No. 1 vs. No. 2: A closer look at Lakeville South vs. Eden Prairie

Star Tribune photos/Star Tribune/TNS
·3 min read

Yes, we have been here before.

For the second year in a row, Week 3 of the high school football season serves up a matchup of No. 1 in the Metro Top 10 against No. 2, the top team in the Class 6A state rankings vs. the second-ranked team.

They are the very same teams.

On Friday night, Lakeville South, the defending state champion, takes on Eden Prairie, a perennial football power with 11 state titles, at 7 p.m. at Eden Prairie. Last year, a crowd of about 6,000 watched host Lakeville South win 42-7.

Here's the matchup, a detail at a time:

The history

Eden Prairie, with decades of success compared to Lakeville South's more recent emergence, has won four of the past five times the teams have played. The scores and the teams' records that season:

2021: Lakeville South 42, Eden Prairie 7 (Lakeville South 13-0, Eden Prairie 10-2)

2015: Eden Prairie 48, Lakeville South 14 in the second round of the playoffs (Eden Prairie 10-1, Lakeville South 5-5)

2009: Eden Prairie 35, Lakeville South 0 (Eden Prairie 12-1, Lakeville South 7-3)

2008: Eden Prairie 25, Lakeville South 21 (Eden Prairie 11-1, Lakeville South 8-4)

2007: Eden Prairie 35, Lakeville South 14 (Eden Prairie 14-0, Lakeville South 5-4)

More recently

The teams have very similar records over the past four seasons. Eden Prairie is 40-7, Lakeville South 37-8.

This season

Eden Prairie won 34-7 at East Ridge and 51-7 at home against Farmington.

Lakeville South won two home games, 69-14 vs. Park of Cottage Grove and 34-0 vs. Lakeville North.

The coaches

Eden Prairie's Mike Grant, in his 40th year as a head coach and his 31st at Eden Prairie, is 370-76.

Lakeville South's Ben Burk, in his first head coaching position, is 31-1. The loss came in 2019, his first season leading the Cougars.

When they run

Lakeville South, using the power-T, a run-based offense involving deception (usually three running backs at a time) and power (usually two tight ends at a time), has averaged 398 rushing yards in its first two games, 7.6 yards per carry. Carson Hansen, a 200-pound senior, has 32 carries for 366 yards and five touchdowns. He's averaging 11.4 yards per carry.

Eden Prairie, with its more balanced, more typical offense, averages 247 rushing yards per game. Tyler Walden, a 215-pound senior fullback, leads the Eagles with 159 yards on 24 carries, 6.6 yards per carry. As a team Eden Prairie averages 5.7 yards per carry.

When they pass

Eden Prairie has averaged 147 passing yards in its two games, all by senior quarterback Nick Fazi. He's 22-for-28 for 294 yards and five touchdowns. Senior receiver Michael Gross has nine catches for 144 yards, senior Jermell Taylor nine catches for 117 yards.

Lakeville South plays a much different game and has played it flawlessly in 2022. Quarterback Jacob Royse is 4-for-4 for 64 yards and two touchdowns. He has the rare perfect passing rating, 158.3. Hansen has caught three of the four passes, one for a touchdown.