Up until the last drive — a wonderful, amazing, heartbreaking drive — Minnetonka had given no indication that it could score a touchdown on Prior Lake.
The Skippers had spent Friday evening battling the cold and the wind and the Lakers defense, and had little to show against that wicked trio.
But, when it mattered, Minnetonka found a way to march 90 yards in the waning minutes. Quarterback Aaron Syverson's passing arm, scattershot all night, started slinging darts. And with 1:12 left in the game and facing fourth-and-6 at the Prior Lake 15, Syverson scrambled left and found Jackson Owens in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown, lifting the Skippers to a 10-6 victory.
"The whole game, I thought something was going to change," Syverson said. "Hands were getting cold. It was tough out here, but honestly, I knew we were going to find a way to win."
The game-clinching drive had Syverson's fingerprints all over it. He saved it once, scrambling around and buying time on third down before hitting Owen Freese down the right sideline for 31 yards to the Prior Lake 45-yard line. It was the first time Minnetonka crossed midfield in the second half.
Syverson added completions of 23 and 17 yards, rescuing the drive after lost-yardage plays had set them back, before launching the most clutch throw of his career.
The result of which he never saw.
"I was lying on the ground," Syverson said. "I got hit, but when I got up and saw the ref say, 'Touchdown', it was unbelievable."
Even Minnetonka coach Dave Nelson, who has seen just about everything in 35 years as a head coach, was left shaking his head.
"He's a great player," Nelson said. "For a lot of the game, he hadn't played very good. But we think he's special."
Until that final march, Prior Lake had kept Minnetonka bottled up, allowing just a field goal before halftime.
"When we didn't score in the third quarter, I thought we were in trouble," Nelson said. "But we have a special bond with these kids. It doesn't happen every year. They love to play, they love each other. They just wanted to keep playing."