With one starter back on defense, three on offense, what was seen early in the season figured to look different as the season went on.
Three losses in the first four games, the potential for a 3-1 record, twice falling in single-score defeats, Chanhassen turned the corner at Waconia in week five. An overtime win showed growth.
Week six at home against St. Louis Park, facing a third-quarter deficit, Chanhassen took another step, scoring 33 second-half points, improving to 3-3 with a 40-24 win.
"It feels great. Obviously the offensive line played really well today. Probably the best game we've had all season. Coach (Cullen) Nelson gave us a few words at half, told us to start being who we are. Make the plays we know we can make. We came out and executed in the second half," Chanhassen senior quarterback Jack Schaefer said.
A 7-6 score at halftime, St. Louis Park took its first lead on the opening drive of the third quarter, quarterback Aaron Ellingson orchestrating the offense with his arm and his legs for the 1-yard score.
That's when Chanhassen took over, offensively and defensively.
Three straight possessions resulted in touchdowns, a 26-12 Storm lead.
Schaefer plunged in from three yards out before a 34-yard run from Tucker Pinkerton on a counter extended the advantage to 20-12.
A punt return from Alex Duea set-up the Storm in good field position throughout the second half. The Chanhassen defense forced St. Louis Park into a pair of 3rd-and-longs, the second play resulting in an interception from PJ Velazquez.
"It's expected. It's a team performance. It's what the Wolfpack does," Chanhassen senior linebacker Hunter Schwimmer, who had 10 tackles, said about the self-described team name for the defensive unit.
Jason Collins, leading rusher for the Storm with a career-high 149 yards on 24 touches, capped 20 consecutive points with a 1-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter at 26-12.
Following a long touchdown throw from Ellingson to McCabe Dvorak, who had scoring catches of 62 and 80 yards, Chanhassen put the final touches on the win with back-to-back scores.
An 82-yard kick return for touchdown from Rolando Alvarez, who broke between five and seven tackles, and an 8-yard run from sophomore Josh Kirchoff capped the Storm scoring at 40-18.
"We've come a long way. We made some mistakes in this game, and we all know we can play better. We're happy with where we're at and we're happy with where we're going to go," Schaefer said.
Ellingson completed 10 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Dvorak caught four balls for 131 yards.
St. Louis Park lost leading rusher Sajid Nathim to a knee injury in the first half.
While two big plays hurt Chanhassen defensively, for the season, the Storm are allowing just 16.33 points per game.
"The goal is to not let them score. If they don't score we win," said Chanhassen senior end Zach Schultz, who had seven tackles.
For Chanhassen, Schaefer completed 5-of-8 passes for 62 yards, adding 56 yards on the ground. Charlie Coenen caught four receptions for 56 yards, including a 35-yard catch and score in the first half.
Eli Mau made a team-high 13 tackles with a sack and a forced fumble for Chanhassen.
The Storm travel to unbeaten and fifth-ranked Robbinsdale Armstrong on Friday, Oct. 11. Chanhassen hosts Orono in the final contest on Oct. 16 at home.
WAYZATA 38, MINNETONKA 3
Wayzata, arguably coming off its biggest win in years, entered Friday's contest with winless Minnetonka in what people considered a trap game.
Having defeated Eden Prairie one week before, second-ranked Wayzata certainly didn't let up, a 38-3 win over Minnetonka. It was the first Bay Bell Trophy win for the Trojans since 2015.
A 3-0 Minnetonka lead in the first quarter, Wayzata scored 38 unanswered points to improve to 6-0. The Trojans are headed to No. 1 in Class 6A with Lakeville North's loss to crosstown Lakeville South.
Wayzata is the lone unbeaten team in Class 6A.
Christian Vasser topped 100 yards rushing for the fourth straight week, scoring three touchdowns on 18 rushes for 133 yards for the Trojans. Vasser has totaled 913 yards in six games with 10 scores.
His scores of one yard and 17 yards gave Wayzata a 17-3 lead at halftime.
Wayzata quarterback Thomas Schmidt hit Jacob Wildermuth twice in the second half on throws of eight and 13 yards.
Minnetonka, at 0-6 overall, was held to 164 yards of offense. Ben Tolkinen had his second 100-yard rushing game with 107 yards on 23 carries.
Joe Gendreau was 6-of-13 passing for 78 yards and two interceptions. Jaxen Iverson caught two passes for 42 yards.
Matthew Schmidt and Anthony Ukofia picked off passes for the Trojans.
Pierce Zabilla kicked a 28-yard field goal on the opening drive for Minnetonka's lone points.
The Skippers host Edina, which is coming off a 21-14 upset win of Eden Prairie, on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.