Second-ranked Blaine needed only 19 hours and 27 miles to make short work of upstart Eastview in a 42-14 Class 6A state football quarterfinal victory Friday.
The game started Thursday night in White Bear Lake and ended in bitter cold winter afternoon sun and shadow at snowy, windy Osseo High School. The change followed an electrical fire that knocked out stadium power at White Bear Lake and halted play just after halftime with Blaine leading 14-2 on a school night.
When play resumed in a different place on a different day, Blaine outscored Eastview 28-12 to remain undefeated at 11-0, thanks to two third-quarter touchdowns that included sophomore runner Will Fredrickson's third TD of the game.
Fredrickson credited his team's mental toughness. His 132 yards rushing on 32 carries and senior quarterback Jack Haring's 135 yards passing and two touchdowns didn't hurt, either.
"Not a lot of people have played games like this, if anybody has," said Fredrickson, the Bengals' wildcat threat. "I was kind of mad last night. I was like, 'Let's play, I'll play until 1 in the morning.' It was weird, but the coaches said just go out and warm up like it's halftime and let's get after it."
It also helped that Eastview (6-5) began Friday with 10:33 left on the third-quarter clock with a false-start penalty. The Lightning started in reverse while Blaine forged ahead.
"Halftime is the time to make adjustments," Blaine coach Ben Geisler said. "When halftime is 24 hours long, it's like, 'Oh, buddy, what adjustments are they going to make?' Momentum is everything in high school. It's such a short game and then when you cut it in half, one play can make all the difference."
A long third-quarter punt return and senior Tony Strand's fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown provided Blaine with all the momentum it needed.
"They were 10-0 for a reason," Eastview coach Kelly Sherwin said. "Those guys are better. They played better than we did. They deserve to move on."
Blaine meets Eden Prairie Thursday at temperature-controlled U.S. Bank Stadium. Eastview finishes a season Sherwin said ended unforgettably.
"That's about as surreal a scene as you could have had last night," Sherwin said. "Today was just weird, weird going to school. You usually don't start at first-and-10, but it'll be memorable, without a doubt. We'll never forget this one."