Eden Prairie can be explosive. And tricky. And shrewd.
The No. 1 team in Class 6A has the talent and the moxie to be all of those things.
But what the Eagles do best, and have done for more than two decades, is pound teams into submission.
That is exactly what they did Wednesday, putting together relentless drive after relentless drive en route to a 35-10 road victory over No. 2-ranked Edina.
The Eagles set the physical tone from the outset, taking the opening kickoff and driving 79 yards in 14 plays, with senior running back Solo Falaniko scoring from 2 yards out for a 7-0 lead.
"We knew this was going to be a game where we needed to take the ball and pound it down their throats," said Joe Schreiber, Eden Prairie's superb center. "Those physical, tough games where you just beat people to sleep? Those are the best."
The Eagles showed their explosive side on their second touchdown. Pinned at their 3-yard-line, quarterback Cole Kramer hit Daejon Wolfe in stride down the left sideline. Wolfe raced untouched into the end zone for a 97-yard score, bumping the lead to 14-0.
"That play is tougher than it looks," Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant said. "There's some deception you have to do on the corner. And Cole put it right on the money."
Edina (6-2) showed life with 10 second-quarter points, cutting the deficit to 14-10 at halftime, but Eden Prairie (8-0) came out in the second half and squeezed the life out of the Hornets. Touchdowns by Antonio Montero, Will Sather and Falaniko again, capping drives of eight, 12 and 10 plays, put the game away.
"I think we wore them down," Grant said.
"That's what they do," Edina coach Derrin Lamker said. "If they're not the No. 1 team and the No. 1 seed [in the upcoming playoffs], then we're doing something wrong."