Apple Valley had a bit of a slow start Friday, punting three times in the first quarter against Lakeville South. Then it found something that worked really well: Hand the ball to junior Kellan McKeag.

The running back racked up 130 yards on 21 carries, getting 111 yards on 14 carries in the first half, to spark the Eagles to a 28-20 victory on homecoming. He was a big part of Apple Valley's 103 yards in the second quarter, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run with a minute left.

The Eagles (4-2) turned to McKeag after their leading rusher, senior Mario Lewis, was injured last week.

"It felt great," said McKeag, who went into the game with just 32 yards on eight carries this season. "Filling the shoes for one of the best running backs in the state, I mean it's pretty tough."

He pulled double duty against the Cougars by also playing linebacker.

"We hate having to play guys two ways, but he was ready," Apple Valley coach Chad Clendening said.

The Eagles grabbed the lead for good with 5:39 to play on a 9-yard run by quarterback Noah Sanders and a two-point conversion by McKeag. Lakeville South (1-5) got the ball back and was driving, but Eagles senior Jacob Schmid recovered a fumble with 1:42 left.

HEATHER RULE