Jadon Hellerud was tough to bring down Sept. 10.
The junior running back for the Shakopee football team rushed 35 times for 254 yards and two touchdowns in the No. 6-ranked Sabers’ 49-27 home win over No. 9 Prior Lake.
Shakopee ran over the Lakers, finishing with 418 yards on the ground (7.6 yards per carry) to go to 2-0 on the season. The Sabers won 45-7 over Anoka in their opener Sept. 2, rushing for 367 yards (11.5 yards per carry).
Shakopee is on an eight-game win streak after winning their last six games last year in the COVID-19-shortened season, which saw the Sabers make the Class 6A state quarterfinals for the second straight year. There was no state tourney due to the pandemic.
In beating Prior Lake, the Sabers led 28-7 at the break after senior Aaron Lee picked off a pass and took it 45 yards for score with four seconds left before halftime.
Hellerud had touchdown runs of 5 and 2 yards in the third and fourth quarter, respectively, and both scores answered Prior Lake touchdowns.
Senior Chandler Ross scored on a 9-yard run in the fourth quarter to put the Lakers away. He finished with 10 carries for 72 yards.
Junior quarterback Dominic Jackson finished with 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Shakopee. He also connected with senior Nicholas Katona on a 16-yard scoring strike for the Sabers’ first score, which gave the team a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Senior Elijah Sandridge had a 2-yard scoring run for Shakopee, which gave the Sabers a 21-7 lead.
Senior Owen Forsythe finished 7 for 7 on extra points for Shakopee. He was 6 for 6 against Anoka, while also making a 24-yard field goal.
Senior Owen Diede led Shakopee’s defense with nine tackles, while junior Ethan Welna had five and senior Josh Magin had four. Senior Braden Kerns had a sack.
The Sabers snapped a seven-game losing against Prior Lake. The last time Shakopee beat the Lakers was in 2009, winning 37-21 in Prior Lake’s last season in the now-defunct Missota Conference.
Shakopee follows the Prior Lake win with road games at No. 10 Farmington and Edina and then home against Lakeville North, before they will really get tested. The Sabers are at No. 1 Eden Prairie Oct. 8 and home to No. 2 Lakeville South Oct. 15.
Shakopee ends the regular season at Eagan Oct. 20.
Shakopee is in Section 6AAAAAA for the 32-team playoff bracket, so they will be seeded with the likes of Eden Prairie, No. 4 Wayzata, Minnetonka, Prior Lake, Edina, Hopkins and Burnsville.
The Sabers wouldn’t play any of those teams in the first round of the postseason, which starts Oct. 29. First-round matchups are randomly drawn, so Shakopee would face a team from either Section 3, 4 or 5 to open the playoffs.
Last year, Shakopee was the No. 2 seed in Section 6 and won 48-7 over seventh-seeded Eagan from Section 3 in the first round, before beating third-seeded Champlin Park out of Section 5 in second round 35-21 to earn a spot in the state quarterfinals, despite the tourney not being played.
Before 2019, the last time Shakopee made state was in 1981.