MADISON, Wisconsin — Running back Fintan Floyd pushed aside pain to lead Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs to its second straight WIAA Division 6 state football title.
The junior, who had turf toe and didn't practice all week heading into the championship, had 28 carries for 184 yards and three touchdowns as St. Mary's Springs beat Darlington 39-20 on Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium.
St. Mary's coach Bob Hyland said Floyd insisted on continuing through obvious pain, and made valuable contributions time and again.
"He came off on the second series and was limping so bad," Hyland said. "Fintan Floyd was the one who carried us today. The touchdown that put us ahead: Who got the big block? It was Floyd on the end."
Floyd and Clay Scheuffner combined for 417 yards and five touchdowns for the Ledgers (12-2), who racked up 429 overall rushing yards. St. Mary's had no passing yards. St. Mary's was without the services of leading receiver Tyler Wiza, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament last week in the state semifinals.
It was the second straight title for the Ledgers, and sixth overall in program history.
Tied at 20, the Ledgers took control on a 56-yard touchdown run by Schueffner with 52 seconds left in the third quarter. They put the game out of reach on a 14-yard scoring run by Floyd with 9:47 left in the game.
For Darlington (13-1), running back Hunter Johnson broke the Division 6 record for longest kickoff return with his 86-yard touchdown to trim St. Mary's lead to 14-7 with 6:52 left in the second quarter.
Johnson later left with an apparent left leg injury. He finished with 20 carries for 119 yards rushing and two scores.
Darlington coach Scott Zywicki said losing his leading rusher made a difference. The junior entered the title game with 2,246 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns.
"It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when he went down we lost a large part of our offense," Zywicki said. "We have special plays just for him. He makes them work.
"When he goes out, you end up with kids that will give you their all, but they don't have the physical skills he has."