Last Friday night, we finished the opportunity of playing, in back to back games on the road, nine of the previous ten state champions in the largest class of Minnesota football. Obviously, last week we took on a great Eden Prairie team, and this week we took on an undefeated Wayzata team and came out on top 24 – 6 in a fun environment and a little bit of rain. As this schedule continues, it truly is awesome to face week in and week out some of the best teams the state has to offer, and I truly feel we are improving as a team because of it.
Offensively, we came out and set a great tone to the game with an 8 minute drive that ended in a touchdown by Brad Davison, but after that, we were challenged by Wayzata’s great defensive front and we had to slowly find opportunities to get points on the board. Once again, Isaac Collins and Ryan Hanscome gained 101 and 54 yards respectively rushing, and Brad added 38 yards with some tough runs inside that kept moving the chain. Sam Ross did a nice job at fullback blocking and scoring a touchdown from inside the five yard line, and Teddy Raasch had four big catches for 61 yards and a game changing touchdown at the end of the first half. We capitalized on some good drives that used the clock, but there were opportunities out there we did not take advantage of and it is an area we need to improve upon as the year progresses.
However, this game belonged to the defense. They controlled the game from the outset and did a phenomenal job getting off the field when Wayzata was put on the field in prime positions to succeed. Forcing four turnovers and numerous tackles for loss, the defense attacked from the outset and displayed the attitude a great defense should represent. Coach Adam Spurrell and his staff did a great job preparing the boys to play fast, play with confidence, and dying to make a play. It was fun to watch. Lukas Burrington and Joe Wallick both had interceptions at the corner position, Grant Hemze led the team with six tackles and Tyler Little, Tony Joksimovic, Kayode Awosika, and Lasana Sesay created havoc up front. I truly think this is a beginning point for our defense, and hopefully now they will keep getting better week in and week out and become a dominant defense that truly will make a huge difference come playoff time.
Our Special Teams is still an area that needs major work. Obviously our punt team needs to be addressed after three of our punts either were blocked or not able to get underway, and all aspects need to be of a championship caliber. Tyler Knutsen once again made a 37-yard field goal, and I am proud he was able to overcome an earlier miss and go out there and confidently put it through. He will be a huge asset for us as the year goes on. Also, our kickoff team did a much better job covering kicks this week and put them on long field all night. However, for two consecutive weeks, against good opponents, our special team has been exposed and we have to learn from that as coaches and players.
All in all though, that was a great win against a very good opponent that knows how to win and was rated #3 in the state at the time. Now, we need to learn how to be a great team for 48 minutes and to truly be great in all aspects on a single Friday night. We have moments we are great in offense, defense and special team but we have yet to do it in all phases in a single game. That is what is so exciting about this year. The process of what we are becoming is a ton of fun, and it truly is a work in progress every day we take the practice field. Next week, we play another program that is great year in and year out in Minnetonka. With a coaching staff that is respected throughout the state as one of the best around, we need to be better than we were this week to have a great game on Friday night. Also, this week is homecoming. It’s a great week that brings the school and its community together and it always is full of excitement. However, we know this week is truly about the alumni and all of those doing great things out there that represent what being a Crimson is about with pride every day of their lives. We know that hopefully a ton of those alumni will be packing ‘The Grove’ on Friday night along side our current students, and it is our job as a football team to prepare for this game in a way that we are ready to make them proud as they watch us against Minnetonka. This is another huge week for us. Let’s pack the place on Homecoming and get it rocking with music, fun, enthusiasm and good football! GO CRIMSON! See you next week!