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Season Opener Recap

By Coach Lombardi, 08/24/15, 9:45AM CDT


Maple Grove faced Osseo in the season opener

Last Saturday we had the opportunity to open the season against a preseason top 5 opponent in Osseo in front of a capacity crowd and came up short in a hard fought 22-15 football game.  After a condensed fall camp and limited time to be physical, both teams poured their hearts out on the field and fought through the rustiness and provided an entertaining game for all to see.  Obviously we would have preferred to come out on top, but having an opener such as that after two weeks of practice will provide a great opportunity for us to learn and springboard us into the rest of the season.   It was very similar to our scrimmage a year ago after week two where Totino-Grace clearly came out on top, but it provided a great foundation for our kids to see themselves on film in a competitive environment and to know all that was necessary to be truly a good team week in and week out.

Offensively, we showed glimmers as we tried to increase the tempo of our offense, but we still have to be a much better ball club finishing drives and capitalizing on those opportunities when you have to get into the endzone.   Our running backs and quarterbacks ran hard all day and fought for every yard they could get.  Isaac Collins led our team with 78 yards on 21 carries and a TD,  Ryan Hanscome added 38 yards rushing and Brad Davison had 34 yards rushing and a touchdown.    Our passing game has to improve as opportunities were present, but we were not able to capitalize.    We finished 6 – 17 throwing for only 61 yards, so all facets of that game will have to improve and it will.   Our offensive line had moments where they showed great movement, but they too will improve on a daily basis and become a part of our team that needs to take over for us. 

Defensively was much of the same story.  There were moments that were exciting to watch and the effort was great throughout, but they too have to realize the importance they have on the entire landscape and momentum of a game.  However, there were performances of some new players that were major positives and I cannot wait to see what becomes of them as the year progresses.   Leroy Kwateh led the team with 12 total tackles and a tackle for loss, Isaac Collins had 10 total tackles and Peter Doyle and Zion Allen both had 9 total tackles and 5 combined tackles for losses.  Also, Will Ampe, Ryan Shea, Lukas Burrington, and Lasana Sesay all achieved over 10 performance points during Saturday’s game and will only get better week to week.

Our Special Teams had some new faces punting and kicking and for the most part did a nice job.   Teddy Raasch averaged 30 yards a punt and had a huge punt out of our own endzone that swung the momentum in the first quarter.   Eddie Lee made his extra point try, and Will Ampe had a couple nice returns with both punts and kickoffs. 

It always is said that the greatest improvement in a football season happens from week one to week two.  We have to make that the truest statement ever.  We play a very good Hopkins team that won handily in week one and has athleticism that resembles that of Osseo.   They are a team that will play fast and make you be alert every snap of the game because they have talent that can break a big one at any time.    Defensively, they have good athletes and they like to run and come at you in different ways.  Hopkins will be a fun opponent to play and a wonderful team to take on to open up our home football season.   The opening night at home for every season is one of my favorite moments of every year as our youth football players from MGYFA fill up the field and make that tunnel for our guys to run through.  It is a picture every year that represents what our Crimson Football family is about.  It is awesome!   I love this team. I cannot tell you how excited I am for every day we have to get better and compete against great teams on a weekly basis.  Many times the strongest teams at the end of every season face moments of adversity during the journey that are needed to find who they are what they are about.  We are at that point right now and it will be fun to see what is created during these upcoming weeks by each of our players.  We need the Grove rocking on Friday night and lets pack it as two good teams will battle it out to the end.   It should be a blast!  GO CRIMSON!