Centennial sophomore linebacker Mason Mix had never played a down of varsity football before Friday.
With the Cougars leading by one point in overtime against Edina, the Hornets went for a two-point conversion to win the game. But Mix and the rest of the defense made the stop, and second-seeded Centennial took a 21-20 overtime victory over No. 3 seed Edina and advanced to the Class 6A quarterfinals next week.
"He stepped up big in the end zone," coach Mike Diggins said of Mix. "He's the one that made the smack and kept him out."
The Cougars blitzed, and Mix said he took on the fullback.
"Then it was just a group effort," Mix said. "We all came together, and then we just made a huge play all together."
Centennial senior Timothy O'Neill Jr. also was in on the decisive defensive play, following up on his interception in the end zone with 8.7 seconds left in regulation.
"I saw the ball coming, and I caught it," O'Neill said.
Centennial's Austin Wlaschin rushed for a 5-yard score in overtime. Edina responded with a fourth-down, 1-yard touchdown run from Jonathan Bunce to set up the final drama.
The Cougars lost Carter Anderson to a broken ankle when he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
"It changed our game plan a ton because we thought we could do play-action with him and go deep," Diggins said. "Once that disappeared, everything kind of got a little tighter on us."