7 PM, December 2nd, at US Bank Stadium, the undefeated Crimson took the field against the undefeated Irish of Rosemount for a chance at their first state title in the 2022 Prep Bowl. The next 48 minutes will be talked about for years to come as the Crimson scored 21 points in a three minute stretch of the 2nd quarter and won a convincing 27-10 victory to finish on top of 6A football in Minnesota.
Defensively, we came in under the radar as most of the attention was on the defensive unit for Rosemount, but we came together and made a huge impact limiting their points and creating opportunities for our offense as well. Senior Tanner Albeck continued his unbelievable entry into linebacking with 14 total tackles and 2 tackles for loss, while Junior Henry Stang continued his unbelievable stretch in US Bank with 14 tackles of his own. Cayden Vokal had a great game with 10 tackles, and Jacob Anderson had 9 total tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an Interception. Ben Jameson was "Johnny on the Spot" as he recovered his 4th fumble of the year, and our entire Defense forced 3 turnovers that led to 14 points on the scoreboard. There is not a player that did not have a huge impact out there and watching Seniors like Cooper Schmidt, Max Johnson, Jackson Powers, Jett Uzzell, Alan Jou, and Max Draheim play will be something I will miss next year. They were awesome to watch and they finished their season on an absolute high note! They were unreal on their biggest stage!
Offensively, we went into a game against a team that averaged giving up only 6 points a game, and we scored 27 and honestly left ten to fourteen points off the board. It was a great effort by all, and we beat a team that took pride in its physicality by coming right at them with three drives in the 2nd half that were longer than 7 minutes long. Jordan Olagbaju got back to carrying the rock with more regularity this week gaining 77 hard yards on 15 carries while Tanner Albeck made the most of his carries with 23 yards on 4 carries and a TD. Senior Jacob Kilzer finished off his unreal Senior year with 7 - 11 passing for 130 yards and a TD, while rushing for 45 yards and 2 TDs. His numbers this year are staggering as he threw for over 1350 yards and rushed for over 1270 yards and was responsible for 33 total TDs. Jacob Anderson kept making an impact with 3 receptions for 68 yards and a TD and he added a carry of 16 yards to get us close to the goal line. However, the real stars of the game were up front. Seniors Hunter Gerber, Zeth Petrie, Andrew Dotzenrod, Gus Gruenig, and Max Draheim along with sophomore Nathan Hromadka created movement all night that allowed us to keep the chains moving. In the match-up the prognosticators thought would be an advantage for Rosemount, it became a huge advantage for us. This group was the heart and soul of our team, and they shined at US Bank. What an effort by this group!
On Special Teams, Ben Jameson kept kicking touchback after touchback and Connor Fournier kept making kicks when our Field Goal team executed. It was a total team effort!
The team of 2022 will live in infamy and will be the standard this program will refer to for years to come. A 13-0 state championship season is rare and is something that will be celebrated every time their banner is seen. I want to personally thank our coaching staff. Adam Spurrell did an unbelievable job as our Defensive Coordinator this year and does a ton of our football operations that allows me to really concentrate on the tactical end each week of our season. Solo, Trazzy, Marty, Fish, Boegel, Flomo, Beau, Sterling, Husby, and Detlaff create a group that absolutely loves these kids, and I cannot thank them enough for what they do! We are blessed with a great bunch of men leading these players! Our community is awesome! The amount of support we get from outlying businesses and sponsors makes a huge impact for our program, and the support within our school from administration allows us to push the envelope. Our parents and families are the absolute best! They want what is absolutely the peak for their kids and they are willing to take their own time to make it happen. The student body filling every stadium we go to makes a huge impact for our players and the support they feel for being Crimson is contagious. Last, but not least, is the alumni that created the foundation for these players. All those players that came before us that created the culture that is now Crimson football informed me that many of them teared up as the final horn sounded and we were State Champs. They poured their hearts into this team and they care deeply for your successes because they want it to be great. As a coach, I am truly blessed to have a football family where everyone involved from 2nd to 12th grade is willing to be there for each other. That is awesome. I am honored to be your coach and I cannot be prouder of a group of young men that had the belief, resilience, and love to achieve something that needed to be achieved. They were the ones meant to do it. They had tons of adversity this year with injuries and they never wavered. They handled it like selfless winners and were willing to sacrifice for each other. Now, on December 3rd, they are sitting in rooms with all of their teammates and they know that they are forever State Champs. The class of 2023 will always be known as the team of 2022. The first group that stood on the top of that podium, raised a banner, and allowed Maple Grove to know that is where we belong in all sports for the rest of time. This group of young men will forever be in my heart because they inspired me in so many ways, and they are a group of young men that I cannot wait to see be successes in everything they attempt because I know they will do it! GO CRIMSON! STATE CHAMPS 2022! YOUR TIME WAS NOW!