If defending big school state champ Wayzata is going to advance to its 11th state tournament in football - and fifth straight - it will have to do so without two of its top talents on both sides of the ball.
Erik Roti, who left the game on the final play of the third quarter in last week's Class 5A, Section 5 semifinal against Champlin Park, will not play in Friday's championship game against Osseo. Trojans coach Brad Anderson confirmed the news Thursday morning, but the injury remains undisclosed.
In addition, linebacker Ryan Popptiz is done for the season with a torn meniscus also suffered late in the Champlin Park game. Poppitz played a key role in the Trojans' stifling pressure defense.
"I tell the kids on the first day of practice that football is a great sport but injury is a part of it," Anderson said. "It's the type of deal - you better be ready to play because ... you never know when you might get called upon."
Roti rushed for 640 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. He had 22 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown in Wayzata's 21-14 section semifinal victory - including a 72-yard run on the first play of the second half. After his injury, Antonio Ford took the load and rushed the ball nine times down the stretch. He finished the game with 25 carries for 124 yards and 2 TDs. He had 732 yards and eight scores during the regular season.
"He should be ready," Anderson said of Ford. "I know this is something he's looked forward to."
It's the second significant injury at running back this season for Wayzata. Mitch Underhill, last year's Prep Bowl hero with nearly 250 yards, tore his ACL in the season-opener.