On Wednesday night, in front of a great crowd heading into MEA weekend, we finished the season on a high note with a 34-7 win against a Champlin Park team that had won three of their last four games heading into our game. It was fun to watch the boys come in prepared on a short week and excel in all three facets of the game, offense, defense and special teams.
Defensively, we came out early and set a tone starting the game with two three and outs, an interception, and a blocked punt for a touchdown. They were able to give the offense great field position and put them in the best possible position to succeed. Again, Emmanuel Ehrich had a great game with the 3 sacks and 8 tackles, Jake Engelken had another double digit tackle game with eleven, and Zach Corbin was able to pull down his first interception of the year. Also, Blake Whitecotton had one of his best games at defensive line with 3 tackles for loss and eight tackles. Heading into the playoffs, this is the group that has to lead us and continually control the tempo of the game and keep the field position in our favor throughout. I look forward to seeing what they do during the playoffs because they are starting to play at the level I know they expect and it has to continue to rise during every game they have to follow.
Offensively, we did a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage and moving the ball on the ground. Clark Wieneke had another 100 yards rushing game with 114 yards on 11 carries with two TD's, Isaac Collins had a huge game with major yardage rushing, receiving, and in kick returns, and Tahi ran very hard in between the tackles this week. Our offensive line had another strong week and controlled the point of attack, and senior Evan Pukal did a nice job at quarterback in his second start with another touchdown run from five yards out.
Our Special Teams did a nice job all night as our kickoff team stopped them from any long returns, our kickoff return team had a 53 yards return, and our punt return team blocked a punt for a score, as Chris Fondakowski blocked the punt and senior outside linebacker Ryan Brochhausen scooped it up and poured it into the endzone. Also, Sophomore kicker Tyler Knutsen has done a great job kicking, as he made four out of five extra points and eleven out of twelve over the past two weeks.
As the regular season ended with an undefeated record, all that did was set the stage for the part of the season that truly is a blast, the playoffs. We are fortunate to land a #1 seed in our section and get a hard nosed Anoka team that gave us all we could handle in our first game we played against them this year. The game will be Next Friday night at 'the Grove' and we hope to have a packed stadium as we try to get Step 1 on the path that is the playoffs. It was so much fun to see the atmosphere that was in the stadium Wednesday night as there was singing, dancing, hi-jinks, the crimson family on the field together as the season closed, and enthusiasm throughout the night. It made all of us proud to be a Crimson and it represented a high school that is clearly on the rise. We need to see all of you out there during this playoff run because its a great time for the school to come together in a way that hopefully will bring a Crimson Pride throughout the community. GO CRIMSON! Let's get step one!