Having just watched his receiver drop a sure fourth-down touchdown pass in a one-point game, Edina quarterback Brock Boltmann went back out with the defense.
During the ensuing Mounds View drive, Boltmann, a two-way starter, limped to the sideline. The defense forced the Mustangs to punt. Boltmann hobbled back into the game under center, hoping the fresh tape on his left ankle would hold.
A few plays later, Boltmann showed his plant foot felt well enough. He threw a touchdown pass 44 yards downfield to Evan Holm as No. 3 seed Edina pulled away for a 21-6 victory in the first round of the Class 6A tournament Friday at Edina.
Holm wasn't finished. His 58-yard interception return for a score with 39.2 seconds left iced the victory. Seeing Boltmann fight back to deliver a big play inspired Holm to make one of his own.
"It pushes everyone else," Holm said. "If you've got an injury or an ache, you want to go because he's going to."
Neither team went much of anywhere in the first half. Edina (4-5) scored on its second drive as Boltmann hit Parker Rickert for a 27-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Mounds View almost drew even. Ryan Nickel found Luke Swenson from 14 yards out, but the extra-point try failed.
No. 6 seed Mounds View (4-5) started the fourth quarter by turning Edina over on downs. Then Boltmann, whose father, Reed, is Edina's head coach, was hobbled. But the Mustangs could not seize control.
"Every drive we had gave us the ability to go ahead, but we couldn't make the big play when we had to," Mounds View coach Jim Galvin said. "We just sputtered."
Edina, meanwhile, exploded for a huge play. Boltmann said he felt "the defense knew I was hurt" so when the Hornets called a play-action pass "they came in and we went over the top."
The pass gave Edina a 14-6 lead, meaning Mounds View would need a touchdown and two-point conversion to draw even. Holm dashed the Mustangs' hopes with the interception. His instinct told him to fall down and secure the change of possession. But the open field beckoned.
"It was wide open so I ran for six," Holm said.