Collin Penn isn't used to carrying the ball. The way he ran for Eden Prairie, he may start getting it more often.
The senior, listed on the roster as a linebacker, took three handoffs against Wayzata on Friday, and all three times he ended up in the end zone. A 70-yard run in the second quarter was called back because of a holding penalty, but his 50-yard third-quarter score counted and his 39-yarder with 38 seconds to go lifted the second-ranked Eagles to a 35-34 victory over fourth-ranked Wayzata.
"It was the same play every time. The defense was different the last time and Penn made a great cut. He has great speed," said Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant, whose team beat Wayzata for the seventh consecutive time dating back to the 2012 season. "Once [Penn] gets to that second level, he's pretty tough."
Penn's last score enabled Eden Prairie to survive a 27-point fourth-quarter flourish by the Trojans that appeared poised to win them the game. Trailing 35-28, Wayzata drove the length of the field and scored its fourth touchdown of the quarter with four seconds left. Trojans coach Lambert Brown opted to go for the two-point conversion and the victory, but an inside pitch play ended when the ball was fumbled for a loss.
It was a back-and-forth game all night. Eden Prairie entered the fourth quarter up 21-7, but Wayzata tied it on a 14-yard touchdown run by Christian Vasser and a 12-yard TD pass from Keaton Heide to Jacob Wildermuth.
The Eagles reclaimed the lead on Felipe Izumi's second short TD run of the night, a 2-yarder that put them ahead 28-21 with 5 minutes, 55 seconds to go. Wayzata (2-2) answered by driving 60 yards in less than two minutes and tying the score again on Vasser's 13-yard touchdown run. Vasser finished with 162 yards on 29 carries.
Eden Prairie quarterback Cole Kramer got the Eagles on the board first in the second quarter by floating a play-action pass over the top to tight end Matt Sherman for an 18-yard touchdown. But the Trojans tied the score three plays later when Heide connected with wide receiver Connor Hale for a 55-yard score.
"They're tough. We hope we don't play them again," Grant said. "We had our chances to go up 28-7 and put the game away, but to their credit they kept coming back strong."