On a gorgeous Friday night in our final home game of the year, we were able to show our resilience and prevail in a thrilling 21 - 17 victory over a very good Edina team. Falling behind by seventeen points in the first fourteen minutes in the game, we put our backs to the wall with the possibility of our season ending. However, the next two and a half quarters were memorable and gave us the opportunity to head to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive year. Quite an accomplishment for a bunch of young men that truly have poured their hearts and soul into each other.
Defensively, after a rough first quarter that led to 14 Edina points due to poor angles of pursuit, we settled down and held them to three points over the final three quarters giving us a chance to make a comeback. Ben Paschke had a big game in the middle with 14 total tackles, and Zion Allen had a memorable sack at the end of the game that secured our victory. Curtis Haugen had a great interception at the end of the first half that allowed us to still be only down two scores going into halftime, and Michael Engelken added 9 total tackles. I was proud of the determination of this group allowing us the opportunity to get back into the game. Now, we need to use that momentum we built in those final quarters to play a great 48 minutes in Step 3 against Eden Prairie because I have a feeling the state tournament is where this group is going to shine.
Offensively, we also struggled early and had to show mental toughness because nothing came easy throughout. However, we were able to put a 95 yard drive together to cut their score to 3 points, and then finished with a memorable 68 yard drive in the final minutes that put us in the lead with 90 seconds to go. Brad Davison did a great job leading us during such a tough game going 21 - 32 passing for 259 yards and 2 TD's. He also added the memorable rushing touchdown that put us in the lead late in the game. Jack Dugan has continued his strong playoff run with 7 catches for 117 yards and 1 TD, Teddy Raasch made two huge fourth down catches on the final drive, and Ky Carlson added a touchdown as well. As I have said every week, this a group that needs to continue getting better and gives us a great opportunity every time we take the field.
Our special teams did a much better job this week against a team that hurt us week three. After a first game where we allowed a touchdown return, this week we did a great job with coverage and never gave them field position due to special teams. We also did a great job of recovering an onside kick when we were down 17, and we were able to execute a two point conversion. Every game special teams becomes more and more important and this week is no exception. It's playoff time! We need to win this area to have a chance to get to the next step.
As proud as I am of how we overcame adversity last week, that game is now over and we are on to another game against Eden Prairie for our state quarterfinal at Chanhassen High School. It doesn't get any better. We are playing a program that is the template for our entire state, and they are a joy to play every time we get the opportunity. This is a week we have to have great preparation and come in Friday ready to play our first game of 48 great minutes. Eden Prairie has been playing great football which makes our game Friday night even more exciting. They have handled all of their opponents and have been playing great football on both sides of the ball. We have two teams that have won a combined 15 games in a row, so hopefully we will give you a game that has been as entertaining as any you have seen. This is about getting step 3 with the winner getting a chance to play at US Bank stadium for the semis and step 4. It should be awesome. We need every fan we can out there supporting us because there is nothing like state tournament football. It should bring the whole community together and it should be a blast watching two of the best teams in the state going at it. See you Friday night, and GO CRIMSON! It should be a lot of fun!