There are comebacks, but Maple Grove's improbable 21-17 victory over Edina on Friday night was more "Oh, come on."
Trailing until less than two minutes remained, No. 2 seed Maple Grove (8-2) advanced to the Class 6A tournament quarterfinals against No. 1 seed Eden Prairie next Friday at Chanhassen High School.
"We don't make it easy, but we show a lot of persistence," Crimson senior quarterback Brad Davison said. "That game was great for us as we go into next week."
Behind 17-0 early and 17-6 at halftime, Maple Grove responded with two clutch touchdown drives. The defense shut down Edina quarterback Brock Boltmann after he threw a pair of touchdowns to Parker Rickert in the first quarter.
Boltmann also punts well, pinning Maple Grove at its 5-yard line in the third quarter. But 12 plays and 95 yards later, the Crimson scored.
Jack Dugan's touchdown catch and Davison's two-point conversion run cut Edina's lead to 17-14 with nine seconds to go in the third quarter and shifted the wind.
"We were the ones stopping ourselves," Davison said. "That's kind of been the theme this year on offense. That drive gave us our confidence back."
In its next two possessions, No. 3 seed Edina (5-5) turned the ball over on downs and then punted. On its ensuing drive, Maple Grove looked nothing like the team that fumbled twice in the first quarter.
Davison twice completed passes on fourth down to Teddy Raasch. The first came on a busted play. Davison spun away from closing defenders in the backfield and Raasch did likewise on the sideline.
"Davison always keeps plays alive," said Edina coach Reed Boltmann, whose Hornets edged Maple Grove 21-20 on Sept. 16. "We've got one or two spies on him, and as he's going down, he flips it to a back."
The second one, a 13-yard completion on fourth-and-8, got the Crimson to Edina's 8-yard line. The next play Davison took off for the go-ahead score.
"What makes Brad a special kid is he really does have that 'I-don't-want-to-let-us-lose' attitude," Maple Grove coach Matt Lombardi said. "That drive separated him as one of the best players in the state."