Playoff football. Hard to believe we are here already, but the Crimson took the field Friday night at 'The Grove' under blustery conditions and beat a hard nosed Park of Cottage Grove team 53-21. There is always a unique excitement in the locker room around entering the playoffs, and we handled the highs and lows during the game well and found a way to take control of the game in the 2nd quarter.
Defensively, we faced adversity early as we turned the ball over on. the first possession and did not execute in the kicking game on two consecutive kicks that put our defense on short fields throughout the first half. They responded well and did not allow Park to get any momentum allowing the rest of team time to recover from our mistakes. That's what a good defense does. Senior Henry Stang continued his great Senior Season with 8 total tackles, and sophomore Beaux Thyen added seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Next week, this side of the ball will face a great challenge as they face an opponent that can both run and throw the ball, so it will be a fun week to keep getting better!
Offensively, we faced our first full week without tailback Chuck Langama, so many people had to take part. Our offensive line did a great job of driving the line of scrimmage forward and giving the backs an opportunity to flourish. Sophomore Ryder Skanson did a great job from the fullback position running for 103 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns, while junior Dylan Vokal added 120 yards on 9 carries with a touchdown of his own. Sophomore Kaden Harney did a great job running the team completing 67% of his passes, throwing a touchdown to junior Nathan Hromadka, while rushing for two more touchdowns on the evening himself. This group will continue to get better and I look forward to their development heading into the Edina game.
Our Special Teams continued to make big plays. Junior Jack Weigel blocked a punt for the 2nd consecutive game which led to Senior Cedric Buchholz landing a touchdown on the fumble recovery. However, the big moment happened in the fourth quarter as Senior Ella Walz made a field goal scoring the first Varsity points ever scored in a football game by a female Crimson. She started from scratch this year and wanted to come out and be a part of the team and she has worked extremely hard, so it was great to see her hit her field goal with great height, distance and confidence when called upon. It was an awesome moment!
Next week we get the privilege to take our home field for the final time for the season and there is no better place to play for our boys. They have earned the right to get a home game against a very good Edina team who is coming into the game with a five game winning streak and one that will be a lot of fun to play against because they play well on each side of the ball. It will take a great week of preparation on our part but we will be ready and our Senior Class will get a chance to finish their last game on their home field the way they want it to be finished. It's an awesome opportunity to get step 2 and to get the chance to head into the State tournament. Let's go!!!! Nothing like it! Let's get after the Hornets and make it a special Friday night!