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Football: No. 7 Irish run over Eagan, 41-14

Fans were still streaming through the Irish Stadium gates when seventh-ranked (Class 6A) Rosemount took control of Friday night’s Homecoming game.

The Irish scored three touchdowns in a span of just over five minutes in the first quarter and remained unbeaten in the South Suburban Conference with a 41-14 victory over Eagan in front of a crowd of well over the stadium’s 4,000 seating capacity.

Luke Dahl got his first start at quarterback for the Irish and helped stake them to the three-score lead without throwing a pass. The home team started the game with an 11-play scoring drive, all 11 running plays, which ended in a seven-yard touchdown run by junior speedster Dimitri Williams.

Moments later, Eagan’s first offensive play resulted in another Rosemount touchdown. Senior Conner Yepsen intercepted a pass at the 30-yard line and returned it across the field before diving into the end zone to make it 14-0.

After an Eagan three and out, the Irish got the ball back at their own 30 and ran it nine straight times before Williams plunged across the goal line from one yard out to make it 21-0.

Eagan gained six yards on its next possession before punting on the final play of the first quarter. At that point, the Irish had outgained the Wildcats, 150-5.

Grant Jackson provided another rushing touchdown in the second period. He broke around the right side and dived across the pylon from four yards out to make it 28-0 midway through the quarter. The short 14-yard drive was set up by a fumble recovery by John Birkholz.

Running backs Lowell Green and Tyrek Cross came off the bench to add rushing touchdowns in the second half. Cross’s four-yard scoring run made it 41-7 a play into the fourth quarter.

The Irish gained a season-high 341 of their 364 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Eagan finished with negative-two yards on 27 tries.

Williams once again broke the century mark, gaining 113 yards on 13 carries. Jackson added 63 yards, Cross 52 and Green 47. Ten different Irish backs got carries.

Eagan finished with just 140 total yards, was forced to punt 10 times and turned the ball over three times.

The Irish (4-1, 4-0) are back at Irish Stadium next Friday when they host Lakeville South.