Champlin Park's Noah Link sported a muddied jersey as a badge of honor Friday night.
For him, it represented a hard-fought victory his team is proud to have on its schedule as seeding for section playoffs approaches. The Rebels, ranked seventh in Class 6A, traveled to No. 10 Rosemount and made three late defensive stands and escaped with a 17-14 victory.
"This was one for the books," said Link, a senior linebacker. "It meant a lot to us to make the hour bus ride here to come play another top-10 team and come up with the victory."
The Rebels (5-1) scored all of their points in the first half. After Noah Vogelpohl's 26-yard field goal, quarterback Jaice Miller threw a short pass to Brock Johnson, who made a defender miss and raced down the sideline for a 53-yard touchdown. Miller's 25-yard touchdown pass to Dom Witt put the Rebels up 17-7 at halftime.
Rosemount (3-2) pulled back within a field goal when Trevor Armborst found Jake Ratzlaff open over the top for a 59-yard touchdown with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
Rosemount drove deep into Champlin Park territory on its final three drives, but the Rebels defense answered each time. The Irish missed a last chance to tie the score late when the holder mishandled a high snap on a 28-yard field goal attempt.
"We know the schedule is getting tougher, and we wanted to make a statement," Champlin Park coach Nick Keenan said. "This game showed us where we're at. The kids really stepped up."