After being a footnote last week, East Ridge kicker Grant Ryerse commanded the spotlight Thursday night.
Ryerse's 42-yard field goal with no time left secured East Ridge's 31-28 victory against Wayzata and put the Raptors into the Class 6A football semifinals.
"It was everything I've been preparing for," Ryerse said, who made his longest field goal this season. "I've been training for years just for that kind of moment."
No. 1 seed East Ridge (10-1), winners in dramatic fashion for two consecutive weeks, plays the winner of Friday's quarterfinal between Maple Grove and Burnsville.
Playing a key role in Thursday's game at Edina High School brought extra satisfaction for Ryerse, who missed two of his three field-goal attempts last week against Prior Lake.
The Raptors' winning touchdown against the Lakers was scored on a fake field goal call with nine seconds left.
East Ridge coaches scripted the last of running back Dominik London's impressive 44 carries with Ryerse in mind. London ran toward the middle of the field and slid as directed at the Wayzata 25-yard line.
"I told Grant, 'It's your turn,' " said London, who finished with 243 yards. "I had faith in him. I'm proud of how he executed. That's why he's going Division I."
No. 2 seed Wayzata (8-3) had no timeouts to try to ice Ryerse. But such tactics might not have mattered.
With about 90 seconds remaining, Ryerse told holder Ty Okada, "We're going to get an opportunity to win the game."
Then Ryerse went back to shutting out sound, focusing on mechanics and keeping positive thoughts. Ryerse's big leg earned him a scholarship offer from the Gophers as a sophomore.
Thursday gave him a stage to prove his value in clutch situations.
Though he missed both previous attempts from 40 to 49 yards this season, Ryerse made this try, holding up his right arm in triumph as teammates watched the ball. He is now 4-for-8 on field goals this season.
Mental toughness wasn't reserved for Ryerse.
East Ridge, led by London and the largest high school offensive line Wayzata coach Brad Anderson said he can remember, came back twice to tie the Trojans in the second half.