Coming into Friday night's game against Totino-Grace, Champlin Park's largest winning margin in its four victories was seven points. The Rebels all year have kept games close and pulled out victories late.
But the season-long formula fell short against the No. 1-ranked team in Class 6A, as No. 9 Champlin Park lost to the Eagles 42-21.
Eagles running back Gayflor Flomo scored his first of four touchdowns on the game's opening kickoff. The 5-9 senior fielded the ball at his own 6 and burst through a seam up to midfield.
With only Rebels kicker Payton Eue to beat, Flomo made a head fake left, enough to get past Eue and leave the rest of the Champlin Park kickoff team behind en route to a 94-yard return just 14 seconds into the game.
"I knew that it would be a great momentum builder for our team," Flomo said of his second return touchdown in two years against the Rebels (4-2). "That was what we needed [to start the game], and I am glad I was able to provide that."
The Eagles (6-0) never relinquished the lead. Flomo rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns. The bulk of his yardage came in the second half after fellow senior rusher Ivan Burlak left the game at the end of the second quarter with a left shoulder injury.
"We are going to be cautious with it," Totino-Grace coach Jeff Ferguson said. "I think he tweaked it, but young guys these days heal pretty fast."
Ellis L. Williams