Jason Kaul saw it coming. Jack Haring was not surprised. Lucas Becker recognized it quickly.
After a dominating 31-14 victory at Champlin Park, a place where it hadn't won since 2002, it's clear something special is brewing at Blaine.
This wasn't some run-of-the-mill victory. The Bengals bottled up the Rebels and their savvy quarterback, Bennett Otto, for most of the game and forced six turnovers.
"We definitely feel stuff clicking," said Becker, a 6-4 defensive end who spent much of the evening harassing Otto. "It feels really good."
The Bengals' versatile offense, meanwhile, was mixing up the run and the pass and keeping Champlin Park guessing.
"Not many people saw this coming," said Haring, a senior quarterback. "But we did."
After spotting the Rebels a 7-0 lead, Blaine roared back with a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes by Haring — to Kaul and to Derek Heldman, both for 16 yards.
Champlin Park (3-2) tied the game 14-14 in the second quarter on a 10-yard pass to Kato Seely, but that was all the offense the Rebels could muster.
Blaine answered a few minutes later. Two plays after the first of Kaul's two interceptions, Haring found Heldman for a 44-yard touchdown and a 21-14 halftime lead. Haring finished 14-for-16 for 200 yards and three touchdowns.
Blaine leaned on its running game and a stout defense in the second half. A 22-yard field goal by Ben Greenberg and a 10-yard touchdown run by sophomore Will Frederickson capped the scoring. Frederickson finished with 139 rushing yards.
"We've got a special group of guys," Blaine coach Ben Geisler said. "They love being around each other, and that builds the chemistry. And then on Friday, it shows up."
Kaul, a receiver/defensive back, said: "It's definitely not surprising us. Our coaches always say we're going to be a special team, and we really believe that."