lead of the game at 10-7 courtesy of more big plays. Jeff Deuth got things going when he picked off a Tiger pass on his own 39 with just 1:01 to play. An 11-yard reception by Jeff Otte, a nine-yard reception by Mokoff and another Otte reception, this one a 28-yard leaping catch between two defenders that placed the ball on the Tiger 11, set up Sean Stanchina’s 27-yard field goal as the half ran out on a Northfield 10-7 lead.

<&firstgraph>The lead was somewhat surprising considering that by the half Hutchinson had run 40 plays and racked up 13 first downs to just 19 plays and five first downs for the Raiders. But Northfield had the advantage in yardage, getting 183 yards to 178 for Hutchinson.

<&firstgraph>The Raiders kept the beat going in the second half. After turning the ball over on downs on the Hutchinson 36, Brian Blackford recovered a Tiger fumble on the next play. Three plays later the Raiders were in danger of turning the ball over on downs again, but on fourth and nine quarterback Nick Holden hit Adam Roske over the middle with a 28-yard touchdown. Stanchina converted the extra point, giving the Raiders a 17-7 advantage with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter.

<&firstgraph>Hutchinson struck back on the next series, driving 59 yards in eight plays to cut the lead to 17-14. Curt Wagner capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown reception from Dolder with 11:08 to play in the fourth quarter.

<&firstgraph>The Raiders had an opportunity to ice the game on the next series. Driving 45 yards to the Tiger 28, Northfield faced a fourth and three, but an incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs.

<&firstgraph>With new life, Hutchinson drive 58 yards in 10 plays to set up Horn’s 31-yard, game-tying field goal with 1:18 to play.

<&firstgraph>Bengston looked to position the Raiders in good shape to attempt some late-game dramatics, but had the ball tomahawked from his grasp at his own 41 with 49 seconds to play. Hutchinson was unable to get a first down, however, setting up the second overtime thriller in as many weeks for the Raiders.

<&firstgraph>Bengston made up for his fumble with two big plays in overtime. First, he scored on a 10-yard run up the middle on the exact same play that won it for the Raiders against International Falls a week earlier.

<&firstgraph>After Stanchina’s PAT was partially blocked, Bengston settled the issue when he leaped high in the air and picked off the Hutchinson pass in the end zone, giving the Raiders a 23-17 overtime win over Hutchinson.

Reach Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106 or follow him on Twitter @NFNewsSports. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

Load comments