The Prior Lake football team will get another tough test Sept. 13.
The No. 5-ranked Lakers will take on No. 4 Wayzata at home in a battle of 2-0 teams at 7 p.m.
"Wayzata is a much improved team and looks to be one of the better teams in Class 6A," Lakers coach Matt Gegenheimer said. "They have a big, physical offensive line and some decent skilled guys. They can run and throw, so we will have to play a complete game on defense.
"In the end, we need to continue to focus on us and being better in all phases of the game," Gegenheimer added.
Prior Lake goes into the contest off a 14-12 win at Shakopee Sept. 6, while the Trojans rolled over Edina 34-15.
Against Shakopee, Lakers nearly gave up a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, but held on instead.
Prior Lake got 119 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown from junior Tyler Shaver. He scored on a 3-yard run in the second quarter to put the Lakers up 14-0.
Senior Nate Raddatz hit junior Jake Anderson in the back of the end zone on a 3-yard scoring strike in the first quarter for Prior Lake.
"Our guys played a very good first half and into the third quarter," Gegenheimer said. "A couple turnovers and some big plays got Shakopee back into it.
"I'm proud of our guys in the end to finish the game under pressure," Gegenheimer added. "We just need to do a better job winning the second half of games. With our schedule, we need to play four quarters in every game and not let up or make mistakes."
The Sabers' defense stiffened in the second half to give its offense a chance, forcing some turnovers and blocking a field goal attempt. Shakopee scored with 10:23 left to play to cut the Lakers' lead to one score. But the extra point was missed, and that would prove costly.
Shakopee scored again with 3:21 to play, but the Lakers' stopped the two-point conversion. The game still was not over.
Prior Lake was forced to punt on its ensuing possession, giving the Sabers one more chance with the ball on their own 19-yard line with 43 seconds to go.
A big play put Shakopee at the Lakers' 30-yard line with 30 seconds remaining. But a couple of shots to the end zone were broken up by the Prior Lake defense.
"Credit to Shakopee; they will win some games down the road," Gegenheimer said. "They have good athletes, and their offensive scheme is challenging."
Shaver has 173 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the first two games for the Lakers, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Prior Lake rushed for 187 total yards against the Sabers.
Raddatz finished 6 of 9 passing for 79 yards. Senior running back Sam Emmerich also completed a pass for 23 yards.
Six different Lakers caught a pass, with senior Parker Ellis leading the team with two catches for 40 yards.
"We have some offensive skilled players including Tyler who have big-play capability," Gegenheimer said."Tyler was close to breaking big runs every time he touched the ball. You hope, as the season goes on, those guys will be breaking bigger plays for us."
Defensively, senior Logan Hennen led the Lakers with nine tackles, and seniors Carter Effertz and D.J. Doyen both had eight. Emmerich and junior Tanner Newlin both had five tackles; seniors John Brennan and Austin Gordon each had four.
In week 4 (Sept. 20), Prior Lake will play at Edina at 7 p.m.