Eden Prairie rolls in 1 vs. 2 matchup

Eagles burn Lakeville North through the air

Lakeville North receiver RaJa Nelson tries to avoid a tackle by Eden Prairie’s Collin Penn. Nelson had two touchdown receptions in the Panthers’ 41-13 loss Friday night. Photo by Jason Olson

Friday’s game against Lakeville North followed the blueprint of numerous Eden Prairie football victories over the last two-plus decades – take control early, put it away in the second half.

After scoring twice in the first quarter, Eden Prairie added three more touchdowns in the third quarter on its way to a 41-13 victory Friday in a game between the top two teams in the state Class 6A rankings.

No. 2-ranked Lakeville North (1-1) will try to regroup for its game at Farmington at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15.

Eden Prairie quarterback Cole Kramer burned the North defense for four touchdown passes, two to Daejon Wolfe. Antonio Montero scored two rushing touchdowns for the Eagles.

Trailing 21-0 early in the third quarter, the Panthers tried to get back in the game with a halfback option pass, which Brian Curtis Jr. completed to RaJa Nelson for a 62-yard touchdown. Eden Prairie’ however, responded barely more than a minute later when Kramer completed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Jack Tuttle.

The Panthers scored their second touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 24-yard pass from Brennan Kuebler to Nelson. Nelson finished with five catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

Kuebler completed seven of 15 passes for 69 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Curtis rushed for 70 yards on 18 carries and Ryan Dalrymple gained 38 yards on eight carries.

Linebacker Nick Spitt and defensive back Spencer Fossey led the Lakeville North defense with seven tackles each. Defensive back Braden Walsh made six tackles and recovered a fumble.

Friday was the first game between the teams since the 2013 state large-school quarterfinals, which Eden Prairie won 42-14. In 2012, Eden Prairie defeated North 28-7 in the state championship game.