New London-Spicer celebrates championship win after miracle touchdown

Jaws dropped at U.S. Bank stadium Saturday, as New London-Spicer made an incredible touchdown during the high school Prep Bowl Saturday, becoming state champions.

The play unfolded as the clock ran out, handing New London-Spicer the Class AAA Championship with a win of 27-26 over undefeated Dilworth-Gylndon-Felton. 

It will go down as a moment in Minnesota high school sports history. The final play stunned fans and even the team.

"When (the other team scored with) 24 seconds left, and you're kind of thinking, ‘God, what could have been,’ and then all of a sudden, they go the other way. The emotional ride was just incredible," said Chad Gustafson, head football coach for New London-Spicer.

Spicer is still taking it all in two days later, as he reflects on the play.

"It worked out that the guys put a little magic touch on it because it wasn't designed the way they did it," Gustafson said.

The win is still surreal for the incredible student athletes who made that Minneapolis Miracle magic and brought the Wildcats home their first state football title since 2009.

Sophomore quarterback Blake Schultz threw the ball and junior Grant Paffrath made the catch. Paffrath then saw senior Brycen Christensen was wide open, so he pitched the ball to Christensen as he was tackled to the ground. Christensen was able to run it to the end zone as the clock run out, scoring the championship-winning touchdown.

"It took a little bit to process, but then I was like, ‘Wow, we just won the game,’" Paffrath said.

"It's definitely a dream come true. I've watched every Prep Bowl since I was like 10 years old, 5 years old. Just winning the Prep Bowl was definitely one of the best moments of my life for sure," Christensen said.

The teammates agree there's no greater feeling than walking the hallways as state champions.

"It was just reliving the moment almost every class period because every teacher is congratulating you, a bunch of students coming up to you. It's just a great day," said junior Mason Delzer.

It’s a moment they’re happy to recount over and over.

"I’ll probably be telling my kids and my grandkids," said senior Gabe Rohman.

The students are now seeing their championship win on social media and national television.

"I've watched (ESPN) SportsCenter Top 10 like every night before I go to bed, and being No. 1 on that was probably one of the best moments about all this," Christensen said.

But they say they will never forget the fans who’ve supported them all along.

"Small town football that's what it's all about: having the community come together, putting yourself out there, just giving it your all," Rohman said.