His first attempt sailed into the line, and his second missed left from 25-yards out. But with Osseo and Prior Lake knotted up at 14-14 in the game that would send one of the schools into the Class 6A state football tournament, Elliot Kane craved one more chance Nov. 1.
He got it, drilling home a 34-yard field goal with 2:03 to play that would provide the difference in sending the Orioles to their first state tournament in 20 years.
“I can’t even explain the feeling,” said Kane, who used the halftime intermission to practice a handful of kicks from the same about the same distance he connected the game-winner from. “I wanted another chance. I have confidence in myself and in my leg and I know I can hit that distance pretty easily. I just went out there and hit it.”
In turn, after a few harrowing moments, Osseo made it count.
Prior Lake had one last gasp when, with 21 seconds to play, the Lakers went 40-yards on a pass to Blake Weber to set up a last second field goal chance from 46-yards out.
But Tyler Hanson’s bid to send the game into overtime came up about five yards short, giving way to the storm of Osseo students that flooded the field in a celebration no one associated with the program had experienced since before any of the current players were even born.
The scene, which also included teachers and school administrators, was appropriate as it fell in line with what head coach Derrin Lamker has been preaching from the very start of his tenure with the program.
“We work together at Osseo, and that is what makes this place so much fun.” said Lamker. “This is for our community, for our school, for our teachers, for our administration and for our players. It was everybody working together. It is a community win, and that is just huge for us.”
As expected, it didn’t come without getting 48 minutes of everything Prior Lake had.
The Orioles struck for the games first touchdown on the opening drive of the night, as they marched 69-yards on 10 plays to go ahead 7-0 on a 9-yard touchdown run from Jaimen Hampton for a lead that would last most of the first half.
To Osseo’s dismay, it could have been more.
The Orioles turned Prior Lake over on the second play following Hampton’s touchdown, setting themselves up near midfield for a drive that would end on the 17-yard line, where Kane’s first try didn’t make it past the line of scrimmage.
Then, after surviving a 15-play Prior Lake drive that ended with a punt, Osseo once again had a chance for points. This time, the Orioles moved the ball inside the Laker 10-yard line, only to see Kane’s second attempt drift wide to the left.
This time, Prior Lake took advantage of the missed opportunity when Alex Feine scooted the sideline for a 32-yard touchdown that would even the game at 7-7 heading into the half.
“We made some mistakes inside the 10 that could of put us up 21 in the first half,” said Lamker. “But that is a classy program over there and they made us pay.”
It almost proved more costly at the start of the third quarter.
Prior Lake went 64-yards to open the second half, taking a 14-7 lead on a 7-yard run from Feine.
Osseo’s defense made its stand from there though. The Orioles forced a fumble that was recovered by Andrew Lanners, and the offense turned it into a 3-yard touchdown run by Prince Krauh to tie the game at 14-14 with a minute left in the third.
Then, after Prior Lake moved the ball all the way to the Osseo 4-yard line, the defense forced another fumble. Scott Hildebrand recovered it, and the Osseo offense went back to work, driving 81-yards to set up Kane from 34-yards out.
“Right when it left my foot I just started running because I knew it was going in,” said Kane.
Lamker, who has a reputation for gambling on fourth down plays – this one was fourth-and-nine from the Prior Lake 17-yard line – didn’t even hesitate in sending his kicker back out to give it a go.
“He’s been great for us all year,” said Lamker. “It is tough on him. He is a quarterback and we’ve asked him to be our kicker and that is not an easy job to do. But he did a great job for us tonight, and I am really proud of him coming back out there and making it. That is what winners do.”
Contact Nick Clark at [email protected]