Eden Prairie standout defensive tackle Tyson Reinke moonlighted as a blocking back on offense.
But he did his best work with his fellow linemen, corralling Wayzata throughout a 21-7 victory in the Class 6A semifinal game Friday at the Metrodome.
With the victory, No. 6 Eden Prairie (10-2) advances to play No. 4 Lakeville North (11-1) in the inaugural Class 6A Prep Bowl championship game at 7 p.m. next Friday. This is the ninth consecutive Prep Bowl featuring either Wayzata or Eden Prairie. The Eagles are pursuing their eighth big-school state title since 1996.
The Eagles dominated the statistics Friday, outrushing No. 2 Wayzata 207 yards to 68 and holding the Trojans (9-2) scoreless for 47 minutes. It was a sharp contrast to Wayzata’s 16-0 shutout on Oct. 17.
“It’s just a drive we have as a team,” Reinke said. “After that regular season game we said it would be a different story when we saw them again and it was.”
Eden Prairie’s defense made two key second-half stops to prevent Wayzata from making a comeback bid.
Jeff Borchardt’s run gave Wayzata first and goal from the Eden Prairie 7-yard line. But the Eagles clamped down, including a tackle for loss on a double-handoff pass attempt. The end result was a missed 32-yard field goal.
Eden Prairie took over but a Wayzata blocked punt set up the Trojans at the Eagles' 35-yard line. That drive ended with an interception on fourth down.
“If we can get a score there, it’s a ballgame,” Wayzata coach Brad Anderson said. “We lost some momentum not scoring there because it’s not often Eden Prairie beats themselves.”
Said Reinke: “As a defense you just get more drive to play better when stuff like that happens. Those situations make us unite.”
Taking the ball late in a scoreless first half, Eden Prairie’s offense reeled off a 16-play drive – including 15 runs – to go ahead 7-0 early in the second quarter. Dan Fisher, who missed the regular season game with Wayzata, scored the first of his two 1-yard touchdown runs.
Meanwhile, Wayzata slowly but steadily lost the field position battle. Eden Prairie took a Wayzata punt at the Trojans’ 47-yard line and made it base camp for their next scoring expedition. Anthony Anderson picked up the final 31 yards on a pair of rushes and the Eagles went ahead 14-0 with 1:06 to play before halftime.
“The big thing in the first game was we got up early,” Anderson said. “Tonight they started tilting the field early and we couldn’t maintain drives.”