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Last-second field goal lifts Cretin-Derham Hall over Lakeville North 25-22
Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 11/11/2011 10:31:53 PM

By Luke Sleeper

Every Thursday, Cretin-Derham Hall kicker Zachary Hager and his team end practice by simulating a last-second field goal. And it was a last-second, game-winning field goal that ended Friday night’s Class 5A state quarterfinal game against Lakeville North, giving Cretin a 25-22 victory.

The scoring began when Raiders quarterback Connor Rhoda snuck across the goal line to give his team an early 7-0 lead. The tough, three-pronged running attack of Rhoda, running back/receiver Kendrik Brewster and running back James Onwualu gave Cretin most of its offensive success throughout the game.

It was the Lakeville North offense, though, that controlled the ball, as well as the momentum, for much of the game. Despite losing a fumble on the first offensive drive, North quarterback Trey Heid, who was called the “Metro Player of the Year” by Cretin coach Mike Scanlan after the game, was once again the preeminent playmaker for the Panthers. On their next drive, he redeemed himself by throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Joel Oxton. A missed extra point allowed the Raiders to remain in the lead.

A couple of key third-and-long conversions by the Panthers in the second quarter propelled them to another lengthy scoring drive, this time capped off by a 2-yard run from Heid. A failed two-point conversion made the score 12-7, where it would remain for the rest of the half.

Cretin-Derham Hall reclaimed the lead in the third quarter, when the Raiders elected to go for it on fourth-and-two in Lakeville territory. A toss play to Onwualu did not result in a first down, but instead a 30-yard touchdown. A successful two-point conversion gave Cretin a temporary 15-12 edge.

After a 48-yard kick return by Zach Creighton on the ensuing kickoff, the Panthers found themselves in scoring position once again. Lakeville took a 19-15 lead when Trey Heid found running back Kevin Eskuri wide open in the end zone, a touchdown pass of 26 yards. After a big third-down sack by Panthers defensive end Trevor Goeman, followed by a 29-yard field goal by Heid, Lakeville North was very much in control of the game entering the final quarter.

Cretin-Derham Hall began to wear down the Panther defense with its relentless running attack. Several quarterback keepers by Rhoda moved the Raiders downfield and into the red zone. A 3-yard touchdown run by Onwualu tied the score 22-22.

The Lakeville offense was finally halted by Cretin despite another impressive third-and-long conversion, this time a 19-yard pass from Heid to his favorite target, Charlie Hayes. Once the Panthers gave possession back to Cretin with 6:34 left in the game, they would never see the ball again.

A long, clock-eating drive that included a 15-
yard pass from Rhoda to Luke Hamel and a heavy dose of runs from Onwualu put the Raiders in perfect position to kick the game-winning field goal with seven seconds left on the clock. A false start pushed Cretin back to the 16-yard line, giving Hager a pressure-packed 32-yard field goal attempt. The kick was good and a sea of purple flooded the Metrodome field in celebration.

The always colorful Scanlan was candid in describing his team’s performance. “Our sphincters tightened up there towards the middle of the game,” he said. “We would have liked to pass a little better tonight but it was (the running of) Kendrick (Brewster) and James (Onwualu) that won us this game.”

Cretin Derham-Hall (12-0) will play the winner of Saturday’s Wayzata/Moorhead game in the Nov. 18 5A semifinals at the Metrodome. Friday’s loss was the only defeat of the season for Lakeville North, which finished 10-1.

--Luke Sleeper is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota

TOTINO-GRACE 21, PRIOR LAKE 17.

So far so good for Totino-Grace in Class 5A. The Eagles, who opted up to 5A this season after becoming a dominant team in 4A, lost to Minnetonka 28-0 in the season opener and did not lose again. Their winning ways continued Friday at the Metrodome with a 21-17 victory over Prior Lake in the state quarterfinals.So far so good for Totino-Grace in Class 5A. The Eagles, who opted up to 5A this season after becoming a dominant team in 4A, lost to Minnetonka 28-0 in the season opener and did not lose again. Their winning ways continued Friday at the Metrodome with a 21-17 victory over Prior Lake in the state quarterfinals.

Totino-Grace (11-1) will meet Eden Prairie in the semifinals next week at the Metrodome. Prior Lake (8-4) ended a great season with the school’s first trip to the state football playoffs. This is Totino-Grace’s 21st appearance in a state football tournament.

The first half was filled with punts and running plays and ended in a 7-7 tie. Totino-Grace scored first when Bob McDaniel hit Charlie Miller for a 28-yard touchdown with 3:39 left in the half and the Lakers answered when Topher Rose threw to Matt Arends for a 28-yard score 40 seconds before halftime.

The score was 14-14 early in the fourth quarter before Totino went up 21-14 when McDaniel hit Sam Meyer with a 34-yard TD pass with nine minutes to play. Prior Lake pulled within 21-17 on a 19-yard field goal by Kirk Lair with 4:54 to go. The Lakers forced Totino to punt, and the kick pinned Prior Lake on its own 10 with 1:15 on the clock. The Lakers got into Eagles territory but the clock ran out on their hopes.



 


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