On a cold, wet night in front of a rain-soaked Homecoming crowd in The Grove, the Crimson prevailed against a well-coached, hard-nosed Centennial squad 24-17. Two teams that both have significant injuries went against each other and executed a well-played, ultra-competitive game in tough conditions. It provided an opportunity to see how we respond to unwanted situations as we fell behind 10 -0 in the first 4 minutes of the game. We buckled down and scored the next 24 points in the game leading us to this pivotal fourth win.
Defensively, after a slow start we found our rhythm leading to a dominant final 3 quarters. I was proud of the way this group regrouped during the game and won possession after possession allowing us to succeed in a low-scoring game. Tanner Albeck continues improving at linebacker on a daily basis leading us with12 total tackles and a tackle for loss. Cayden Vokal also had a nice game at Linebacker with 8 total tackles and six other players had either five total tackles or four. It's fun to see this group keep getting better and better as they are slowly beginning to learn the preparation it takes on a weekly basis to be great on Defense.
Offensively, it was a game where we capitalized on enough situations to give us the few points needed for Victory. In a game where our possessions were few and far between, we learned from this game the importance of being sharp play in and play out. Senior Quarterback Jacob Kilzer again led us with his feet as he ran for 117 yards on 13 carries and a 53-yard TD that turned the whole tide of the game when we were down by ten in the first quarter. Also Jordan Olagbaju got us hard yards in big situations running for 79 yards on 22 carries and a TD. Lastly, Sophomore Wide Receiver Dylan Vokal had 2 big catches for 40 yards behind and Offensive line that keeps leading the way for us. This group has dealt with injuries in key spots the last few weeks so it's fun to see those who have stepped up during these absences.
Our Special Teams had great moments and disastrous moments as we scored a touchdown on a punt return but gave one back on a blocked punt. The mistake on punt team was just a mental lockdown that happened on the play, so that is something that can easily be addressed heading into the rest of this season. Remarkably, our puntreturn team comprised of mostly Defensive personnel has scored in four consecutive games as Dylan Vokal scored his second Punt Return TD of the season with a 69-yard return for Touchdown. Connor Fournier continues his strong kicking with three perfect extra points and a field goal on the night while Ben Jameson keeps pinning people deep with his kickoffs. Our special teams should become a big asset for us during the back half of our season, so the next few weeks will be pivotal in this area.
All in all, it's great to be 4-0, but there is a lot of room for growth in this club. Next week, we play a Thursday night home game against a much-improved Champlin Park ball club that has given all four of their opponent's trouble in route to their 2-2 record. It will be a challenge for us that night so we will need a great short week of practice heading into this fifth game. Again, the crowds at the Grove truly inspire our boys so we need it rocking that night hopefully leading us to a 5 - 0 record. They cherish every chance they get to take the field in front of their home crowd, so hopefully we play our best game of the season on Thursday for everybody at The Grove to see! It should be fun! See you next week and GO CRIMSON!!!...Lombo