It’s been a few years since Burnsville has contended for a conference football championship, but going into this season the Blaze insisted it could compete with the South Suburban’s best teams. Even though it didn’t get the victory, Burnsville might have made its point.
Eastview junior running back Will Rains rushed for 225 yards in the season opener Aug. 29 – and the Lightning needed them all in its 21-17 victory at Burnsville High School. Rains scored all three of Eastview’s touchdowns – the last coming with 9 minutes, 57 seconds remaining to put the Lightning ahead to stay – and, for good measure, ran for a two-point conversion.
It was a tough loss for Burnsville, which lost to Eastview twice during the 2012 season, including once in the playoffs. The Blaze rallied from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 17-14 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
The Blaze scored two third-quarter touchdowns, one on a 26-yard pass from Will Reger to Camden Traetow and the other on an 11-yard run by Alex Davis. Reger ran for a two-point conversion after Davis’ touchdown. The Blaze also had a 22-yard field goal by Colton Van Dorpe in the first quarter.
Eastview had 272 yards rushing, with Rains accounting for most of them. Tommy Hutsell gained 42 yards on eight carries. Lightning quarterback Mark Dwyer completed eight of 18 passes for 55 yards. On defense, Tre Phillips had six tackles and Shun Matsuhashi recovered a fumble.
Davis led Burnsville in rushing with 97 yards on 19 carries. Reger completed nine of 17 passes for 178 yards and also made seven tackles while playing defense. Traetow had six catches for 148 yards. Junior linebacker Brett Shepley led Burnsville’s defense with 13 tackles.
Burnsville got a scare when senior lineman Steven Christopherson, one of the team’s top returning players, left the field in an ambulance after being injured. He tweeted after the game that he had a mild concussion and inflamed vertabra. His availability was unknown for the Blaze’s game at Eagan at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6.
That same night, Eastview plays host to Rosemount in a duel of two of the South Suburban’s preseason favorites. Rosemount lost to Wayzata 24-21 in double overtime in its season opener.