Shakopee running back Seth Bakken (20) blocked for quarterback David Bigaouette (10) as he ran the ball in the first half. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • firstname.lastname@example.org
Shakopee free safety Connor Raines took part in the game’s deciding play — Farmington’s final attempt at a game-winning touchdown.
Quarterback Alex Berreth took the ball with 6.7 seconds left and his team trailing by one point. He rolled left and threw about 20 yards toward the end zone.
Raines wasn’t covering the intended receiver, so he watched as inches became miles and seconds lasted hours.
“I saw it was a little high and as soon as the ball hit the crossbar, I checked the clock and it was at zeros,” Raines said. “It was the best feeling in the world.”
Shakopee, on the wrong end of so many close losses this season, prevailed 22-21 to clinch a first-round victory in the Class 6A playoffs.
No. 4 seed Shakopee (4-5) fought well against a tough slate of foes. The Sabers lost to Wayzata, Eden Prairie, Prior Lake and Edina by eight or fewer points.
“We’re battle-tested,” Raines said. “We’ve had one of the hardest schedules in the entire state, and it just shows that we’re here to play.”
A last-ditch Farmington pass fell incomplete out of bounds, giving Shakopee a 22-21 victory Friday in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Trailing 21-16 in the fourth quarter, No. 4 seed Shakopee (4-5) got a great punt return to set up a short field at Farmington’s 22-yard line. Quarterback David Bigaouette kept the ball and scored on a 1-yard run to put the Sabers ahead 22-21.
No. 5 seed Farmington (5-4) had gone ahead 21-16 in the third quarter thanks to a defensive stand and ensuing 95-yard touchdown drive. The defense stopped a pair of trick plays, including one on fourth down. Then the offense went to work, capped by a 6-yard Zac Janz touchdown run.
Shakopee held a 16-14 halftime lead as the teams found different but effective ways of reaching the end zone.
For the Sabers, the scoring started with a safety. They got the ball back and made good on the extra possession. Quarterback David Bigaouette hit Nick Katona from 19 yards out for a touchdown and 9-0 lead.
Farmington went airborne in response. Alex Berreth threw deep for Eli Green and Green kept his legs churning for a 70-yard score.
Shakopee kept the ball on the ground throughout much of its ensuing drive, finished with a 1-yard Jack Casey end zone plunge.
Trailing 16-7, the visiting Tigers struck fast. Berreth found Isaac Ask in the deep middle of the field and Ask ran free for a 55-yard touchdown.
Shakopee couldn’t extend its 16-14 lead as a fourth-down pass was dropped in the end zone just before halftime.
Check back later for more on the game.