The fifth-ranked Eden Prairie Eagles ensured a happy homecoming Friday night at Aerie Stadium with a 28-14 win over second-ranked Prior Lake. The win boosts the Eagles’ record to 4-1 overall after last week’s upset loss to Rosemount. Previously unbeaten Prior Lake drops to 4-1 with the defeat.
The evening began with fireworks and not from the homecoming festivities. Prior Lake senior Joey Krouse returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Lakers lead.
The Eagles maintained their composure with solid defensive play and ball control on offense. Junior running back Liam Berndt and senior running back Tyler Walden took turns on rushes for big gains behind solid blocking from the Eagles’ offensive line. On their second offensive series, Walden broke loose from 22 yards out for a touchdown and evened the score at 7.
Eden Prairie started the second quarter with more points. Senior quarterback Nick Fazi found one of his favorite targets, senior tight end Jermell Taylor, all alone near the goal line. The 35-yard scoring play gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead.
The Eden Prairie defense forced two Prior Lake punts in the first half. On the Lakers’ third offensive series, the Eagles came away with a momentum-shifting takeaway. Senior defensive back Devin Jordan tipped a Prior Lake pass into the hands of junior Dennis Rahouski. Two plays later, Walden raced 36 yards to the Prior Lake 5-yard line. On the following play, Jordan ensured his tipped pass translated into points. His touchdown gave the Eagles a 21-7 advantage.
The Eagles’ special teams delivered more scoring opportunities before the end of the first half. Senior defensive end Chiddi Obiazor blocked a punt recovered on the Prior Lake 3-yard line. Walden scored his second touchdown of the night with a 1-yard run to give the Eagles a 28-7 lead at halftime.
Prior Lake managed their only offensive touchdown in the second half to narrow the margin to two scores. But behind a stingy defense and a solid running game, the Eagles controlled the clock – and the game – the rest of the way.
The 28-14 victory, before an estimated 5,500 spectators, put the finishing touches on homecoming week at EPHS. The Eagles travel to Shakopee next Friday night to take on the Sabers.
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