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Lakers knock off Mounds View for first road playoff win since 2000; to travel to Centennial for section final

By Taylor Smith, 11/02/23, 6:30PM CDT


Prior Lake got their first road playoff win in 23 years at Mounds View; they'll now head to Centennial with a trip to state on the line.

Game recap: Mounds View

Running back Levi Eiter scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 13-yard swing pass from quarterback Caden Wick with 2:41 left in the fourth quarter as the fifth-seeded Prior Lake Lakers defeated the fourth-seeded Mounds View Mustangs 17-15 on October 27 at Mounds View High School.

The victory for the Lakers (5-4 Overall, 1-4 Metro West) was their first road playoff win since 2000 when they knocked off Orono.

Prior Lake got on the board first against Mounds View (4-5 Overall, 2-3 Metro East) with a 14-play drive that ended with a Mason Storlie field goal. It looked as though the Lakers were going to try for the touchdown on fourth and goal but a false start penalty at the 1-yard line caused the Lakers to settle for the 22-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 4:00 left in the first quarter.

Mounds View answered back quickly thanks to a 25-yard pass play from Mustangs quarterback Jacob Sampson to receiver Tyler Nystrom on Mounds View’s first play from scrimmage. However, the Laker defense stood tall thanks to a key third down tackle by lineman Jide Abasiri and linebacker Dylan Hawley forced a field goal attempt. Mounds View kicker Ben Hoiland knocked through a 43-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3 with 1:31 left in the first quarter.

After the teams exchanged punts for much of the second quarter, Mounds View then put together an 11-play drive but the Laker defense made a goal-line stand and held the Mustangs to a field goal. Hoiland’s 21-yard field goal gave the Mustangs a 6-3 lead with 35 seconds left in the half.

The score remained 6-3 Mustangs at halftime.

The Mustangs' drive stalled near midfield to open the second half but a good punt pinned the Lakers back near their own goal line. Three plays later, after not advancing the ball forward, the snap on the punt attempt sailed over Storlie’s head and out the back of the end zone for a safety to increase Mounds View’s lead to 8-3 with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

Mounds View drove the ball into Laker territory on the next possession but a sack by Hawley and Abasiri forced a long field goal attempt. The 49-yard field goal attempt by Hoiland sailed wide left, giving the ball back to the Lakers.

Facing third-and-2 on their own 28-yard line, Wick took the snap and handed the ball off to running back Hunter MacGillivray, who ran over a Mounds View defender to pick up a first down and move the chains.

Two plays later, MacGillivray took the handoff from Wick on a trap play and sprinted down the middle of the field and through the Mustang secondary, all the way to the end zone for a 68-yard touchdown. Eiter ran in the two-point conversion attempt to give the Lakers an 11-8 lead with 57 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Mustangs then answered with a 12-play 83-yard touchdown drive to start the third quarter, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Sampson to give Mounds View a 15-11 lead with 7:12 left in regulation.

On the next drive, MacGillivray converted a key fourth-and-3 at the Mounds View 40-yard line with a tough run on a trap play to move the chains. Eiter then broke off a 20-yard run on the next play to move the ball into the red zone.

A few plays later, Eiter scored what would be the game-winning touchdown on a swing pass where he broke a tackle, tiptoed down the Laker sideline and dove over the pylon for the touchdown to put the Lakers up 17-15 with 2:41 left in regulation. The extra point was blocked to keep it a two-point game.

Prior Lake’s defense then forced a turnover on downs, aided by a drop and a big tackle for loss by Hawley but Mounds View had one more chance as they still had timeouts remaining.

It looked as though Prior Lake had picked up a game-winning first down on the ensuing possession but after discussion the officials called a false start penalty, nullifying the play. MacGillivray was tackled just short of the first down marker on the next play, giving Mounds View one last possession in the closing seconds.

With one final play at the Prior Lake 43-yard line, the ball was fumbled before Sampson could get a pass off. A Mustang running back scooped up the ball and ran forward but was quickly met by lineman Skyler Werner and linebacker Sean Nadeau, who brought the ball carrier down and secured the Prior Lake victory.

Statistically, Wick completed 2 of 7 passes for 20 yards and a touchdown.

MacGillivray rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Eiter had 14 carries for 58 yards and a receiving touchdown as well as a two-point conversion.

Hawley had a team-leading 16 tackles in the game. MacGillivray had nine tackles. Abasiri, Nadeau, Eiter and linebacker Jason Green each had six tackles.


Next up: Centennial

A spot in the state tournament will be on the line on Friday November 3 when the Lakers travel to Centennial High School to take on the Cougars at 7pm in the section final/state qualifier round.

The Lakers are seeking their fifth state tournament appearance and first since 2017. Prior Lake has never clinched a spot in the state tournament on the road, with the four previous section titles/state qualifier trophies all being won at home at Dan Patch Stadium.

The winner of Friday’s game between Prior Lake and Centennial advances to take on the winner of the Rosemount/Woodbury game in the state quarterfinals Thursday November 9 at 7pm at Stillwater High School.

Prior Lake and Centennial have met twice before on the gridiron, both in non-district regular season games in 2015 and 2016. The Lakers defeated the Cougars 34-13 at Centennial in 2015 and then Cougars returned the favor and defeated the Lakers 34-17 at Prior Lake in 2016.

This year’s Cougars (8-1 Overall, 6-1 Metro North), led by longtime coach Mike Diggins, were champions of the Metro North district this season and earned the #1 seed from Section 5. The lone blemish on Centennial’s record is a loss to defending state champion Maple Grove 41-28 in Week 3. The Cougars have won six straight games since that loss to Maple Grove with notable wins over STMA, Anoka and Rosemount. Centennial defeated Burnsville 61-6 last week in the opening round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Centennial’s run-heavy offense is led by dual-threat quarterback Daylen Cummings. Cummings has completed 39 of 61 passes for 659 yards, five touchdowns and one interception this season.

Fullback Maverick Harper has been the main weapon for the Cougar rushing attack with 186 carries for 1,041 yards and 17 touchdowns so far this season. Cummings is a threat in the run game as well with 82 carries for 423 yards and 10 touchdowns. Receiver/running back Ty Burgoon also contributes to the ground game with 63 carries for 453 yards and a touchdown.

Burgoon is also the leading receiver with 15 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Josh Lee has 12 catches for 216 yards.


Kickoff at Centennial High School on Friday is scheduled for 7pm.

Also, Brad Bulver, a longtime PLSAS teacher, coach and football filmer was recently diagnosed with ALS. The Bulver family now lives in Edina and needs your help as they transition their home and lives to support Brad. Please donate as you are able in support of a longtime Laker! You can donate at the following link:

NSPN will be streaming this week’s game at the following link (Note: Viewers will need to subscribe NSPN in order to watch):

Follow @plhsfootball, @pllakers, @PLHSLakers, @PLLakersLive on Twitter for updates and links to the streams throughout the season.

Be sure to check back next week for a recap of the Centennial game (if the Lakers win) and a preview of the state quarterfinal matchup.

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

Photo by Takuma Padilla