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Maple Grove Wins Hard Fought Battle at Wayzata

By Coach Lombardi, 10/09/22, 8:45AM CDT


Crimson Overcome 14 Point Deficit to Notch 6th Win

 On a perfect night for football in Wayzata, we came out of the gates rocky and had to play from behind to claim a hard fought 28-21 victory over a very talented Trojan team.   Getting utterly dominated by them in the first half and trailing 14-0 after one quarter, they won all of the physical things that happen during a football game; their backs carried us for yards after contact, their defense stopped us cold when there was contact, and they won the game up front.   However, we only were down 14 - 7 going into halftime, so we were grateful to come back in the 2nd half with an opportunity to have a fresh outlook and I was proud with how the boys came out after halftime and controlled the game physically.   It is always good to get a reminder about what successful football is about and we got that Friday night.

Defensively, we had highs and lows throughout the night, but our defense still made plays that gave us a chance to get back in the game.   Henry Stang and jett Uzzell changed the complete outlook of the game when we were down 14 as Jett provided pressure and forced a throw that Henry stepped in front and gave us field position that allowed us to score while our offense was struggling.    Henry finished the game with 8 total tackles, a tackle for loss, and an interception while Jett finished with  9 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss and a sack.   Senior Max Johnson had a huge game for us as he had 15 total tackles  while Tanner Albeck added 11 tackles on the night.   This is a group that keeps making plays that allows our offense easy chances to score, but we need to improve on how we come out early setting the tone for the game.  This will come in our preparation during the week and we will get there in these upcoming weeks.  When this group plays a full 48 minutes, they will be a force to be reckoned with!

Offensively we struggled immensely in the first half only totaling 30 total yards at half, and we, including myself, lost the value of what our foundation is as an offense.   However, we did capitalize on the one opportunity that was given to us by the defense which allowed us a chance to regroup at halftime.    In the second half, we rode our offensive line of Hunter Gerber, Max Draheim, Andrew Dotzenrod, Zeth Petrie, Gus Gruenig, and Nathan Hromadka and the whole tone of the game changed as we got back to playing our brand of football.    Jordan Olagbaju had a big second half for us as he ran for over 100 yards and had 2 touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.   Jacob Kilzer did a great job in the 2nd half making big plays on 3rd down and throwing for 2 touchdowns, and Jacob Anderson made his return with 55 yards receiving and a big touchdown in the 4th quarter.   This group will keep getting better and we will be who we are in these upcoming weeks because they have a chance to do great things up ahead!

Our special teams did a nice job all night as Ben Jameson keeps kicking touchback after touchback and Connor Fournier hit his 28th consecutive extra point on the year.   Cayden Vokal has done an unreal job all year as a holder and he continued his excellence with two unbelievably difficult holds on the night.   This group will keep making an impact throughout the year and we feel fortunate to  have two really good kickers that can get things done!

Because of the win on Friday night, we clinched the Metro Gold North championship, so that is quite an accomplishment by a group that has been given many obstacles to overcome throughout the year.   You should be proud boys, it was not an easy ride, but there is still a ton left in front of you.   This Friday night we play a team that is playing extremely well right now and is entering our game with momentum in STMA.   They have recently beaten Wayzata, Minnetonka and Champlin, and they have a home atmosphere that is a ton of fun to play in so Friday night will be an extremely fun challenge.   We look forward to getting better and playing a style of football that represents us.  It is the final Friday night of the regular season so let's make it a great one!    As a team and coaching staff, every one of us knows we have to improve on our performance last week.   Let's get after it and have a blast!