It took longer than anyone expected, but Chanhassen found a way to take down the No. 1 team in Class 5A, beating Mankato West 21-14 on Friday at Chanhassen High School.
Chanhassen, ranked second in 5A, scored first, moving briskly downfield on its initial possession. The Storm went 80 yards on four plays, taking a 7-0 lead when Brayden Windschitl lofted 22-yard scoring pass to Daxton Bush.
Mankato West responded with power football, going 54 yards in 14 plays. Quarterback Bart McAninch powered over from 1 yard out for a 7-7 tie.
The score remained tied until the lightning became too hard to ignore, forcing the game into a delay with 2:26 left in the first half.
It remained on hiatus for nearly two hours. Play resumed just before 10 p.m.
"You come out, you see the lightning, you hear the thunder, it was perfect," Chanhassen tight end/linebacker Sam Macy said of returning to the field after the delay. "We're the Storm, baby."
Chanhassen, resuming a drive the started deep in its own territory, took a 13-7 lead when Windschitl hit Maxwell Woods for a 28-yard score on a post route in the end zone.
Then came the most crucial sequence in the game.
Mankato West drove deep into the Chanhassen end of the field, but the Storm defense shut the Scarlets down, forcing three consecutive incompletions from the 10-yard-line.
Chanhassen got the ball back and drove 90 yards in nine plays, taking a 21-7 lead on a 53-yard catch-and-run by Woods, who showed off his speed by racing past the entire Mankato West defense into the end zone for a 21-7 lead.
The Scarlets responded like the No. 1-ranked team in Class 5A, moving downfield on the arm of McAninch. A 7-yard pass to El Staley cut the lead to 21-14, but the Scarlets got no closer.
Chanhassen stymied Mankato West's final hope when Noah Kloke picked off a pass on fourth down in the shadow of Chanhassen's own goal line.
"Seeing this team win, we worked so hard for this, I feel like we deserved it," said Bush, who caught five passes for 102 yards. "When we were in the locker room, we were excited. I don't get confident a lot, but seeing all the energy, I just knew were going to come out plugging."