The Eden Prairie Eagles battled Rosemount to the very end in the state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium Friday night, but came up just short in a 14-10 decision.
Rosemount jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
After an Eagles fumble on the opening kickoff, the Irish recovered the ball on the Eden Prairie 29-yard-line.
Three plays later, Rosemount’s Jackson Ganser raced 17 yards for the touchdown.
Quarterback Nick Fazi connected with tight end Jermell Taylor on several passes as the offense found rhythm late in the first quarter.
The Eagles defense made a key stop with 4:43 remaining in the second quarter to give the ball to the offense.
Junior running back Liam Berndt broke loose from 17 yards out to tie the game at seven with 2:11 remaining in the half.
Rosemount benefitted from a short field after the kickoff and drove 57 yards to score. Running back Jermaine Richardson dove in from the 3-yard line to give the Irish a 14-7 lead at the half.
After exchanging punts with Rosemount through much of the second half, the Eagles drove from their own 36-yard line to get within striking distance.
When the Eagles drive stalled on the Rosemount 22-yard-line, Luca Ratkovich booted a 39-yard field goal with 10:33 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles drew within four.
On the Eagles next offensive series, Fazi connected with wide receiver Michael Gross for 66 yards to the Rosemount 26-yard-line.
Later in the series, Berndt raced through tacklers, but the ball came loose, and the Irish made the recovery on their own 14-yard-line.
The Eagles got the ball back after another defensive stop but couldn’t capitalize before turning the ball over on downs with 10 seconds remaining in the game.
With their 14-10 win over the Eagles (9-3), Rosemount (12-0) moves on to the state championship game, where they will face Maple Grove (12-0) on Dec. 2.
Check back in with eplocalnews.org for complete coverage of the Class 6A state semifinals. EPLN will soon post an in-depth game story of Rosemount vs. Eden Prairie.
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