On Friday night, in 'The Grove', we opened our playoffs against Hopkins and we prevailed 67 - 0 as every player on our roster made an impact leading to this result. From the first quarter on, there were numerous players making a huge impact allowing us the success we had achieving Step 1 in the playoffs.
Offensively, we took advantage of each of our possessions scoring touchdowns on every one of the night. Senior Jacob Kilzer had 64 yards rushing with 3 Touchdowns, and threw for a 80% completion percentage and 2 TDs. Also, Cedric Bucholtz did a great job playing Quarterback in an emergency role and rushed for 62 yards while backfield mate Ollie Claussen rushed for a team leading 81 yards and a touchdown. Along with Claussen and Kilzer, touchdowns were scored by Jordan Olagbaju, Dylan Lempe, Rylee Melcher, while Dylan Vokal found the endzone twice on the receiving end. As we enter the section championship, this group has done a great job all year as they currently are the highest scoring team in all of 6A, so hopefully we will keep it rolling.
Defensively, our starting group only played 8 total plays and in that time had two interceptions, one for a touchdown by Max Johnson, and a series where we tackled their punter on the 1 yard line. Sophomore Jacob Wrbanek led the team with seven tackles, while also adding a sack and an interception. Along with Wrbanek and Johnson, Jackson Powers collected his third interception of the year while Owen Smith had his first. This group continues to do a great job getting us great field position and being a formidable group for opponents to compete against. We always take great pride in our defense and these guys have done a great job all year allowing only about ten points per game. We need this group to keep controlling field position and putting our offense on short fields because it keeps momentum going throughout the game.
Our Special Teams did a nice job all night, but the moment of the night belonged to Junior, first-year, kicker Bode Skifstrom. Bode took advantage of the opportunity and made his first two career extra points that led to unbelievable joy from his teammates who knew the hard work he had put in to get to this point! It was a great moment!
Winning this allowed for our Seniors to experience what I consider their true Senior night next Friday as they know this game will be the final one they will play on the field where they have made such an impact. It truly is a bittersweet day. We take on a 7-2 Forest Lake club that has played great all year and will present a tremendous challenge for us to overcome. They are a dual threat team that can run the ball and throw it and they play good defense as well. We need a great week of preparation heading into this game because we want that final game on our home field to be a special one. This is a Friday night we need our fans there in abundance because this will be a moment to remember for not only our Senior players but the fans as well as it wraps up our home field season. It should be a blast! Two great teams going at it on a November night for a chance to compete in the state tournament! You can't beat that. It will be awesome! Let's get Step 2. Our time is now!