Memories are built from unusual circumstances. Lasting images came on homecoming night for Hastings.
Junior running back Cole Zeien scored his third touchdown on a 1-yard plunge as midnight neared, giving Hastings a 27-21 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall in overtime Friday at Todd Field.
"Homecoming always carries a little extra weight," Hastings coach Dana Strain said. "Kids understand the importance of honoring our past on homecoming and playing our best game of the year. There are fun festivities throughout the week, but homecoming is always better when you win the football game."
Inclement weather moving into the area caught Strain off guard. His team led 14-7 at halftime.
"I wasn't paying any attention to the weather, so when we came out after halftime and they alerted me we might have a problem with weather, I was surprised," Strain said. "Our administration handled the situation extremely well, giving us multiple options for finishing the game."
Both teams were bused to Hastings High School so they could wait out the storm in a safe environment. They were bused back to the stadium around 10:15 p.m. to warm up, and the game resumed about 30 minutes later.
"Coach [Steve] Walsh from Cretin-Derham Hall also handled the situation with professionalism and flexibility, showing a willingness to do everything possible to finish but also willing to consider all other options. A class act."
Zeien scampered 76 yards for a touchdown shortly after play resumed, giving Hastings (2-3) a 21-7 lead. He also scored on a 2-yard run just before halftime and wound up with 158 rushing yards.
Cretin-Derham Hall (1-4) scored 14 fourth-quarter points to tie it 21-21. Senior quarterback Miles Bollinger threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Brady Stoeklen and then hooked up with senior wide receiver Jaylen Gayles for the two-point conversion, which tied it with 32 seconds remaining.
"To Cretin-Derham Hall's credit, it came back from a big deficit to tie us in regulation, and it would have been easy for our kids to let down," Strain said.
Instead, his defense forced three straight incomplete passes in overtime, leading to a missed field goal. That set up Zeien's game-winning touchdown.
"We couldn't have handled overtime any better than we did," Strain said. "When you add to the delay with an overtime session, it created a situation that our kids will remember for a long time with it being homecoming and a memorable win."
Painful victories for Minnetonka
Minnetonka, ranked third in Class 6A, has three one-point victories in its 5-0 season, most recently Friday's 14-13 win over No. 6 Shakopee.
It hasn't come without a price.
"We had seven starters out, several for the season," Skippers coach Mark Esch said about Friday's game. "Our team is just fighting and finding a way to win."
Shakopee pulled within a point with 3 minutes, 18 seconds remaining but missed the extra-point kick. The Sabers got the ball back with 2:14 left and got to the Minnetonka 48 before turning the ball over on downs.
"We've never lost faith, and our senior class is leading with energy despite fighting these injury obstacles," Esch said.
Minnetonka, which also beat Wayzata (22-21) and Prior Lake (17-16) by one point this season, hosts top-ranked Eden Prairie (5-0) on Thursday night. The two schools haven't played each other since 2020, a 34-7 Eden Prairie victory.
"We are going to need to use this week to get better," Esch said. Eden Prairie rolled over Wayzata 39-7 on Saturday.
Friday's games on Saturday
Stormy weather Friday night drove some games to a Saturday conclusion. Here are some highlights:
Maple Grove 55, Blaine 21: Junior running back Charles Langama set a school record with seven touchdown runs as the Class 6A, No. 5 Crimson (4-1) ran over the Bengals (2-3). Langama, who has run for 16 TDs this season, rushed for 328 yards on 26 carries. He scored on runs of 1, 5, 22, 23, 26, 61 and 65 yards.
Park of Cottage Grove 48, Hopkins 14: Miskir Esayas threw three touchdown passes to fellow junior Dom Batts and ran for two scores as the Wolfpack (3-2) cruised past the Royals (0-5). Esayas and Betts hooked up on 3-, 23- and 68-yard scoring plays.
Orono 47, Mound Westonka 28: The Class 4A, No. 2 Spartans (5-0) outscored the No. 5 White Hawks (4-1) in "The Battle for the Anchor." Senior running backs Owen Barkley and Liam Rodgers each ran for two touchdowns for Orono.