Stephen Johnson rushed for 337 yards and four touchdowns Thursday to lead the Mahtomedi Zephyrs back to the Prep Bowl for the third time in six years with a 34-20 semifinal victory in Class 4A over Sartell-St. Stephen at the Metrodome.
The Zephyrs (10-3), who lost three of their last four regular-season games, won the school's only state football title in 2005. In 2002, they finished second.
The Sabres (9-4) led 13-7 at halftime after a pair of touchdown passes by Rob Gabrielson in the first and second quarters. Then the Zephyrs, who have averaged nearly 38 points per game over their five playoff victories, blew open the game.
Johnson had two of his touchdowns in the third quarter and one in the fourth. Andy Fagely had a key interception for Mahtomedi to stop a threatening drive by Sartell in the final period. Bross Siverston had a 1-yard run in the fourth, too.
Nick Rengel returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown for the Sabres, who recovered the ensuing onside kick. But another interception by the Zephyrs sealed the victory.
Mahtomedi will play either Waconia or Totino-Grace in next week's Prep Bowl.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)