Wildcats drop opener, see silver lining

Eagan football takes on Blaze this week

Eagan players Spencer Roth (left) and Hogan Marshall bring down Prior Lake running back Blake Weber. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

Eagan players Spencer Roth (left) and Hogan Marshall bring down Prior Lake running back Blake Weber. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

A 40-21 loss never will be cause for celebration, but Eagan saw some positive signs in the football team’s season opener at Prior Lake last week.

For one thing, the Wildcats were able to move the ball against a team that shared the South Suburban Conference championship last season. They also made some explosive plays, including an 82-yard touchdown run by Sam Zenner and two others that were called back because of penalties.

But Eagan also had four turnovers, which usually proves costly against one of the state’s top-ranked teams. The Wildcats threw three interceptions, two on their first two possessions and one in the fourth quarter, which the Lakers returned 50 yards for their final touchdown.

The Wildcats will try to clean up those mistakes when they open their home schedule at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 against Burnsville. The Blaze also is 0-1 after losing to Eastview 21-17 in its season opener.

After trailing 21-0 at halftime, the Wildcats held the ball most of the third quarter, finally completing a 15-play, 74-yard touchdown drive with a 15-yard pass from Ian Entzion to Andy Jubenville in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.

Jubenville caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Entzion later in the fourth quarter. Junior Sam Zenner, who saw playing time at running back and quarterback, raced 82 yards on a keeper for Eagan’s final score.

Eagan matched Prior Lake’s total offense, gaining 285 yards while the Lakers had 284. All but 10 of the Lakers’ yards came on the ground, and they had five rushing touchdowns.

Zenner led Eagan in rushing with 92 yards on nine carries, caught two passes for 32 yards and completed one of two passing attempts. Entzion completed nine of 17 passes for 113 yards and two scores. Jubenville had four catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior defensive back Spencer Roth had six unassisted tackles and was the Wildcats’ defensive points leader. Linebacker Joe Kovach had five solo tackles, five assists, and one sack.

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