Nothing says October football in Minnesota more than a game in the snow! This week, we played in a cold, windy, blustery snow game and found a way to walk off the field with a 35-0 victory over Anoka in their 72nd annual Pumpkin Bowl.
Offensively, we had moments that were great, but had trouble finishing things that we started. We started the game with an eight-minute drive, but finished it with no points. That set the tone for the whole night and embodied how the evening went. Our running back combo of Cooper Wegscheid and Spencer Wherry combined for over 160 yards rushing with Wegscheid scoring his first touchdown of the season. Also, Jacob Engel caught a touchdown pass, and we connected on some big third-down conversions throughout. However, this side of the ball has to continue getting better on capitalizing on situations where we need to get the ball in the endzone. The positive is the answer to this issue are all things we can control, so I look forward to seeing how they play for the final week of the season and the upcoming playoffs.
On Friday night, the defense carried us leading with 21 points on this side of the ball directly. Anthony Gipson continues his unbelievable run at linebacker with three interceptions in the first half, two of them going for touchdowns. He set a school record for interceptions in a single game, and has found the endzone 3 times in the last two weeks. A pretty good run for a backer. Also, our defensive line of Joe Beulow, Nate Becker, and Joziah Atkinson made a huge impact combining for 23 tackles between them. Also, junior Blake Bortnem intercepted a big pass in the first half, and their punt return team also created a 51-yard touchdown return to seal the game in the second half.
Special teams on a night like this are a huge challenge, and I was proud of how we played in this aspect. Our kickoff coverage was great against a team that has had a ton of success on kickoff returns, and Nate Ross returned a punt for a touchdown along our sideline. Also, Micah Vayee kicked three touchbacks utilizing a wind at his back and taking advantage of the elements.
Next week is always a tough week as we play on a quick turnaround on Wednesday night against a top-five program this year in Champlin Park. They will come into 'The Grove' with a 6-1 record and tons of talent on both sides of the football. It will be a ton of fun going against them giving us a barometer going into the playoffs. Our kids love playing at home, so we look forward to playing our final game on our home turf against a good team on hopefully a beautiful Wednesday night. It's the night that is about our Seniors thanking them for all they have done for us and all they have put into this program. It should be a special night! Go Crimson!