After losing its first game of the season to Centennial, Maple Grove returned to the right track with a dominant 48-15 victory over Champlin Park (0-5) on October 1. During the week, Crimson head coach Matt Lombardi kept telling his team the importance of playing physically, as the Cougars exploited them the week before.
Did they rise to the challenge against the rebels? “I felt we played physically in the first quarter and jumped right away,” said Lombardi. “We have come back to basics.
Before the Champlin Park fans could settle in to watch their team play on reunion night, the Crimsons roamed the field at their leisure. Senior running back Derrick Jameson recorded three first-quarter touchdowns of 2, 53 and 47 yards respectively, sandwiched with a four-yard touchdown from junior quarterback Jacob Kilzer.
By the end of the first quarter, it was already 28-0 in Maple Grove, and it only got bigger. In the first practice of the second quarter, Kilzer found junior running back Tanner Albeck for a 39-yard touchdown pass. Then, with less than four minutes to go before half-time, Kilzer ran for a touchdown again, this time for 54 yards. As the offense made its way onto the scoreboard, the Crimson defense kept the Rebels in check, allowing just one first-half touchdown en route to a 42-8 lead in intermission. .
“The defense came out and did a great job building momentum,” Lombardi said of the senior squad. “I think they had a chip on their shoulder after the Centennial game. As seniors I think they took that personally and got a lot out of this game. “
Two field goals in the third quarter for junior Connor Fournier were the last goals scored for Maple Grove and a late touchdown at Champlin Park was too little too late as the Crimson took a 48-15 victory, dropping to 4- 1. “It was good to come back to the winning column,” said Lombardi.
After visiting a homecoming game, the Crimsons are now looking forward to hosting their own homecoming contest against Wayzata (4-1) on Friday. Both teams can attest to their only loss of the season to a common enemy: Centennial, which means that both teams, who have championship aspirations, can little afford to give up a second game at this point in the season. season.
“These last three weeks are important in preparing for the playoffs,” said Lombardi. “We know Wayzata is going to play physical, but we have confidence in ourselves.”
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