On a Beautiful Friday Night with a sunset unmatched (see picture taken by Rich Moll), the Crimson finished their home field season with a 54-21 victory over an upstart and talented Forest Lake football team. Watching this Senior class get a chance to run through that tunnel one more time and finish their careers at The Grove right was very fulfilling as a coach because this group deserved every second of what was last Friday Night.
Offensively, we came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, had a brief lull for a couple of series, and then finished with a flourish. We were able to mix the run and the pass and keep their defense on their heels as our offensive line kept the line of scrimmage moving forward throughout. Charlie Rausch led a three headed rushing attack with 88 yards on 11 carries and a TD while Jordan Olagbaju continued his great year with 65 yards on 10 carries. Senior quarterback Jacob Kilzer added 58 yards rushing on his 12 carries and added 3 more touchdowns, while going 10 - 14 for 161 yards and a TD through the air. Senior Jacob Anderson made a huge impact Friday night on both sides of the ball with 110 yards receiving and a TD on offense, and a fumble return TD and an interception on Defense. What a game it was for Jacob, and it's easy to see the impact he brings to our football team each week!
Defensively, we had a rough first series, but then responded with a game changing Second and Third quarter which allowed the game to break open. Putting two defensive scores on the board and three consecutive three and outs allowed the team a chance to break open a close game and I am very proud of this group and their coaches. Tanner Albeck led the team with 6 total tackles and a blocked punt that led to a touchdown as Senior Mason Beyer scooped it up and took it to the endzone. As stated earlier, Jacob Anderson had two huge plays with a touchdown strip of a ball carrier and an Interception that led to a late field goal. This group will continue to get better week by week and it's fun to watch them grow into a defense that makes a huge impact!
For those who look past Special Teams, Friday was an example of why we take great pride in this facet of the game. Connor Fournier continued his great Senior year with a night to remember. He was 6 for 6 on extra points, 2 - 2 on field goals with a 47 and a 43 yard kick, and made kickoffs that allowed our offense two free possessions because of his placement. On top of that, add the blocked punt that directly led to a touchdown and you realized the importance this group had on Friday night. Let[s keep this rolling, it definitely could be the difference between moving on and going home.
This win gives us the opportunity to enter into the State tournament and it truly is the best time of year. Next Friday night at Chanhassen, we will take on a very talented and well-coached East Ridge team that beat Prior Lake 28-27 in a hard fought game last Friday night. They are the leading air attack in 6A football right now, and they will present a great challenge for us to prepare for this week. We need all of Maple Grove at Chanhassen Friday night making noise and getting it going on a cold, blustery November night because it is what Minnesota State football is about! Let's go out and get Step 3! Cannot wait for another week to prepare with these boys because there is nothing better than that! GO CRIMSON! LET'S GO!!!