The question that rang throughout was, "How would we bounce back after a tough outcome last week against a top ranked opponent with experience like Centennial?" The answer was a game full of highs and lows with momentum changes series by series that ended in a Crimson victory over a very good Centennial squad, 41-28. A Thursday night game, with a packed student section dressed in Pink, creating an atmosphere like no other in the state!
Defensively, we came out extremely strong and got three stops against a very good offense immediately, but we struggled late keeping them out of the end zone. There were moments we did great things, but Centennial is a team that requires you to be mentally tough play in and play out, and they exposed some areas where we need, and will, get better. A team blessed with a lot of youth, we are learning lessons week in and week out at all that it takes to be a great defense. It's fun to see them learning these things, but it does involve some growing pains along the way. Junior Dylan Vokal led the way on the night with 12 total tackles, where Jacob Wrbanek added 10 to the tilt. This is a group that needs to keep improving and they will because they are learning such vital things on a weekly basis.
Offensively, we were able to put 41 points on the board against a very reputable opponent, so I was proud of the progress that was made this week. Starting with an offensive line that is entirely new from last year, it was exciting to see us run for over 300 yards on Thursday night. Michael Wagner, Carson Lund, Rylan Bahl, Mason Brean and Matthew Perusse did a great job moving people up front and Nathan Hromadka and Bo Draheim did a great job blocking from the tight end position. Also, Chuck Langama did a great job leading from the running back position rushing for 234 yards on 33 carries and scoring 4 TDs. Senior Henry Stang introduced himself to the backfield scoring from 40 yards out and Kaden Harney deliver another TD pass. This group is in the process of figuring themselves out and the identity that we are going to grow with, but I have been proud of their way to keep improving and finding the end zone. By week 8, this team could be a force and its a blast to watch them develop.
Our special teams made a huge play on kickoff as we recovered a squib kick deep in Centennials territory, and I am excited about Henry Sievers and his development as a kicker. As a Junior he is going to grow a ton but he has made all but one of his extra points this year and his only field goal. That will pay dividends down the road.
It was awesome getting a chance to compete against a great team at the Grove last week, deal with the feeling of losing a 20 point lead and bouncing back and finding a way in the fourth quarter. Next week, we play one of the pleasant surprises of this season. A very good Anoka team who is currently 3 - 0 and has great momentum coming into our game. They have a very fun stadium to play at, and you know it will be rocking because of the season they are currently having. Therefore, it's time to represent as Crimson and go in there and show what we are about from the fans all the way to the players. Let's fill up the Pumpkin Bowl and turn it Crimson! Can't wait for a fun Friday night against a team that will bring great challenges, but I am excited to be a young team into their place that just keeps getting better every second. It's going to be a blast! Let's go!!!