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Coaches Corner Week 10

By Coach Lombardi, 08/23/14, 3:15PM CDT

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Crimson are going to STATE

On Friday, Novermber 1st, it was a celebration for our football program and our seniors as they took the field in "The Grove" for the last time for the 2013 season against a great Minnetonka team that has a wonderful reputation in our sport.  In front of a rocking crowd, we took the field to try to achieve Step 2 and to get an opportunity to travel to TCF to play in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.  What resulted was a game that I think the people of Maple Grove will remember for a long time as we won a hard fought 14-9 game that truly went down to the final minute.  It was an awesome atmosphere, and it showed what I think is great about high school football as we got the opportunity to watch two groups of young men that poured their hearts into something and gave every ounce of what they had on that field.

Our offense did a nice job running the football against a defense with good size, speed up front, and was physical at the point of attack.   Clark Wieneke was able to rush for over 100 yards and Tahi Nomane was able to rush for over 80 as our offense was able to rush for over 200 yards throughout the game.  Sophomore Isaac Collins was able to score a big touchdown in the fourth from five yards out and Clark punched it in from the 2 yard line in the second quarter to give us a 7-0 lead.   I thought our offensive line did a great job of opening holes as they continue to be the heart and soul of our offense and Evan Pukal keeps competing at the quarterback position and doing what it takes to win.

Also, a big hero of the night was Jebah Doe.  Our punter did a great job keeping field position in our favor and he made a wonderful play on a bad snap where he got the punt off and saved about fifty yards for our team.  It is one of those unsung spots, but we would not have been able to make it to the next game if it wasn't for Jebah.

However, most people left the game talking about the defense.   They played well throughout the evening and they made a four and out stand at the end that will be remembered for a long time because it followed a turnover that put us in a bad spot.   Jake Engelken had another huge game with 16 tackles, and Isaac Collins and Adam Brant had 10 tackles and 9 tackles respectively.  Many other players had standout games, but it was the overall effort and resilience that made our defense fun to watch on Friday night.   Facing a quarterback that will be in the talks for All-Metro consideration, our defensive backs played superbly making it tough for him every throw he made.  I know though, as a unit, they want to play better next week, so I can't wait to see what lies ahead.

All in all, it was fun to see the enthusiasm throughout the night, and the field full of the kids truly showing what being a Crimson Family is about.  Getting Step 2 was a lot of fun because it puts us in the category of a state entrant, however, our goals are beyond this and we are simply happy to keep playing every week.   This week, on a Thursday night at 8 PM, we play a great Roseville team that beat their two opponents in the section by a combined score of 88 - 22.  They have a quarterback that has thrown for over 2000 yards, a strong running game, and have beaten some great teams like Cretin along the way.  It will be a fun night and another opportunity to play a great team to get to Step 4.   We hope to have everybody out there and supporting the boys, because it should be a blast as we enter onto the field at TCF.   The school is showing unbelievable support, a rally is planned for everyone to attend on Thursday at MGSH, and by seeing the crimson family on that field Friday night, its a great place to showcase how great Maple Grove truly is.   Let's keep it rollin!  Get Step 3 and Go Crimson!