Eastview eyes matchup with 3rd-ranked East Ridge

Lightning pounds Park in playoff opener

Eastview advanced to the second round of the Class 6A football playoffs for the second consecutive year, breezing past Park of Cottage Grove 42-14 in a Section 3 game last Friday.

Next up for the Lightning (5-4) is Suburban East Conference champion East Ridge (8-1), which routed Forest Lake 54-14 in the first round. East Ridge will be the host of the second-round game at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.

Eastview scored touchdowns on its first five possessions and led Park 35-0 at halftime.

Punting issues contributed to Park’s demise as Eastview started several possessions deep in the Wolfpack’s end of the field. The Lightning’s power running attack took care of the rest. Eastview had four rushing touchdowns, three by junior Will Rains.

Rains scored on runs of 1, 5 and 6 yards and caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Mark Dwyer. Eastview’s Davis Burnham opened the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown run. Amari Kennedy went 67 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter after taking a screen pass from Cole McDevitt.

East Ridge was tied for third in the final state Associated Press Class 6A poll. The Raptors went 7-1 in the Suburban East, winning the conference championship by one game over Cretin-Derham Hall, Mounds View and Roseville.

They are expected to be without several of their top players for their game against Eastview, including offensive lineman J.C. Hassenauer and running back Nick Leach, both of whom have knee injuries. Hassenauer, who has verbally committed to Alabama, is the No. 1-ranked center in the class of 2014.

One year ago, Eastview went on the road in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs and knocked off Mounds View 36-21. That sent the Lightning to the Metrodome for the state quarterfinals, where it lost to Wayzata 35-21.