Cloquet was shopping for a state football championship. Black Friday turned into purple Friday, with thousands of Lumberjack faithful streaming into the already purple home of the Minnesota Vikings.
Playing in the school's first title tilt since a 14-13 overtime loss to White Bear Lake in 1976, Cloquet was seeking to be the first northeastern Minnesota school to win it all among the larger classifications since Eveleth did it in 1973.
> The never-quitting Rebels, led by junior Trent Juhl's 136 rushing yards on 24 carries and lone TD to start the scoring in the first quarter before Pipestone did the rest, just fell short. "In a game like this where you have two great teams, momentum is everything," said Louzek, whose Rebels started 2-5 before starting a wild 34-day win streak.
In fact, Cloquet is playing in its first state championship game since 1976, when they lost to White Bear Lake 14-13. A win, however, would cement the Lumberjacks as the first team from Northeastern Minnesota to win a larger-school state football crown since 1973 when Eveleth won in Class A, the second largest classification at that time.
“We came up one game short. It’s been a rough week for the boys, but they’ll bounce back and be ready for next season,” Gronner said.