Coach Brian Vossen slapped hands, helmets, shoulder pads -- anything he could get a mitt on -- with every last member of Lakeville North's team.
"Way to go boys, way to go!" he hollered.
The last player to make his way to the postgame scrum Wednesday night was Trey Heid. Vossen didn't settle for a high-five with this one, instead wrapping his quarterback in a bear hug.
"Conference champs!" Vossen bellowed. "How about that?"
Behind Heid's two long touchdown throws to Charlie Hayes and a stellar showing by the Panthers' defense, Lakeville North completed an undefeated run through the South Suburban Conference with a 21-3 road victory over Prior Lake.
It assures the Panthers the No. 1 seed in the Class 5A, Section 1 tournament. It comes with a first-round bye and a second-round game on its home, artificial turf field.
"It means the world to us," Vossen said. "That top seed is special because we know we're a tough team to beat on turf. We're fast, and that's only going to help us."
Wednesday, a little bit of luck didn't hurt either.
Sixty-four seconds into the game, Heid hit Hayes for a 72-yard touchdown bomb.
The completion only happened because the ball bounced off a Lakers defender, popping it up right into Hayes' hands.
Heid's second TD throw to Hayes, a 57-yarder to make it 14-3 midway through the third quarter, wasn't as it was drawn up, either. Hayes got turned around on the play, but made the catch and ran into the end zone untouched.
"When [Hayes] gets onto the football field, he's a difference-maker with the best hands I've seen," Heid said.
Mitch Johnson took care of the highlights on defense.
The junior linebacker made a shoestring sack on Lakers quarterback Nick Rooney on fourth-and-8 from the 34 with about 8 minutes left in the game. Johnson then recovered a fumble -- Prior Lake's fourth of the game -- on the Lakers' next possession.
"Our D swarms the ball like no other group," Vossen said. "They're fast, hungry and aggressive. On a short week like this, for those kids to study film as hard as they did says a lot about their character."