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Gopher mascot runs over 7th grade Eagan football players at Vikings halftime

Minnesota Golden Gophers mascot Goldy pumps up the crowd during a touchdown in the second quarter against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Golden Gopher football team may have had the weekend off but their mascot came to play Sunday in an exhibition against an Eagan youth football team.

At halftime of the Vikings game at US Bank Stadium, Goldy Gopher took a toss from Viktor the Viking and exploded around the right edge of the line.

Outrunning a downfield block from Minnesota United’s PK Loon, the rodent mascot delivered a punishing stiff-arm at the 5-yard line that sent a seventh-grader tumbling over backward.

Eagan coach Scott Solliday said the player wasn’t hurt.

“It all turned out OK and we’re all sitting back and laughing at it, but he probably was a little aggressive running over the kid,” he said.

Solliday said the Eagan players watched the play rack up a half-million Instagram views by the end of the Vikings game, getting air time on the Big Ten Network and other media.

“The kids actually got a kick out of it, to be honest with you,” he said. “For Eagan football, we can use any kind of publicity we can get.”

Solliday said the Vikings had invited the Eagan squad to Sunday’s halftime exhibition to make up for a TV segment they had filmed with the youth team that never made it to air.

Goldy has been celebrating the hit on Twitter.

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