The Chaska football team is starting to get the hang of fourth-quarter comebacks.
Last week the Hawks trailed Orono by two points in the fourth quarter before putting together a game-winning 92-yard touchdown drive. So when the Hawks found themselves down late again Friday against unbeaten Apple Valley, they were far from nervous.
The Hawks got the ball back at their own 18 with 2:08 to go and calmly marched 82 yards on 12 plays. It culminated with running back Kobe Lillo's 3-yard touchdown plunge with 46.7 seconds left that sealed a 20-17 victory and kept them unbeaten with a 5-0 record.
"We love it. We have that mentality that we're going to do this," Chaska head coach Bryan Dahl said. "They have that look in their eyes like they're going to get it and they're going to score."
Senior quarterback Connor Souba kept the drive alive with a 10-yard completion on fourth-and-10. He then found wideout Nolan Hansen down the sideline for a 36-yard completion that moved the ball to the Apple Valley 3-yard line with just under a minute to go. Souba completed 15 of 21 passes for 179 yards and rushed for 123 more as he eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season.
"We felt very confident. We knew we were in a great situation with two minutes and three timeouts," Souba said. "It felt so great to finally finish that last drive."
Apple Valley (4-1) had regained the lead with 8:49 to go on a 7-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tyler Cardella to diving Luke Martens. Tailbacks Kellan McKeag and Patrick Kelehan combined for 311 yards on the ground for the Eagles. The Chaska defense forced two fumbles and halted two long drives with stops on fourth-and-short.