Centennial sophomore linebacker Mason Mix had never played a varsity down of football before Friday.
With the Cougars leading by one extra point in overtime against Edina, the Hornets went for a 2-point conversion to win the game. But Mix and the rest of the Centennial defense made the stop.
“He stepped up big in the end zone,” Diggins said of Mix. “He’s the one that made the smack and kept him out.”
The Cougars blitzed and Mix said he took on the fullback.
“Then it was just a group effort,” Mix said. “We all came together, and then we just made a huge play all together.”
No. 2-seeded Centennial celebrated a 21-20 overtime victory over No. 3-seed Edina and advanced to the Class 6A football state quarterfinals next week.
Centennial senior Timothy O’Neill Jr. also was in on the decisive defensive play, following up on his interception in the end zone with 8.7 seconds left in regulation.
“I saw the ball coming, and I caught it,” O’Neill Jr. said.
Centennial’s Austin Wlaschin rushed for a 5-yard score in overtime. Edina responded with a fourth-down, 1-yard touchdown run from Bunce to set up the final drama.
The Cougars lost Carter Anderson to a broken ankle when he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
“It changed our game plan a ton because we thought we could do play action with him and go deep,” Diggins said. “Once that disappeared, everything kind of got a little tighter on us.”
Centennial would not be denied by Edina once again.
The Cougars, whose season ended with a loss to the Hornets in the same round two years ago, pulled out a 21-20 victory on Friday over the same team it lost to in the first week of this season.
The No. 2-seeded Cougars defeated No. 3-seed Edina 21-20 in overtime at Centennial to advance to the Class 6A football state quarterfinals next week.