Facing a back who rushed for 387 yards last week, the Prior Lake defense was ready.
The fifth-ranked Lakers kept Maple Grove senior standout Evan Hull between the tackles most of the game Friday, and when they got their hands on him, they didn't let go. The Lakers held Hull to 100 yards on 35 carries en route to a 29-11 victory at Dan Patch Stadium. It was the program's first-ever victory over Maple Grove.
"We knew going in their offensive line is good and their back is really good," Prior Lake coach Matt Gegenheimer said. "We were focused on sustaining our effort and being consistent in our tackling."
With their ground game bottled up, the seventh-ranked Crimson had to pass. That played into the hands of the Lakers, who intercepted two passes. Senior linebacker Noah Benson got the first pickoff and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown that put Prior Lake up 13-0.
Lakers wide receiver Parker Ellis had two touchdown receptions, one from starting quarterback Colin O'Connor in the first quarter and one from backup Nate Raddatz in the fourth.
"Our passing game is amazing now. We're spreading the field out a lot more instead of just running it up the middle all the time," Ellis said. "We studied [Maple Grove] on tape a lot, so we knew we could open up our offense."