Three years ago, Wayzata senior Christian Vasser purchased a legacy brick for placement on the U.S. Bank Stadium plaza. It read, "Someday I'm going to play here."
He made good on the engraved message Friday, leading the top-ranked Trojans back to their first Class 6A semifinal in seven years. And Vasser was their rock throughout a 28-14 victory, rushing a season-high 44 times for 269 yards and three touchdowns against No. 2 Lakeville South.
With the victory, Wayzata (12-0) advances to the Prep Bowl to play No. 3 Champlin Park (10-1) at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29.
Lakeville South used a three-headed running attack all season, confusing defenses with its straight-T offense. But Vasser and his offensive line used a superior straight-ahead approach.
The 6-1, 205-pound Vasser outgained the Cougars' trio of Willie Bastyr, Riley Haglund and Johnny Shabaz, who combined for 179 rushing yards.
"They are really big up front and their back Vasser is a hell of a football player," Lakeville South coach Ben Burk said. "They look a little different than we do, but the idea is the same — run the ball and control the clock."
Before Vasser got going, Lakeville South's misdirection scheme proved impossible to stop on the game's opening drive. Bastyr hit a hole on the left side then made his way back across the field for a 43-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
Wayzata countered and then some, getting short touchdowns runs from Vasser and quarterback Thomas Schmidt to take a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
The Cougars were closing in on the tying score when Wayzata's Drew Berkland forced a Bastyr fumble at the 1-yard line. Sam Robertson recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
The Trojans made the miscue hurt, going ahead 21-7 on Vasser's 4-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds remaining before halftime.
"Championship teams find a way to score before half and take that momentum into the locker room," Wayzata coach Lambert Brown said.
To make matters worse for Lakeville South (10-2), the Trojans got the ball to start the second half and Vasser ran 6 yards for another touchdown.
"It's tough situation," Burk said. "A 14-point swing and then add seven points. We talk all the time about controlling the football and not making mistakes. That was just one, but it was a big one."
Vasser's longest run of 40 yards came in the fourth quarter.
"I can kind of tell when they start hitting a little softer," Vasser said. "That's when I tell the line we need to start going a little harder."