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Crimson Jump to an Early Start in Opening Day Victory

By Coach Lombardi, 09/01/23, 10:15PM CDT


It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!  Opening day at Crimson Stadium in front of the best fans in the state against an Osseo team that played at a higher defensive speed than they have in years was truly awesome last Thursday night.  It was a blast to see so many players on Thursday starting their first ever Varsity game and all the excitement, nerves, and anticipation that goes with that.  On a team that had only 3 starters back from our memorable 2022 season, a group of young men took the field and set the tone early during the first half en route to their opening 35-0 victory.

Offensively, there were highs, lows, penalties, mistakes, but always great effort and resilience.   With five brand new lineman, a brand new backfield, and only two Senior starters, they found a way to nearly 400 total yards of offense  while reaching the end zone five times.   Sophomore Kaden Harney had a great first game as a quarterback completing 13 of his 18 passes for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also rushing for his first career touchdown.   Chuck Langama also had a dominant opening game as a running back rushing for 108 yards on his 16 carries with a score, while adding 115 yards receiving on five catches where he reached the end zone an additional 3 times.   Junior captain Dylan Vokal added 7 receptions for 104 yards while making a truly spectacular one hand catch on a deep post in the first quarter.   It was a game where we capitalized on opportunities while still having a ton to learn from.   This group will only get better week in and week out, and it should be a blast to watch.

Defensively we controlled the game from the outset as this group with only 1 returning starter only allowed two first downs the entire game.   A group that played with confidence, played fast, and did a great job reading their keys hopefully laid the groundwork for what has the opportunity to be a special season defensively.  Sophomore Beaux Thyen led the team with 10 total tackles from his Outside Linebacker spot and Senior Captain Cedric Buchholz added 9 total tackles with a sack.  Juniors Jacob Wrbanek and Bo Draheim added 8 and 7 tackles respectively from linebacker, while Henry Stang and Jack Weigel each added 6 tackles apiece from the secondary.  Hopefully this group will buy into the preparation it takes to be a great defense because, even with their inexperience, they have the opportunity to be big time difference makers.  I always love when the defense has the opportunity to control the game, and this group has a shot!

Our special teams did a nice job all night as Henry Sievers made all 5 of his extra points, kicked a couple touchbacks on kickoffs, punted for over a 30 yard average, and executed a great pooch kick that led to a turnover.   Dylan Vokal always does a great job as a returner, so special teams should be an area where this time takes pride in it.   It's an unsung part of the game that makes a huge difference, so it is an area where we need to excel.

Next week we hope to improve a great amount as we head into a talented Champlin Park squad at their place.  They have a returning running back with great speed and many players on their defense from the year before.   It should be a great game.   We ask every student and Crimson fan out there to take over this Friday night and pack Champlin's stadium.  We have to set the tone on what it means to be Crimson from the get-go.  There is nothing like walking into someone else's stadium and feel the presence of a packed house created by your fans.  Its what makes Friday nights truly special.  Let's rock it and keep it rolling in week two!