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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 11/9/2012 8:19:31 PM

By Luke Sleeper
John’s Journal correspondent

Wayzata fought off an early surge from a tough Eastview team Friday to advance to the 6A state semifinals.

The Trojans defeated the Lightning 35-21, ensuring their fourth trip to the big school final four in the past five years. The Wayzata fans fittingly wore gold t-shirts that said “Home Away From Home” with the Metrodome pictured on the back.

The first play from scrimmage began what was probably the most exciting sequence of events in the tournament thus far. Wayzata quarterback Nick Olmanson had his pass deflected by Eastview linebacker Jacob Bechstein, who then intercepted the ball and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.

Wayzata wasted no time in its response; Trojan running back Jeff Borchardt returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards to tie the score 7-7 and only 26 seconds had ticked off the clock.

Wayzata grabbed hold of the lead and never gave it back after a key punt block deep in Eastview territory. Borchardt then scored again, this time on a 5-yard run. On the next Wayzata drive, junior running back Tanner Bedard burst through the line for a 44-yard touchdown.

Eastview did its best to halt the Trojan momentum. After a Lightning interception, Eastview quarterback Mark Dwyer orchestrated a long drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Will Rains.

Before the Lightning had time to celebrate, Wayzata’s quarterback Olmanson led a long scoring drive of his own to end the half, throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Matt Blanchard with less than 30 seconds left in the first half.

After a scoreless third quarter, Eastview cut into the Trojan lead with another touchdown run by Rains. Once again, Jeff Borchardt ruined the fun for the Lightning; just under a minute later he ran for a 69-yard touchdown to give Wayzata a 35-21 lead.

Ultimately, it was the big plays made by Borchardt that made the difference in the game. He had more than 300 all-purpose yards Friday.

Wayzata (9-1) will play Eden Prairie in next Friday’s 6A semifinal at the Metrodome.

Eden Prairie earned a rematch with Wayzata in the 6A semifinals after its tough 21-18 victory over Minnetonka on Friday at the Metrodome.

The Eagle defense was particularly stingy against an at-times explosive Minnetonka team, keeping the Skipper offense out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter.

The only Minnetonka touchdown scored before that came on the defensive side of the ball, when two-way player DeAndre Singleton returned a fumble recovery for a 47-yard score. At the time, it tied the score 7-7.

The Eden Prairie offense scored its first-half touchdowns with its passing game. Senior quarterback Grant Schaeffer first hit junior tight end Zach Hovey for a 17-yard score, followed by a 7-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Bjorn Halvorson.

A 20-yard field goal by Minnetonka’s Perry Smith made the score 14-10 going into halftime.

Taking the ball to begin the second half, the Eagle offense had a vintage Eden Prairie drive. Using its running backs Halvorson and junior Anthony Anderson, the Eagles ate up seven and a half minutes in a 71-yard scoring drive. The drive took 16 plays, all of them on the ground. It almost seemed like a microcosm of Eden Prairie’s dominance of Minnesota high school football over the past two decades.

A very strong, but late, effort by Minnetonka made the game much closer than the teams’ first meeting, which ended in a 42-7 victory for Eden Prairie (9-2). Senior running back KeAndre Singleton ran for a touchdown with under six minutes left in the game. A successful two-point conversion pass from quarterback Nick Rooney to tight end Joe Martinson got Minnetonka within a field goal.

After the Eagles turned it over on downs, Minnetonka (5-6) had its last chance with 2:02 left in regulation. A fortuitous defensive pass-interference penalty and some clutch passes by Rooney helped the Skippers overcome a couple of penalties of their own on the last drive, ultimately finding themselves on the Eden Prairie 20 with five seconds left in regulation. Smith’s game-tying field goal try came up short, ending the game and giving the Eagles the victory.


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