Posted On: 11/16/18 4:47 AM
Excellence isn’t always exciting but Eden Prairie is returning to the Class 6A championship game following a 34-14 victory over Blaine Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The third-ranked Eagles (10-1) ran and ran and ran to their 14th Prep Bowl appearance behind an attack that featured 10 different runners.
For second-ranked Blaine, it was a disappointing end to a season that had Bengals fans anticipating a trip to the Prep Bowl. Too many turnovers and penalties proved too much to overcome against a perennial power like Eden Prairie. Blaine threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
The Eagles led just 7-0 at halftime following a Nic Krueger 4-yard touchdown run and an extra-point kick. Krueger, who finished with 107 yards rushing, added his second touchdown in the third quarter on a 43-yard run to expand the lead to 14-0 following the extra-point kick.
Collin Penn added a 9-yard touchdown run to make it 20-0 after Eden Prairie recovered the ensuing kickoff.
Blaine got some life temporarily in the fourth quarter when Tony Strand returned a punt 62 yards to cut the deficit to 20-7.
But the Eagles kept coming. Cole Kramer found JD Cowan for a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to make it 27-7 and Collin Arneson ran in from 4 yards out to make it 34-7.
Tim Mafe caught an 8-yard touchdown pass with 6 seconds left from Jack Haring for Blaine to make it 34-14. Haring went 21-for-33 with 207 yards passing.
Eden Prairie finished with 234 yards rushing while Kramer finished 9 of 11 passing for 114 yards.
The Eagles will await the winner of the Lakeville North-Lakeville South game, which will take place Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Panthers defeated Eden Prairie 14-0 earlier this season.
THREE STARS TO THE GAME
Nic Krueger, Eden Prairie. Rushed for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead 10 different rushers for the Eagles.
Cole Kramer, Eden Prairie. The quarterback looked sharp when he needed to against Blaine. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 114 yards with a touchdown.
Daejon Wolfe, Eden Prairie. Caught five of the nine passes for 44 yards. He’s a threat on the outside and will likely play a big role in the Prep Bowl.