There will be a new No. 1 in next week’s Class 6A football poll.
Jackson Ganser ran for two scores, the Irish defense was strong much of the night and Rosemount held off top-ranked Eden Prairie 14-7 Thursday.
“It’s so amazing. I’ve never felt anything better,” Ganser said.
Landon Danner, the Irish quarterback and punter, added a couple key kicks for the 4-0 Irish, ranked sixth in the latest Class 6A Associated Press poll.
“We worked harder and we wanted it more,” said Kade Gilbertson, who plays tight end and middle linebacker.
On an ideal night for football, the game was an old-school smashmouth affair that felt like it should have been played in the grass and mud, rather than on turf.
“We knew it was going to be physical. We knew the most physical team out here was going to come away with the win, and that happened to be us,” Ganser said.
“We bring it every play,” Gilbertson said.
He and defensive back Chance Swansson credited a challenging offseason with preparing the Irish for games like this.
“We did kind of like a retreat where we just kind of grabbed everyone and saw what we were made of, it was physically demanding, mentally demanding. Now we have the mentality to go out and win every game,” Swansson said.
As was to be expected, yards and scoring chances were at a premium. Eden Prairie’s defense had allowed just 20 points in its opening three games; Rosemount 24.
And, as to be expected, it nearly went down to the wire.
A 10-yard run by Devin Jordan got the Eagles on the board with under 5 minutes to play. Eden Prairie got the ball back with 2:32 left and no timeouts. It converted one fourth down play but couldn’t do it again on a pass to the corner of the end zone with 10.8 ticks left.
“We know we’re going to bring it every play and that’s what we did, we didn’t let up.” Gilbertson said. “They had us for a little bit, but we bend, we do not break. We brought it to them.”
Eden Prairie, which beat then-No. 1 Lakeville South 21-6 last Friday, finished with 252 yards, about 100 yards below its average. The Eagles had multiple first downs on just three of their eight drives, including a 16-play possession out of the gate that ended with an incomplete fourth-and-goal pass from the 4.
The opening Rosemount drive stalled near midfield, but Danner’s punt was downed at the 2. He had a third-quarter punt downed at the 4.
Eden Prairie went three-and-out on the third-quarter drive, and a 17-yard punt return by Swansson put the Irish at the Eagles’ 26. Five plays later, Ganser scored from the 2 for a 14-0 lead.
Taking over at midfield early in the second quarter, the Irish methodically moved down the field on an 11-play drive that took nearly 6 minutes. A 20-yard pass from Danner to Hayden Bills on third and 10 was the key play before Ganser scored from the 5.
Anchored by center Noah Lindsay, the Irish offensive line controlled the trenches.
“Our front five was amazing. Every snap they pushed the D back and just gave us an edge,” said Ganser.