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Kimberly comes back to defeat Hartland Arrowhead 49-42 in WIAA Division 1 championship game


MADISON, Wisconsin — A second-half snowfall blanketed Camp Randall Stadium during the WIAA Division 1 state football championship game on Friday, a fitting accompaniment to the offensive avalanche that took place on the field.

Blair Mulholland rushed for 341 yards and four touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 11 seconds left, as Kimberly completed a stunning comeback to defeat Hartland Arrowhead 49-42 and claim a third straight state title, all with undefeated seasons.

"Surreal. You look around Camp Randall right now with the snowflakes dropping and what just happened - surreal," Kimberly coach Steve Jones said. "I couldn't be happier for our kids - just really proud of them. . They left everything they had out at Camp Randall today."

Mulholland's 1-yard run capped a 9-play, 77-yard drive that took just a minute and a half following a punt as the Papermakers (14-0) scored 28 unanswered points against the Warhawks (12-2).

Johnny Duranso threw for a Division 1 record 275 yards and three touchdowns for Arrowhead, which took a 42-21 lead on the quarterback's second rushing TD with 5:42 left in the third quarter.

Even Mulholland admitted he thought a comeback at that point was unlikely.

"As a leader, people are looking up to me, so I tried to stay as positive as I could on the sideline. That's a good team, so I didn't think it was possible," the South Dakota State recruit said after setting a Division 1 record for yards and matching the all-divisions record for carries (46) and touchdowns. "But we proved that we were better in the second half."

Danny Vanden Boom threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns for Kimberly, all to Jordan Janssen, who collected 125 yards on 10 catches. Both yardage marks would've been Division 1 records if not for the Arrowhead tandem of Duranso and receiver Justin Peret, who caught five passes for 173 yards and two scores

Mulholland's 17-yard TD finished a 96-yard drive to bring Kimberly within 42-28 late in the third quarter. After blocking a Warhawks field goal attempt, the Papermakers marched down the field and scored on a 7-yard hookup from Vanden Boom to Janssen.

Kimberly then recovered an onside kick, and Mulholland - who had scoring runs of 40 and 74 yards in the first quarter - carried six straight times before another seven-yard strike from Vanden Boom to Janssen tied the game.

"That onside kick was a killer," said Arrowhead coach Greg Malling, whose team ran only 12 offensive plays and got one first down after taking the 42-21 lead. "Not recovering that, obviously that was the backbreaker."

The Papermakers established new all-divisions marks for total yards and first downs and a Division 1 record for points, and the game broke all-divisions records for combined total yards and combined points.

"I hurt for the kids, but heck, it's a game," Malling said. "And there's no shame in losing to Kimberly. A lot of people have."

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