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Chanhassen football defeats Mankato West in Class 5A bout

By Carter Dooner,


The No. 4 Chanhassen Storm (5-0) defeated the No. 3 Mankato West Scarlets (4-1) 21-14 on Friday at Chanhassen High School.

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Chanhassen took a 7-0 lead after a 23-yard touchdown pass from Braden Windschitl to Daxton Bush. It was an 80-yard touchdown drive in four plays.

Mankato West answered with a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Bart McAninch to tie the game at seven.

The game was delayed for almost two hours due to lightning, but when play resumed, Chanhassen took a 13-7 lead. Windschitl threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Maxwell Woods.

Woods scored again in the third quarter from a quick pass he took 53 yards for a touchdown.

Mankato West cut the lead to 21-14 in the fourth quarter with a 7-yard touchdown reception from El Staley.

Storm embrace the rain

Both teams would have to play the waiting game as a lightning delay with just over two minutes to go in the second quarter caused the game to go idle.

“We really didn't try to keep them in the game; we got the boys some snacks, and coaches watched film like we would do at halftime.” Chanhassen coach Cullen Nelson said.

It was just under two hours before the game resumed, and Chanhassen didn't miss a beat. Facing a third and long on the very first play out of the delay, the Storm converted.

One play later, North Dakota State commit Woods snagged a 28-yard touchdown to give Chanhassen the 14-7 lead.

“My quarterback just gave me a great opportunity to catch the ball, and we got it done. The amount of work [Windschitl} has put in this season has been unbelievable.” Woods said.

It wouldn't be the only time the two would connect. Woods caught a screen pass and went 53 yards for the touchdown to give the Storm a 21-7 lead late in the third which proved to be the difference.

Scarlets still in the Storm’s sight

This win from Chanhassen snapped Mankato West’s 26-game regular season win streak dating back to 2019. The two teams met in last year's section final and seemed destined to do so again.

“We got big goals for this team, and to accomplish those goals, we are going to have to see them again. Were excited about the win, but we know in the back of our minds we will see them again.” Woods said.

The Scarlets placed second in last year's state tournament and won the title in 2021, so the path to a championship still runs through Mankato.

“We found ways to win and played really hard, and we know we're going to have to do that against them again, because they're a really good team,” Nelson said.

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