The Prior Lake football team fell short of its first 3-0 start since joining the big-school class in 2003.
But the No. 8-ranked Lakers will take 3-1 through weeks if they can get a victory at Edina Sept. 20. Game time is 7 p.m.
Prior Lake lost 14-10 at home to No. 3 Wayzata Sept. 13. The Trojans went on a 95-yard scoring drive that ate up more than eight minutes of the clock in the fourth quarter en route to the win.
"Edina is another good team," Lakers coach Matt Gegenheimer said. "They are a physical run team and have a wide receiver with some big-play capabilities. They have played some tough games so far, so our guys will need to be ready to go."
In the loss to Wayzata, Prior Lake had a chance late in the game for a game-winning drive. The Lakers had the ball with 3:23 left to play and had a couple of positive plays, but penalties negated them.
Prior Lake was called for a chop block on a long run to the outside that put the team near the Trojans’ 30-yard line. Before the next play, the bench was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, which pushed the Lakers back 15 more yards.
That left Prior Lake with a 3rd-and-46, before an interception ended the contest.
“It’s always tough to lose, but losing a tight game early in the year to a very good team, I think can make you better in the end,” Gegenheimer said. “Wayzata is a very good team this year and they will win a lot of games, so to show we can play with them and almost win in the end is a good sign.”
Prior Lake was also called for illegal block in the back on its last drive, which negated a 15-yard play. And on Wayzata’s late scoring drive, the Lakers were called for pass interference on 3rd-and-7 inside their own 20-yard line, which gave the Trojans and a first down on the 11-yard line.
So it was a tough finish for the Lakers and Gegenheimer, who was frustrated with the flags in the final three minutes.
“In the end, our team competed and played with great effort all night,” Gegenheimer said. “They need to continue to focus on us and how we can continue to get better every week. I’m very proud of our guys and excited to see them grow each week.”
Prior Lake was down 7-3 at the half, getting a 34-yard field goal from junior Josh Keller in the second quarter. Wayzata opened the scoring with a 2-yard scoring run on the first play of the second frame.
Prior Lake took the lead in the third quarter on junior Tyler Shaver’s 1-yard touchdown run. The play was set up when senior quarterback Nate Raddatz hit senior Parker Ellis on a 40-yard pass where Ellis fell a yard short of the end zone.
“I thought all three phases played well for us,” Gegenheimer said. “Special teams were huge with [senior] Sam Emmerich’s punting, the field goal, and recovering their muffed punt which we turned into points.”
“Offense was able to manage first downs and gain good field position for us or get points,” Gegenheimer added. “Defense played well and made them earn their scores. We defended a 14-play drive where they had to score on fourth and goal and then a 20-play drive at the end where we had them stopped before the pass interference call.
“I felt our offense did a good job in the end with our two-minute offense and could of put us in position in the end to win. Two more penalties on us really hurt and my message to the officials was let the kids decide the game.”
Shaver finished with 79 yards on 17 carries. Raddatz completed 12 of 19 passes for 124 yards. Ellis had six catches for 66 yards, while Shaver and Jake Anderson each had three grabs for 25 and 33 yards, respectively.
Senior Dylan Bair led the defense with 12 tackles, while Emmerich had eight and seniors Austin Gordon and Carter Effertz each had seven. Senior Nick Larson had five tackles, while seniors Blake Whaley and DJ Doyen both had four.
Prior Lake is No. 9 Lakeville South Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. The Lakers return home Oct. 4 to take on No. 4 St. Michael-Alberville at 7 p.m.