One game of varsity quarterback experience did wonders for Champlin Park's Jaice Miller.
After missing most of his team's early-season practices because of a shoulder injury, Miller completed just two passes for 62 yards in last week's season opener. On Friday, the converted wide receiver threw for two touchdowns and rushed for over 100 yards in leading the Rebels to a 28-17 victory over Blaine.
"Last week was his first live action. We're a run-pass option team, so he just needed some game experience," Champlin Park second-year coach Nick Keenan said. "He's a captain and a leader for us. We believed in him."
The Rebels, ranked No. 10 in Class 6A, trailed 10-7 late in the first half before Miller found receiver Dom Witt for two consecutive touchdowns. Miller set up the second score with a 42-yard scramble. A play later, he lofted the ball toward Witt, who wrestled it from a Blaine defender for a 15-yard touchdown.
"Last week helped a lot. That did not go the way we wanted," Miller said of the team's 22-19 victory over East Ridge. "It was fun to come back tonight and start moving the ball."
Junior running back Shawn Shipman did his share on all four of Champlin Park's touchdown drives, the centerpiece of a 39-carry, 220-yard game. He capped off the team's opening 90-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown and added an 8-yard score in the third quarter.
Blaine (0-2) scored late in the first quarter on a 72-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Schuster to Julius Reynolds. After recovering an onside kick, the Bengals took their only lead on a 33-yard field goal by Parker Dahlman with 1:44 left in the first quarter.
After that, Champlin Park's defense made two key plays to set up its offense. Devon Moore blocked a Blaine punt just before Witt scored his first touchdown, and Cameron Hammonds' interception and return set up Shipman's second score.