Camp Randall 100: Blair Mulholland

The Camp Randall 100 honors a prestigious group of 100 people who shaped the first century of Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin Athletics will reveal a new honoree every day from May 24 until the Badgers’ 2017 opening game on Sept. 1 against Utah State.

“I really didn’t think it was (possible). I don’t think a lot of people did on our sideline. But you can’t show that … All us leaders really had to put on our face and say, ‘We can do this.'”

— Blair Mulholland

Photo of Blair Mulholland in his Kimberly High School uniform (#6) with his helmet off at Camp Randall Stadium
Blair Mulholland

The number were ridiculous: 46 carries, 341 rushing yards, 464 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. But the timing transformed Blair Mulholland’s performance into one for the ages at Camp Randall Stadium.

Camp Randall has hosted the WIAA State Football Championship games since 1982. Through the hundreds of title games played in Madison, there may not have been one more memorable than the 2015 Division 1 championship tilt between Kimberly and Hartland Arrowhead.

It was a rematch of the 2014 game that saw Kimberly win 31-6. Arrowhead was making its fourth-straight trip to the state title game while the Papermakers were riding a 41-game win streak.

However, with less than six minutes left in the third quarter, it looked as though the game was in hand. Arrowhead quarterback Johnny Duranso scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Warhawks a 42-21 lead with 5:42 left in the frame. That’s when the unthinkable happened.

Mullholland, who accounted for Kimberly’s first two touchdowns in the first quarter with runs of 40 and 73 yards, got a bit of momentum back on the Papermakers’ sideline with a 17-yard TD run just before the end of the third quarter as snow began to fall.

Following a blocked field goal, Kimberly drove 80 yards in 12 plays and current UW freshman quarterback Matt Vanden Boom connected with Jordan Janssen on a 7-yard scoring pass.

42-35 Arrowhead. 5:40 left in the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, Kimberly recovered an onside kick and was back in business. Less than three minutes later, following another Vanden Boom touchdown pass, the game was tied and the crowd of 13,124 at Camp Randall Stadium was stunned.

Amazingly, Kimberly’s defense held Arrowhead to just one yard in forcing a three-and-out on its next possession and got the ball back at its own 23-yard line with 1:40 left in the game. Mulholland went back to work.

He accounted for 50 of the Papermakers’ 77 yards on that fateful final drive, including the last 14. He nearly scored on a 13-yard screen pass, getting knocked out of bounds as he was diving for the pylon. With 14 seconds on the clock and no timeouts left, Mulholland barreled his way into the end zone from 1 yard out, completing one of the most unbelievable comebacks in WIAA history.

“Arrowhead is a great team. I really didn’t think it was (possible). I don’t think a lot of people did on our sideline,” Mulholland said after the game. “But you can’t show that … All us leaders really had to put on our face and say, ‘We can do this.’”

Mulholland is now playing at South Dakota State where he redshirted in 2016 as a true freshman. Last year he played linebacker on the scout team, earning scout defense player of the week honors prior to SDSU’s season-opener against TCU. However, he was moved back to running back during spring practice and is listed there on the Jackrabbits’ current roster.

Thin Photo collage with former Kimberly football player Blair Mulholland