Senior Night is a special night every year, but this year was a little more poignant as we took on a state ranked, well-coached STMA team after a week that was riddled with mounting adversity. In a week where loss was felt in life and playing opportunities for this season, this group of players and coaches came together as a team and delivered a performance as one that makes me as proud as a coach can possibly be in a group. It truly signifies what a family these kids and coaches are and how they will always have each other's back in both the good, bad, and tough times.
What was great about this game is that it represents everything playoff football is about. There were shifts in momentum., physical play, and after an imperfect first three quarters where both teams battled, we were locked up at 17 going into the 4th quarter. After that, this group came together and played a great 4th quarter where both sides of the ball made big plays and prevailed 38 - 17 solidifying us as the Metro Gold North district champs and putting us in great position to get a #1 seed heading into the playoffs.
Offensively, I was most proud of our offensive line because changes had to be made due to some injuries last week and they banded together and played one of their strongest games. Derrick Jameson continued his stellar Senior season with 19 carries for 207 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Jacob Kilzer added the fifth score with his 28 yard TD run in the 2nd quarter. Jacob Anderson had a couple big catches during the game and Sam Peters made a great catch in the 3rd quarter on a 4th down that started our momentum. Hopefully this offensive line will just continue to improve because they were the difference on Friday night.
Defensively, this was a challenging week as many holes were needed to be filled due to injury and illness and they never wavered. Outside of one big play they gave up, they made STMA drive the ball down the field and we found ways to stop them throughout the night and give the offense a few short fields. Sawyer Skanson had another big night with 16 tackles, while Kiers Brevik showed strength beyond our imagination and had 10 tackles to inspire the squad. In the secondary, Jacob Anderson, Micha Vayee, Jackson Powers, Cade Cook, and Sam Kliber combined for 8 pass break up s and did a great job all night when challenged. Again, this is the heart and soul of this team and they will continue to be that as this year continues.
Our special teams had highs and lows all night as we turned it over on punt return, but created a turnover on punt team. Our field goal team made a huge field goal at the end of the half, but failed to execute to our standards on Extra Points. This is an area we will solidify as it becomes a difference maker in huge games down the road.
It's hard to believe but next Wednesday is our final regular season game of the year at Mounds View and it is always our goal to be the best we possibly can be in that last game heading into the playoffs. It sets the tone to the playoffs, so we need to put forth a tremendous performance against an opponent that will be hard nosed and present a different kind of challenge. Let's finish right boys and win the week. Go Crimson!