There will be a new No. 1 in next week’s Class 6A football poll.
Jackson Ganser ran on two goals, the Irish defense was strong for most of the night and Rosemount held leaders Eden Prairie 14-7 on Thursday.
“It’s so amazing. I’ve never felt better,” Ganser said.
Landon Danner, the Ireland quarterback and punter, added a few key kicks for the Irish 4-0 and ranked sixth in the latest Class 6A Associated Press poll.
“We worked harder and 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 on grass and mud instead of turf.
“We knew it was going to be physical. We knew the team with the most stamina out here was going to win, and that happened to be us,” Ganser said.
“We bring it to every play,” Gilbertson said.
He and defender Chance Swansson credited a challenging off-season for preparing the Irish for games like this.
“We were like a retreat where we just packed everyone up and saw what we’re made of, it was physically exhausting, mentally exhausting. Now we have the mentality to go out there and win every game,” Swansson said.
As you’d expect, yards and scoring chances were in high demand. Eden Prairie’s defense had conceded just 20 points in their first three games; Rosenberg 24.
And as expected, it almost went all the way.
A 10-yard run by Devin Jordan put the Eagles on the board with less than 5 minutes to play. Eden Prairie got the ball back with 2:32 left and no timeouts. It converted a fourth downplay but failed to do so on a pass into the corner of the end zone by 10.8 ticks.
“We know we’re going to bring it on every piece and we did that, we didn’t let up.” said Gilbertson. “They had us a little bit, but we bend, we don’t break. We brought it to them.”
Eden Prairie, then No. 1 Lakeville South 21-6 last Friday, finished for 252 yards, about 100 yards short of his average. The Eagles had multiple first downs on just three of their eight drives, including a 16-game possession out of goal that ended with an incomplete fourth and goal pass from the 4.
The first Rosemount drive stalled near midfield, but Danner’s punt was knocked down at the 2. He had a punt in the third quarter 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 on the Eagles’ 26. Five games later, Ganser scored from the 2 for a 14-0 lead.
The Irish took over midfield early in the second quarter, methodically moving down in 11 games that lasted almost 6 minutes. A 20-yard pass from Danner to Hayden Bills in third and tenth was the key play before Ganser scored from the five.
Anchored by center Noah Lindsay, the Irish offensive line controlled the trenches.
“Our first five were incredible. With every shot, they pushed the D back and just gave us an advantage,” Ganser said.