Chanhassen coach Mike Bailey scouted playoff nemesis Mankato West earlier last week and braced his defense for fleet Scarlets running backs Melik Davis and Jon Sikel.
Sophomore Wyatt Block figured into the game plan a little too late, however. Block's churning legs and repeated tough runs ensured Mankato West's continued playoff mastery of Chanhassen, this time a 34-14 victory Saturday in a Class 5A, Section 2 semifinal.
The Scarlets have won all six playoffs meetings against Chanhassen in the past seven seasons.
"We're undefeated against these guys, and we let them know it," said Block, who iced the game for the visitors on a 64-yard touchdown dash with 3 minutes, 3 seconds left.
No. 3 seed Mankato West (9-1) advances to play host to No. 4 Chaska (7-3) at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Scarlets traded offensive balance for brawn, controlling the line of scrimmage and scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
"This is by far the most fun game I ever played," said Block, who measures 5-7, 165 pounds. "Our line played flawless."
Garrett Shumski, a standout two-way lineman, returned the compliment.
"He's really stepped up this season as a whole," Shumski said. "Tonight he really showed out for the team.
"He's a mauler when he gets the football. He will not stop."
Chanhassen senior quarterback Jacob Miller, who missed the regular season finale due to a concussion, returned Saturday and gave his team a spark with a 62-yard touchdown run on the first possession by the Storm (6-3).
"We said, 'OK, he's back — we're back,' " Bailey said.
Miller's second touchdown run produced a 14-13 third-quarter lead and greater hope.
"We go ahead there and there are pipe dreams of this being the year we get the monkey off our back," Bailey said. "But that wasn't the case."
Miller's counterpart at quarterback, the Scarlets' Jack Foster, answered with two 1-yard scoring runs. The second put Mankato West ahead 27-14 with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter.
"They spread you out to run," Bailey said. "We tried to battle and make them have to work and not give up any long runs."
The lone exception was Block's long end-zone dash.