For the first time in five years, the state of Minnesota will have a new 6A football champion.
Totino-Grace (Minneapolis) upended No. 24 Eden Prairie 27-13 on Friday in the quarterfinals, snapping Eden Prairie’s 40-game winning streak. The streak was among the top five active winning streaks in the nation.
Totino-Grace scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and all its points in the second half in the victory.
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When the teams met in late August, Eden Prairie used a 24-point second-half surge to pull away for a 38-20 victory. And last November, in the state championship game, top-seeded Eden Prairie held on for a 28-27 win over unseeded Totino-Grace, stopping a two-point conversion in the final 90 seconds. In all, Totino-Grace had lost its last five meetings with Eden Prairie, including three in the postseason.
Friday night, Eden Prairie scored the lone points of the first half, punching in a TD after recovering a botched punt.
In the second half, though, Eden Prairie was hurt by a pair of interceptions and four personal foul penalties.
In the third quarter, Ivan Burlak scored on a 5-yard run, but the two-point conversion failed to cut the Eden Prairie lead to 7-6.
Eden Prairie answered on the next drive with a 1-yard run by Alec Hetherington and the kick was blocked for a 13-6 lead.
Then it was Totino-Grace’s turn on a 13-yard TD pass to Alec Spevacek to tie the game at 13-13.
TG’s defense was able to stop Hetherington two inches short on a fourth-and-1 play and took over at the Eden Prairie 44 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Two minutes later, Totino-Grace had the lead on a 2-yard run by Kez Flomo.
Charlie Walter picked off Eden Prairie and then Burlak scored from 3 yards out with 2:20 left.
Eden Prarie moved the ball down the field — including a dropped pass in the end zone — but an interception in the final minute ended the game and the streak.