The Prior Lake football team dominated the second half to win its season opener Aug. 29.
The Lakers scored 28 points in the final 24 minutes, including 21 in the fourth quarter, en route to a 28-13 home victory over Rosemount. Prior Lake's defense was stout all game, getting three interceptions and holding Irish receiver Jonathan Mann to just one catch for 12 yards.
Mann is considered one of the top receivers in the state and he's verbally committed to the University of Minnesota, but he couldn't break free from the Lakers' secondary. Seniors Alex Gordon and Will Jones and junior Tanner Newlin each had interceptions in the win, and senior safety Dylan Bair was all over the field in coverage, as was senior linebackers Sam Emmerich and DJ Doyen.
Prior Lake started slow on offense, trailing 6-0 at the break. The Lakers' defense held Rosemount to two field goals in the first half after the Irish had the ball deep in the Prior Lake territory three times.
With less than a minute to play, senior Parker Ellis hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Nate Raddatz. A holding penalty negated the touchdown, but it was a sign of things to come for the Lakers in the second half on offense.
Prior Lake took a 7-6 lead on junior Cam Miller's 6-yard scoring run in the third quarter. Emmerich scored on an 8-yard run early in the fourth quarter to put the Lakers up 14-6.
Junior Tyler Shaver made it 21-6 with a 2-yard touchdown run, while Raddatz capped off the Lakers' scoring going 20 yards for a score with 3:59 to play.
The Irish scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass with 3:36 remaining — the only breakdown the Lakers had the secondary all game. The Irish recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Prior Lake forced another turnover, which sealed the win.
Raddatz completed 12 of 17 passes for 59 yards. Shaver led the Lakers on the ground with 13 carries for 55 yards, while Miller had 38 yards on 14 carries. Prior Lake rushed for 195 total yards.
Shaver also led the team with four receptions for 22 yards. Junior Jake Anderson and Ellis each had three catches for 23 and 18 yards, respectively.
Senior Blake Whaley led the Lakers' defensive line with a pair of sacks. Rosemount had just 34 yards rushing in the game on 24 carries.
Prior Lake will play at Shakopee in Week 2 (Sept. 6) starting at 7 p.m. The Sabers beat Eagan 42-0 on the road in their season opener.