Michael Tomsche

Defensive back Michael Tomsche doesn’t make a shoestring tackle, but it’s close. For the second straight week, Eden Prairie’s defense impressed. In two games, they’ve given up a total of seven points.

With the Eden Prairie defense doing defensive things, coach Mike Grant burned his final timeout with 36 seconds remaining in the first half.

Eden Prairie was leading 7-0 and Grant wanted the ball back.

The Eagles caught a Woodbury punt kicked from inside its 10-yard at the 40. On the first play of its final first-half possession, the Eagles’ Johnny Hartle ran the ball to the 13-yard line.

Eden Prairie hurried to the line of scrimmage and quarterback David Warren-Mitchell spiked the ball to stop the clock.

Eden Prairie was going to run one more play and kick a field goal, right?

Grant called a play Eden Prairie hadn’t run in years. It called for the quarterback to hand the ball off before slipping off into the flat. Warren-Mitchell handed the ball off to Ben Sather, who then threw a perfect pass to a wide open Warren-Mitchell.

The clock read 10 seconds when the quarterback crossed the goal line.

The first half ended with Eden Prairie leading 14-0.

Note: 1994 was the last time Grant called that play.

“Leroy McFadden threw the ball to Jason Kapsner,” said Grant. Why 25 years later?

“Their defense was aggressive and we thought it would work,” said the coach.

Oxygen

Woodbury opened the second half by driving inside Eden Prairie territory.

Eden Prairie’s defense forced a fumble and linebacker Dan Knudsen scooped the loose ball and raced 50 yards for a touchdown.

The score lifted the Eagles’ lead to 21-0.

Eden Prairie kicked off and Woodbury opened its next possession with a pass play.

Trent Jones hit quarterback Jake Wenzel and jarred the ball loose. Knudsen caught it before it hit the ground and raced 25 yards the other way for his second score in less than 1 minute.

“We need oxygen on the sideline,” said Knudsen. “I was dying.”

Suffice to say, the junior linebacker had never scored on back-to-back plays before.

“It’s crazy,” he added.

Knudsen’s second touchdown moved the scoreboard to 28-0.

No. 5 for 5

With 1:38 remaining in the third quarter, Fred Zach (No. 5) scored his fifth touchdown of the season.

Like the others, it came from inside the 5-yard line.

The touchdown was set up by a Cade Kramer catch and Johnny Hartle run.

Woodbury scored four minutes into the fourth quarter on a quarterback keeper.

The points were the first points scored against Eden Prairie’s defense this season.

Eden Prairie answered right back with quarterback Jack Hedlund getting the edge before beating a Woodbury defender to the pylon.

Final score: Eden Prairie 42, Woodbury 7.

Numbers

Oddly, Woodbury outgained Eden Prairie in total offense 340-292.

On the flip side, the Eagles were much more efficient. Eden Prairie averaged 8.4 yards per rushing attempt and 9.8 yards per pass attempt.

The Royals averaged 6.9 and 6.1.

Individually, Sam Thomas paced the Eagles, running seven times for 84 yards. Hartle ran five times for 57 yards.

“Those are tough yards,” said Grant. “Not only were they bringing everyone in the box, but they were blitzing a lot.”

Warren-Mitchell completed 7-8 passes for 79 yards.

Kramer caught seven passes for 78 yards.

The victory improved the No. 1-ranked Eagles’ record to 2-0.

Eden Prairie returns to action Friday with a 7 p.m. home game against Minnetonka.

“They’re the biggest team we’ll see,” said Grant. “They’re not just big, but big big.”

As proof, the Skippers starting nose guard is listed at 6-foot-7, 350 pounds. They have another lineman listed at 6-2, 340.

“They’ve got a good running back and good receivers,” said Grant. “Like we do, they have a lot of good athletes.”

And?

“Games against Minnetonka are always interesting,” said the coach.

Sports editor

Dan Huss covers Eden Prairie sports and especially loves reporting on sports features and outdoors-related adventures. He lives in Shorewood with his wife, Marnie, daughters Aili and Britt, and Wilma, a pheasant-finding Deutsch Drahthaar.

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