On a windy Friday night in The Grove, the Crimson were able to play a very hot East Ridge team that had won six of their last seven games and prevailed 42 - 13 to head into the state Quarterfinals. This game is what I truly consider Senior Night because it is the last time that group will play on their home stadium, and they finished that phase of their careers with an unbelievable 6 - 0 record at home this year against some of the state's best. It was a special year in "The Grove" indeed.
Defensively, after a tough first series, great adjustments were made by the coaching staff and the kids played great to put our offense in great situations when we had the wind in the 2nd quarter. Sawyer Skanson, Kiers Brevik and Michael Ross led the team with 11 total tackles, and Mason South had a big strip fumble recovery and a sack to help lead the Crimson. Our secondary did a nice job all night taking away their passing game as the game went on and we developed a lead, and we did a good job containing two big backs that had good momentum coming into the game. I say it every week, but this team runs through our defense, so we love watching them take control of the game week in and week out.
Offensively, we did a good job running the football all night with a balanced attack and taking advantage of opportunities given to us throughout the night. Our offense, on a windy day, was able to rush for 285 yards on the night and it was balanced with Tanner Albeck running for 85 yards and a TD, Jacob Kilzer rushing for 65 yards and two TDs, and Derrick Jameson rushing for 125 yards and two TDs. This credit goes out to the Offensive line that was against a very big and athletic front and did a great job blocking for the run. We also were able to use the pass effectively on a tough night to throw as we completed 60 percent of our passes with a touchdown that gave us a 3 score lead at the end of the half. This group needs to continue to be explosive and take advantage of the situations given to us. It will be fun to watch them another week.
Our Special Teams were solid all night as Connor Fournier continued his steady play hitting all 6 extra points, Ben Jameson kicked many touchbacks taking advantage of the wind, and Sam Peters punted a great punt down to the ten yard line into a tough wind. This group continues to be an asset for us, and will be the difference in a game this year.
This Thursday, we take on a very good Woodbury team that is only 1 point away from a perfect season. They are well coached, play good defense, and make you react defensively to a lot of things. They will be a fun opponent. We need everybody in the school and the community out there Thursday night at Eden Prairie. It needs to feel like 'The Grove'. That gets our kids jacked, so you are huge part of this journey. Let's get Step 3. Let's prepare like we have and make it a special Thursday night! Go Crimson! Let's keep it rolling!