There was an edge in the voice of Centennial coach Mike Diggins after the Cougars manhandled Stillwater 30-12 on Friday in the first round of the Class 6A football playoffs.
In his postgame speech to his team, Diggins was looking to fire up his players for next week.
"Look at the paper," he yelled. "It was all about Edina. Edina this, Edina that. Well, we want those guys. We want Edina."
Centennial (8-1) will play host to Edina, a 28-12 winner over Burnsville, next Friday.
Diggins smiled when asked about those comments after his team had run over and through an undermanned Stillwater team weakened by injuries.
"Oh, that's just for those guys," he said, referring to his team.
The Cougars aren't fancy. Their option running game isn't designed to fool anyone, but it was the perfect fit for Friday's wintry weather conditions.
They scored on their first three drives of the game, needing nary a pass to establish a 23-0 first half lead. Quarterback Ryan Koob scored twice and bruising halfback Sam Bonfe added a touchdown.
"We didn't know if they could stop us," Diggins said. "The first three drives, we scored and that's what we talked about."
Said Koob: "We play old-school, downhill, physical football. We ran the ball right down their throats. We had more than 300 yards. It worked perfectly for us."
Any thoughts Stillwater had of a comeback were crushed quickly when Centennial's Trei Driskell took the second-half kickoff and ran it back 84 yards for a touchdown and a 30-0 lead.
The Centennial defense, often in the shadow of its rumbling rushing game, allowed Stillwater only one first down until the game was out of reach. The Ponies (2-7) added two late touchdowns for the final score.
As he was walking off the field, Diggins called out, "Hey, write about Edina again. I gotta have something to tell these guys for next week."