One of my favorite songs is Aerosmith's version of Train Kept A-Rollin'. Whenever I watch the Eden Prairie Eagles, I can't help but think of that song. The main line in the chorus is ‘the train kept a-rollin' all night long.' That is just what Eden Prairie did to Edina – and everyone they have played this year. They kept rolling behind an offensive line until the Hornets' defense finally broke en route to a 35-10 road victory.
The undefeated and number one ranked Eagles wasted little time doing what Eden Prairie does so successfully – they ran the ball. They ate up nearly half of the first quarter before running back Solo Falaniko dove across the goal line to give the Eagles the lead.
The Eagles' second touchdown came a bit quicker. After an Edina punt pinned Eden Prairie back at the three-yard line quarterback Cole Kramer's play-action pass found a wide open Daejon Wolfe on an out and up for a 97-yard touchdown.
“Our kids executed that very well. There is a lot of execution to that play. It is not just a throw. There is some deception you have to do on that cornerback and Cole put it right on the money,” Eden Prairie head coach Mike Grant said.
Down 14-0 Edina responded with ten straight points to close out the half – including a field goal on the last play of the first half. The Eden Prairie train would not let the Hornets get any closer.
The backfield combination of Antonio Montero – one rushing touchdown and Falaniko – two rushing touchdowns – ground away at the Hornets' defense behind a re-made offensive line. The Hornets' defense held on as long as they could, but like they almost always do the Eagles took over in the fourth quarter. They scored the final 21 points of the game to win going away.
“We started to wear them down,” Grant said. “We started to gouge them in the fourth quarter.”
The only way the offense can wear down a defense is by keeping the opposing offense off the field. The EP defense controlled the game from the beginning to the end.
“Our defensive coaches did a great job on a short week,” Grant said. “We stopped the run, but they still made some plays.”
The defensive line – also re-made on the fly – kept the Edina offense off balance and while they gave up a few long runs they never let the Hornets get any consistency going. When they tried to throw the ball the bend and don't break Eagles gave up some yards in between the twenties but came through when it counted.
The rolling train has not broke yet this season. The Eden Prairie Eagles now entire post-season play as a likely number one seed that has beaten three second-ranked teams on the way to their undefeated record. They are battle tested and rolling.