Spring Grove's Alex Folz dropped back to pass with under a minute to play, looked off to the left and came back to the right and delivered a strike to Kai Bjerke in the back corner of the end zone to get a 27-26 victory over Russell-Tyler-Ruthton in the State 9Man Quarterfinals at New Ulm High School in New Ulm, Minnesota.

The touchdown was thrown with 33 seconds left, and while R-T-R made their drive down the field and go into the red zone after connecting on a hook-and-ladder to put them on the 20 with 6 seconds left.

With one play remaining, the Lions were able to force some pressure and force the Knights QB Cooper Hansen to throw an interception to Noah Elton, who had three picks and a 97-yard touchdown run.

The Lions opened up a 21-6 lead after Elton ran for 97 yards on one play and it looked like the Lions were about to impose their will on R-T-R. Yet, the Knights never backed down.

Passes were hard to come by as the wind played a major role in the game. Temperatures were around 18 degrees and the wind was blowing as high as 30 mph.

The conditions seemed to have some effect on the players, but the Knights were able to answer with 20-straight points and build a 26-21 lead with just over 2 and a half minutes to go.

Then Folz and company went to work. Short runs, short passes and then the eventual 18-yard pass to Bjerke in the end zone set up the Lions to advance to the State Semifinals on their trek to defend their championship.

Elton was the big play guy on defense and offense was a big reason he came away with the KFIL Subway Player of the Game award. R-T-R's Hansen threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score, to go along with two interceptions to lockdown the Player of the Game for R-T-R.

The Lions were able to overcome seven turnovers and get the win in tough conditions. They will take on Cromwell-Wright in the State Semis Thursday at 11:30. The action can be heard on 103.1 KFIL!