It came down to the final minute of the game, but Minneapolis was able to find a way to win Friday night.
The Lions scored 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to edge out Phillipsburg 12-7 in a Class 2A District 8 game.
Minneapolis (3-3 overall; 2-1 district) has now won three of its last four games, the first such stretch since 2018.
Points were hard to come by in the game, as none were scored in the first half. Both teams put together solid drives in the first two quarters, but even the best ones stalled in opponent territory.
The best chance for either team before the intermission belonged to Minneapolis. Chasyn Vogan attempted a 30-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the first half, but it was wide right.
Coming out of the halftime locker room, Phillipsburg (1-5; 0-3) was able to break the scoreless gridlock. The Panthers drove 99 yards down the field through much of the third quarter. A two-yard Devin Johnson scoring plunge and the successful extra point attempt gave Phillipsburg a 7-0 lead going into the final quarter.
Minneapolis’s offense then showed some life, answering back on a drive of its own and a one-yard rushing touchdown for Weston Schrader. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, however, so the Panthers maintained a slim 7-6 advantage with about nine minutes left.
The Lions threatened again just minutes later, but a miscommunication led to a lost fumble in the red zone.
Minneapolis’s defense shut down Phillipsburg, though, and gave the Lion offense one last chance.
A few plays later, Gannon Cleveland found the endzone on a two-yard rushing score to give Minneapolis its first lead of the game at 12-7 with 26 seconds left.
The result held, and the Lions have now beaten the Panthers in two of the last three years.
Senior tailback Gannon Cleveland was named the Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game. Cleveland had 21 carries for 117 yards and one touchdown – the game-winning touchdown.
Senior offensive lineman Chasyn Vogan had the H&R Block(s) of the game. Vogan helped create lanes for Cleveland and Schrader to run through, especially in the fourth quarter.
Minneapolis will be back at home next week in district play against Beloit. The Lions won last year’s matchup 34-26. The game will be broadcasted as always on 92.7 The New Zoo in the Salina/Minneapolis area, and it will stream online on ksal.com.