The Prior Lake football snapped its three-game losing skid and now the real fun begins.
The Lakers will take a 4-4 record into the Class 6A playoffs, which start Oct. 25 with first-round play. Prior Lake earned the No. 4 seed out of Section 3 and will take on Cretin-Derham Hall at home at 7 p.m. The Raiders got the No. 5 seed out of Section 4.
Senior Dylan Bair had a pair of touchdowns for the Lakers in their 24-7 home win over Minnetonka on Oct. 16 to end the regular season. The Lakers scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from the winless Skippers.
Prior Lake went into its final regular season game having lost three of its last four, including a 35-0 setback at No. 5-ranked Eden Prairie Oct. 11.
Sophomore Kyle Haas started his second game at quarterback for Prior Lake after senior Nate Raddatz injured his hand in the Lakers' 20-16 home loss to No. 9 St. Michael-Albertville Oct. 4.
Haas hit Bair on a 25-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to open the scoring. Bair caught the ball about 10 yards into the flat, turned up field and broke a pair of tackles powering his way into the end zone.
Bair scored on a 20-yard run in the second quarter to put Prior Lake up 14-0.
Minnetonka scored before the break and had the ball deep inside Lakers' territory in the third quarter for a chance to tie the game. But Prior Lake forced the Skippers into a field goal, which was wide left.
Senior Josh Keller connected on a 24-yard field goal for Prior Lake early in the fourth quarter for a 17-7 lead. Senior Sam Emmerich capped off the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run.
Prior Lake's defense held Minnetonka to just 78 yards rushing (3.2 yards per carry). The Lakers will need to stop the run in the playoffs and control the ball with their rushing attack to go on a long run.
Prior Lake has made state four times since joining the top class at the start of the 2003-04 school year. The last time was in 2017 when the Lakers lost 10-6 to Minnetonka in the quarterfinals.
Prior Lake has never gotten past the state quarterfinals in their four trips, losing 21-17 to Totino Grace in 2011, 23-3 to Lakeville North in 2012 and 10-7 to Maple Grove in 2014.
The top four seeds in this year's Class 6A playoffs are No. 2 Lakeville South (7-1) out of Section 3, No. 7 Totino Grace (5-2) out of Section 4, No. 4 Champlin Park (7-1) out of Section 5 and No. 1 Wayzata (8-0) out of Section 6.
Go to mshsl.org for the entire Class 6A playoff bracket.