It wasn’t pretty but the Osseo Orioles passed a gut-check when they rallied from a 13-0 deficit to defeat host Maple Grove 26-20 in a Northwest Suburban Conference football game played in front of 6,700 fans Sept. 7.
Both teams committed numerous mistakes but the Orioles buckled down in the second half and improved to 2-0 for the season. The Crimson fell to 1-1.
“The boys made lots of mistakes,” Osseo coach Derrin Lamker said. “It’s an Osseo-Maple Grove game and that happens sometimes. We fell behind 13-0 in front of 6,700 fans and came back to win the game. That showed a lot of guts for our program.”
The Crimson got off to a great start when Brycen Wojta intercepted an Osseo pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter. He kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Wojta scored again in the quarter, this time as a receiver when he received a 35-yard touchdown pass from Blake Skaja to give MG a 13-0 lead.
Wojta needed to have a big night because fellow senior receiver Jake Wieneke was injured earlier in the week and could not play.
“Brycen had to step up because we were without the other big receiver,” Maple Grove head coach Matt Lombardi said. “He played well. He also ran the ball and played corner for us. We got off to a good start and had a long punt return called back after we went up 13-0. That kind of stemmed our momentum.”
The Orioles got back into the game in the second quarter. Troy Kray scored on a four-yard run to make it 13-7, and the defense tied the game up when linebacker Tony Gamache intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-13.
Maple Grove went back ahead when fullback Jack Wallick broke loose for a 39-yard touchdown run late in the half to give his team a 20-13 halftime lead.
Osseo’s defense came up big in the second half to shut out Maple Grove, while the offense powered for two scores.
Jaimen Hampton bulled his way for a 3-yard touchdown run to tie the game 20-20 in the third quarter. and Kray scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 39-yard scamper.
“Troy played fabulous on defense with 11 tackles, returned kicks and scored twice on offense,” Lamker said.
The Crimson defense managed to keep Osseo running back Bridgeport Tusler out of the end zone, but Tusler still managed to gain over 100 yards rushing and set up the Osseo scores.
The presence of power backs such as Tusler and Hampton allowed Osseo to control the ball in the second half and take over.
“I have to give Osseo credit,” Lombardi said. “We got off to a good start but they hung in there. In the second half they wore us down. We are really young and we made lots of mistakes. On offense, it was always first and 20 or first and 25 and we were constantly behind the eight-ball. But it’s good that the kids were put into these situations early in the season so later on the season they will know what do to.”
Lamker was pleased his squad gutted out a tough win but knows the Orioles need to play much better to compete with Blaine this week.
“We did not play well at all offensively with a couple interceptions and lots of penalties,” Lamker said. “But our defense played better in the second half we were able to make a couple plays to win.”
Osseo gets Blaine next in a home game that begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. Maple Grove travels to Elk River that same night.
- Bob San
Cooper puts up 60
It is only two games into the high school football season, but the Cooper Hawks have already eclipsed the 100-point mark for the year.
A week after scoring 42 in a wild loss at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Cooper put up 60 in a more comfortable looking road trip to North Branch.
The Hawks won 60-28 Sept. 7 behind a rushing attack that amassed 419 total yards on the ground.
Billy Kellogg was responsible for 205 of that total. He also ran for a touchdown in each quarter in helping get Cooper back to .500 on the year.
Kellogg started the scoring with a 15-yard run in the first. He added a 37-yard scoring run in the second, a 20-yard touchdown in the third and then a short, 1-yard plunge in the fourth.
Briceon Scott-Burch, Ashanti Payne, Robert Lee Tolbert and LeRoy Taylor also scored touchdowns in the Cooper victory.
The Hawks will play their first home game of the season this week, as they host Chisago Lakes (2-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.
Armstrong crushed again
The Armstrong high school football season has gotten of to an ominous start as back-to-back blowout losses have greeted the Falcons in 2012.
A week after losing to Maple Grove 54-28, Armstrong traveled to Blaine Sept. 7 and was throttled 41-7.
Konnor Goettsche accounted for the Falcons lone touchdown of the game after catching a 76-yard score in the fourth quarter. But by then, the Falcons already trailed 41-0.
Life isn’t expected to get much easier for Armstrong this week. The Falcons do return home, but the visitor will be second-ranked Wayzata.
The Trojans are off to a 2-0 start after beating Bloomington Jefferson and Eastview.
Kick-off Friday, Sept. 14 will be 7 p.m.
Pirates in the win column
For the first time in almost two full years Park Center has won a football game.
The Pirates beat St. Francis 21-6 Sept. 7, evening their record at 1-1 with a win that was the team’s first since a 35-28 victory over Centennial on Oct. 1 of 2010.
This win came in a little bit different fashion, as Park Center spotted St. Francis and second quarter touchdown before slamming the door defensively the rest of the way before the offense took over in the fourth.
Jake Tanner hit Joe Davis for a 32-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Park Center a 7-6 advantage at the break. Then in the fourth, Tanner found Davis again, as the two connected on a five-yard touchdown pass that made it a 13-6 ball game.
Antoine Scott then iced it with a 76-yard touchdown run later in the quarter, finishing off the 21-6 victory.
Tanner threw for 148 yards, and Scott posted an identical number on the ground.
Park Center will try for its second win of the year this week with a trip to Champlin Park. The Rebels are 0-2 after losses to Eden Prairie and Hopkins.
Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.
BC falls to Breck
Brooklyn Center fell to 0-2 on the year after losing at Breck 30-7 Sept. 7.
Running back Tyrone Carter scored the Centaurs lone touchdown in the loss with a two-year run.
Brooklyn Center will make its 2012 home debut this week. The Centaurs host St. Paul Academy/Mounds Park Academy at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.