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Photo by Taylor Smith

Lakers blanked by Eden Prairie; close regular season against Minnetonka as playoff seeding awaits

By Taylor Smith, 10/15/19, 7:45PM CDT


Prior Lake was unable to find success against EP but will look to rebound against the Skippers.

Game recap: Eden Prairie

The Prior Lake Lakers were no match for the Eden Prairie Eagles as EP rolled to a 35-0 win over Prior Lake on a snowy night Oct. 11 at Eden Prairie High School.

Eden Prairie (5-2 overall, 3-2 Metro West) now sits alone in third place in the Metro West Subdistrict behind consensus top-ranked Wayzata and STMA. Prior Lake (3-4 overall, 2-3 Metro West) is now tied for fourth in the district with Edina.

The Eagles took control early, forcing a three-and-out on the Lakers opening possession and giving the Eden Prairie offense the ball near midfield.

The Eden Prairie offense got the ball across midfield on a third down quarterback draw to move the chains.

EP got their first score of the game a couple plays later when running back Sam Thomas took a handoff on a sweep to the left, followed his blockers and exploded through the hole, running in for a 41-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 7-0 early.

The Lakers moved the ball a bit on their next drive thanks to a few strong runs from running back/linebacker Sam Emmerich but were ultimately forced to punt.

On the very next snap, Eagles quarterback David Warren Mitchell faked a handoff and kept the ball on a boot play to his left. He broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and took off down the Laker sideline, fought off a couple Prior Lake tacklers and made it all the way to the end zone to give Eden Prairie a 14-0 lead in just the first quarter.

Following another three-and-out, Eden Prairie put together a 12-play 85-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from fullback Fred Zach to increase the Eagle lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter.

The defenses then traded stops and a long run by safety/receiver Dylan Bair got the ball well into Eden Prairie territory. A run by running back/cornerback Will Jones got the Lakers into the red zone but an interception by quarterback Kyle Haas quickly halted the drive.

The Eagles missed a field goal in the closing seconds of the half and the score stayed 21-0 Eagles at halftime.

On their opening possession of the second half, sensing a need to get back into the game, the Lakers lined up to go for it on fourth down-and-1. Their fourth down toss play to Bair was unsuccessful as he was stopped in the backfield, turning the ball over on downs.

Eden Prairie then marched down the field on a six-play 38-yard drive, finished off with a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Johnny Hartle to essentially put the game out of reach at 28-0 late in the third quarter.

The Eagles scored on a fourth quarter touchdown run to reach the final score of 35-0.

Statistically, Emmerich was the leading rusher with 16 carries for 68 yards.

Quarterback Kyle Haas completed 1 of his 4 passes, a 7-yarder to Bair.

Bair was the leading tackler with eight tackles while safety Austin Gordon had six tackles.


Next up: Minnetonka

The Lakers will look to snap a three-game losing streak against Minnetonka on senior night Oct. 16 at Dan Patch Stadium.

Prior Lake and Minnetonka met last season, a 9-7 Skipper win at Minnetonka High School.

This season’s Skipper team (0-7 overall, 0-5 Metro West) may not have the amount of victories that they have grown accustomed to in years past but Minnetonka has one of the toughest schedules in the state and has played in many close games.

Minnetonka is coming off a 14-7 loss last week against Edina. They also had tight losses 21-14 against Shakopee, 17-16 against eighth-ranked Mounds View, 21-14 against ninth-ranked STMA and 21-17 against Eastview.

The Skippers have been forced to use a variety of different players at skilled positions due to injuries.

Joe Gendreau has served as the Skipper quarterback the past few games, completing 30 of 59 passes for 269 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Running back Ben Tolkinen has been the Skippers top offensive threat this season with 575 yards on 123 carries and two touchdowns but he appeared to go down with an injury against Edina. Running back Will Velgersdyk relieved Tolinen against Edina with 14 carries and 43 yards.

Receiver Jaxen Iverson is Minnetonka’s top receiving target and has 30 receptions for 283 yards on the season.


Playoff seeding and brackets

Playoff seeding occur on Thursday morning and is strictly based on a vote by the head coaches in each of the four Class 6A sections.

The other teams in Prior Lake’s section, Section 3AAAAAA, include Burnsville, Eagan, Eastview, Farmington, Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Rosemount.

The Lakers could be seeded anywhere between a 3 seed and a 6 seed depending on Wednesday’s results. A 3 or 4 seed would mean a first-round home game while a 5 or a 6 seed would mean an opening round road game.

Lakeville South and Lakeville North have likely already locked up the top two seeds in the section and one-win Burnsville and winless Eagan are likely locked into the 7 and 8 seed. That leaves the Lakers, Rosemount, Farmington and Eastview likely battling it out for the 3 through 6 seeds.

Once the section seeds are voted on and decided by the coaches, they are then sent to the Minnesota State High School League to be entered into one of the four available randomly-picked 31-team brackets.

Those brackets place one team from each of the four sections in a “pod” as it has been referred to in years past, meaning the Lakers could not play a team from their own section until the state quarterfinals.

One of the top seeds will have an opening round bye due to Section 6AAAAAA only having seven teams.

The full bracket will be released sometime during the day on Thursday. Be sure to check social media for those details when they become available.



Kickoff against Minnetonka on Wednesday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Dan Patch Stadium.

If you can’t make it to the game, you can watch the online video stream with Ben Tressel and John Wahlstrom.

Follow @plhsfootball, @pl4lstreaming and @pllakers on Twitter for updates.

Be sure to check back next week for a recap of the Minnetonka game and preview of the Round 1 matchup.

Taylor Smith can be reached at or on Twitter at @taysmith2013.

Photo by Taylor Smith

Photo by Taylor Smith