Throughout Friday's game at the Vikings' Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, Farmington and Eagan football players stole glances at replays shown on the giant end zone scoreboard.
The success of Farmington's spread offense warranted another look. So did Eagan's second-half comeback. Two teams desperate for their first victory this season made the inaugural high school football game played at TCO Stadium memorable. Farmington emerged with a 41-28 victory against Eagan, the designated home team.
Eagan moved its homecoming 6 miles north for the historic game, which drew an announced sold-out crowd of 6,255 fans along with delighted players, coaches and officials with the Vikings and the Minnesota State High School League.
"This was almost like a second homecoming for us with how big this game was," said Jameson Shrum, a Farmington senior defensive back. "When we pulled up, everybody had their phones out taking video. It was crazy."
Farmington sophomore quarterback Alex Berreth said, "It's pretty sick to be able to play here."
Berreth threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Running back Zac Janz rushed for three scores and Farmington won the battle of previously 0-4 teams.
Eagan scored three consecutive touchdowns in the second half and trimmed its deficit to 33-28. Cole Sackmaster's 34-yard interception return for a touchdown energized his teammates and the crowd.
"I wish I could compare it to the Minneapolis Miracle," Sackmaster said jokingly, referring to Stefon Diggs' playoff touchdown last season.
Farmington went ahead 41-28 on Janz's final touchdown run.
"We wanted to make a memory out of tonight, and I think we did," Farmington coach Adam Fischer said.
Vikings executive Lester Bagley said the sight of Eagan's players storming the field and bursting through a paper banner "brought a tear to my eye."
High school football games still to come at TCO Stadium: No. 1 Lakeville North against Prior Lake on Oct. 12 and three state tournament quarterfinal playoff games in November.
Vikings executive Kevin Warren said the inaugural Vikings' Prep Spotlight Series designed to showcase high school football "feels good to keep our word that this stadium isn't just for our franchise. It's also about the community."
With the win, the Tigers made the most of a setting that Farmington activities director Bill Tschida said was "like Shangri-La."
Eagan coach Ben Hanson said, "With the lead-up from July on through, I don't think we could have asked for anything better — except for a W."