All season long, defense has carried Mondovi on its dominant run.
So it came as no surprise when the defense saved the day for the Buffaloes on Friday.
Carter Johnson intercepted Mineral Point quarterback Isaac Lindsey with 32 seconds remaining in the game and took the return a few yards to the house to send Mondovi into the Division 6 state semifinals with a 29-22 victory.
Pinned deep in their own territory and looking to orchestrate a drive to win the game in the final minute of play, the second-seeded Pointers took to the air.
Johnson punished the decision in outstanding fashion.
It was the fourth of five interceptions on the day for the top-seeded Buffaloes’ defense. Mondovi also intercepted a last-ditch effort for Mineral Point to tie the game.
Johnson also added a rushing touchdown in the first half. Tanner Marsh ran for two scores for the Buffaloes, including a tying 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
Lindsey had given Mineral Point a 22-14 lead with a 12-yard rushing touchdown with 3:18 left in the third quarter. Mondovi didn’t answer until Marsh’s one-yard score with 7:57 remaining in the fourth.
The Pointers intercepted a pass deep in their own territory in the final minute of play, appearing to put the momentum on their sideline. Moments later, it was taken away by Johnson’s pick-six.
Mondovi will face St. Mary’s Springs next Friday at a to-be-determined location with a trip to the Division 6 state championship game on the line. The Ledgers have won two consecutive state titles and knocked off top-seeded Racine Lutheran 20-0 in the quarterfinals.