White Bear Lake won its regular-season finale in overtime, edging Woodbury 27-24 in overtime as quarterback Branden Berwald leapt over the linemen from one yard out on the final play Wednesday evening.

The Bears will take a 2-3 record into sectionals, facing Champlin Park (also 2-3) there Tuesday evening. All teams had a six-game schedule during this pandemic shortened season. The Bears did not get to play one opponent, East Ridge.

“Very exciting. It was a roller coaster of a game,” said Bear coach Ryan Bartlett about a back-and-forth contest that include his first pick-six in many years, by Spencer Oxton.

The Bears held the Royals (3-2) to a field goal in overtime, then burrowed to the one-yard line with three runs of about three yards each. There was no call to placekicker Jeff Odamtten, who was 3-for-3 on conversions.

“No thought. You´re a yard away, go win the game,” Bartlett said.

His 6-foot-2 quarterback scaled a pile of bodies in the middle of the line and pushed the ball over the plane to win the thriller for the Bears.

White Bear Lake took a 14-0 first quarter lead at Woodbury on a two-yard touchdown run by Berwald and a big play by Oxton, who intercepted a pass in the flat and returned it 50 yards to score.

“We haven´t had a pick six for a while,” Bartlett said, adding that Logan Hinderscheit threw a nice block help clear the way.

Woodbury (3-2) uncorked two long touchdown passes to pull even, both from Donald West to Blake Rohrer, covering 68 yards in the first period and 62 yards in the third period. Later in the third, West’s one-yard TD gave the Royals the lead 21-14.

Other than those two big plays, the Bears played well defensively, especially on the ground, limiting the Royals to 75 yards in 25 attempts.

“We stopped the run really well,” Barlett said. “That was our goal, to stop the run, so that was big.”

The Bears knotted the score with 8:48 left in the game with Berwald hitting Kaleb Kirchling for a 20-yard touchdown and Odamtten kicking his third extra point.

The Bears rushed for 201 yards and passed for 86. Woodbury passed for 183. The Bears had only two penalties for eight yards and no turnovers. The Royals had six flags for 50 yards and gave up two interceptions, the other by Odamtten.

Anthony Lewis-Royal carried 17 times for 61 yards, Oxton 12 for 59, Odamtten eight for 50, and Berwald 12 for 31. Berwald was 10-for-15 for 86 yards passing. Oxton caught two for 45 yards and Kirschling three for 26. Defensively, Matt Sloan made three tackles for loss.

White Bear Lake won its regular-season finale in overtime, edging Woodbury 27-24 on Wednesday evening in Woodbury.

The Bears will take a 2-3 record into sectionals, facing Champlin Park (also 2-3) there Tuesday evening. All teams had a six-game schedule during this pandemic shortened season. The Bears did not get to play one opponent, East Ridge.

The Bears took a 14-0 first quarter lead on a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Brandon Berwald and a big play by Spencer Oxton, who intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards to score.

Woodbury (3-2) uncorked two long touchdown passes to pull even, both from Donald West to Blake Rohrer, covering 68 yards in the first period and 62 yards in the third period. Later in the third, West’s one-yard TD gave the Royals the lead 21-14.

The Bears knotted the score with 8:48 left in the game with Berwald hitting Kaleb Kirchling for a 20-yard touchdown and Jeff Odamtten kicking his third extra point.

In the overtime, Woodbury settled for a field goal on fourth down as the Bear defense held, and the Bears pulled out the victory on Berwald’s one-yard run on fourth down.

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