Jaw-dropping Hail Mary-turned-lateral wins championship for Minnesota high school team
The last seconds of a Minnesota high school championship game on Saturday featured a play so jaw-dropping that it might go down in the history of U.S. Bank Stadium.
The New London-Spicer High School football team played Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School at the Minnesota Vikings' home stadium for the Class 3A state title on Saturday, and New London-Spicer pulled off a last-second Hail Mary that almost went wrong before turning into a game-winning (and state title-winning) touchdown.
Down 26-21 with four seconds left in the game, New London-Spicer quarterback Blake Schultz reared back and launched a giant pass from the 48-yard line, which flew all the way down the field and somehow into the arms of receiver Grant Paffrath at the 20-yard line. Paffrath was surrounded by DGF defensemen and was quickly taken down in what could have been the game-ending tackle, but what happened next saved the game and the season for New London-Spicer.
Paffrath lateraled the ball to senior Brycen Christensen before he hit the ground, and Christensen ran it in the final few yards for a championship-winning touchdown, just the second in NLS history.
Paffrath and Christensen told Michael Lyne of the West Central Tribune that their exchange was not planned or designed; they were just reacting to what as happening in the moment.
"I knew that I could throw him the ball, so I threw him it. Then I got tackled," Paffrath said. "I didn't even see the end of the play. I just heard everyone yelling."
Christensen added, "It was a perfect throw from Blake to Grant. I saw (Grant) was getting tackled, so I was yelling his name and he found me."
That heads-up final play received one of the highest honors a viral sports clip can get: it was No. 1 on the SportsCenter Top 10.