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More Road Woes For Lakers In Playoffs

11/03/2019, 9:30pm CST
By Tom Schardin

The road woes continued for the Prior Lake football team in the postseason.

The fourth-seeded Lakers fell 16-7 at top-seeded Champlin Park Nov. 1 in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs to finish the season with a 5-5 overall mark.

It's third time in four years Prior Lake has finished with a 5-5 record. It's also the third time in four years Prior Lake's season has ended on a Northwest Suburban Conference field.

Blaine beat Prior Lake 34-7 last year and 21-17 in 2016 in a pair of second-round home games. The Lakers beat Blaine 49-7 at home in 2017 to earn the program's fourth state berth since 2011.

The loss to Champlin Park is also the 16th straight road defeat for the Lakers in the playoffs since joining the top class in 2003. Prior Lake has never won a postseason game away from home as a big-school program, 0-12 on the other opponents' home field and 0-4 at neutral sites.

Conversely, Prior Lake is 15-1 at home in the playoffs since joining the top class. The one loss was 21-19 to Bloomington Kennedy in 2010.

The Lakers have also not had a lot of success against NSC schools since 2011. They are 3-10 against that conference in that span.

In the loss to Champlin Park, the Lakers trailed 7-0 at the break. The game's biggest play came in the third quarter. The Rebels faced a 3rd-and-goal from Prior Lake's 21-yard line and turned it into seven points.

Champlin Park quarterback Jaice Miller hit Noah Vogelpohl on a fade pass in the corner of the end zone between two Laker defenders.

Prior Lake cut the deficit to 14-7 in the fourth quarter on junior Tyler Shaver's 5-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-goal with 8:31 to play.

The Lakers had two interceptions in the final seven minutes. Senior Will Jones picked off a pass to stop a Rebels' drive at Prior Lake's own 30-yard, but the Lakers couldn't move the ball.

Senior Austin Gordon intercepted a pass at Prior Lake's 1-yard line, giving the Lakers the ball again with 3:11 left to play. But one problem, Prior Lake had to go 99 yards to tie the game.

On the first play, sophomore quarterback Kyle Haas tried to hit Gordon down the sidelines but the 40-yard attempt was incomplete. On the next play, the Lakers tried a quick flair pass to senior Dylan Bair, but Rebels' defensive back Devon Moore read the play perfectly.

As as soon as Bair caught the ball, Moore tackled him for a safety to put his team up nine points (16-7) and in effect put the game on ice.

Prior Lake turned the ball over twice in the first half. The Rebels turned one of those turnovers into points, taking a 7-0 lead on Miller's leap over the defensive pile on a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

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