Sophomore District Champions! Awesome group of young men who compete for each other! Great night to be a Mustang! pic.twitter.com/A2XaX6y59L
— Mounds View Football (@MoundsviewFB) October 18, 2017
Quarterback Joey Faulds ran for three touchdowns and threw another in the Rebels’ win.
Champlin Park quarterback Joey Faulds leaps into the end zone for the Rebels’ second touchdown in the first quarter. Faulds ran for three TDs and threw a fourth in the Rebels’ 28-0 win over Mounds View on Friday. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine
Playoff high school football in Minnesota often means dealing with unpredictable weather — that might mean rain, wind, or snow. Friday, it was the latter two, and the Rebels handled it better than the Mustangs.
Champlin Park left Mounds View with a 28-0 win in the first round of the Class 6A state football tournament. It was a game that featured nine combined turnovers, seven by the Mustangs alone. It was also a matchup the Rebels felt could have been even more lopsided, and one where they had to make plenty of adjustments due to the weather.
Rebel quarterback Joey Faulds ran for three touchdowns, including two in the first eight minutes of the game. The game plan changed for Champlin Park (5-4) when it became apparent the slick conditions were going to make passing and even just snapping the ball an issue.
“When we threw that one pick, I was like, ‘OK, now we’re just going to try to run, run, run.’ Then we fumbled the ball too, just like they did,” Rebels coach Mike Korton said. “They fumbled the ball how many times? It was a fumble fest out here. The ball was slick, you just know that’s going to happen. We tried to keep it simple.”
The Rebels ran the ball 51 times versus five passes. Faulds threw a 24-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play, the only completion of the game by either team. He also had an interception and a fumble lost in the second quarter.
“The kid just plays with heart, though,” Korton said. “He just plays hard all the time. You can’t fault him for that.”
Although Mounds View (3-6) lost five fumbles and threw two interceptions, the Mustang defense held a few times and was helped out by some Champlin Park mistakes, including a bad snap on a field goal attempt near the end of the first half.
Champlin Park had plenty of ups and downs in the run game, thanks to a Mounds View defense that knew what was coming.
“They just decided they were going to come after us, and come down the line and come and pinch us,” Korton said. “And you know what? That was a good plan. You can’t put your foot in to throw it.”
The Rebels capitalized on more mistakes than the Mustangs, but Korton still would have liked more points on the board off turnovers.
“But then later on, we had how many other opportunities and we just didn’t do it,” he said. “We got down inside the 10 two different times and we come away with zero points.”
The Rebels had to adapt to the conditions and flow of the game, and there will be a much smaller margin for error with a matchup against top-ranked Eden Prairie next week in the round of 16. The Rebels lost to the Eagles in the state semifinals a year ago.
Junior running back Trevor Redmond (23) runs the ball upfield and is caught by a Champlin Park defender late in the fourth quarter. Redmond led the Mustangs in rushing yards during the regular season. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine
It wasn’t a pretty night for anything, let alone football. But winning a playoff game helped make dealing with the cold and snow worth it for the Rebels. Champlin Park, the No. 5 seed in Section 5, went on the road and won 28-0 over Mounds View, the No. 4 seed in Section 4, Friday to open the Class 6A state tournament.
The wet, cold conditions led to nine turnovers between the teams, including six in the first half. Mounds View lost four fumbles in the first half, and finished with five lost and two interceptions. The Rebels lost a fumble and threw an interception.
Champlin Park quarterback Joey Faulds scored three rushing touchdowns in the game and threw for another to Trey Carlson in the fourth quarter. Faulds ran for 121 yards.
The Rebels scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, both on runs by Faulds, leading to a 14-0 halftime lead.
Louis Powell and Kiernan Lundgren had interceptions for Champlin Park (5-4).
Matt Meloch had an interception on defense for the Mustangs. Mounds View did not complete a pass in the game. Alex Relling ran for 18 yards and Trevor Redmond ran for 29.
Champlin Park advances to face the No. 1 seed from Section 6, Eden Prairie, in the next round of the state tournament. Mounds View finished its season 3-6.
Cretin-Derham Hall will be an underdog when welcoming reigning Class 6A state champion Totino-Grace for the season opener on Thursday. Photo by Rick Orndorf, SportsEngine
The start of high school football is upon Minnesota. The first night under the lights often features some nerves, as well as some curiosity from fans who wonder how their favorite team will look this season.
Cretin-Derham Hall gets an opportunity to prove itself — and possibly provide some confidence for its fans — in the season opener as it hosts perennial powerhouse and reigning Class 6A state champion Totino-Grace at the University of St. Thomas.
While the Eagles have won three titles and placed second in the state tournament since the start of their impressive run in 2010, the once-dominant Raiders haven’t challenged for a state title since winning it all in 2009. Cretin-Derham Hall, however, has maintained its regular-season success, recording seven or more victories each year.
This matchup between a team determined to pull off an upset and rekindle its past postseason glory with a win against a perennial house is worthy of being our first Top Game of the Week this season.
Totino-Grace vs. Cretin-Derham Hall
7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31
Besides featuring teams with plenty of championship pedigree, Thursday’s contest offers an interesting match on the sidelines, as last season’s coaches association Coach of the Year Jeff Ferguson and Totino-Grace face a Cretin-Derham Hall team led by former NFL quarterback Brooks Bollinger.
The Eagles graduated 23 seniors last season, but Ferguson has been through this drill and always come back strong. Totino-Grace looks to Sam Hanson to step up in the backfield following a junior season in which he rushed for 423 yards and four touchdowns as a backup.
Bollinger’s Raiders have had to replace several players as well. The top returner in the backfield is senior Terrance Nash, who ran for 455 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago.
The Raptors earned a 21-7 victory despite the absence of Dominik London, who left the game in the first quarter with an injury.
It took five years and 42 games, but Forest Lake is back in the win column.
The Rangers snapped a 41-game losing streak that dated back to Week 5 of the 2011 season with a 20-14 home win over White Bear Lake on Friday night.
Forest Lake coach Jeff Wilson called the victory “a huge step” for the program.
Wilson called the losing streak “a big monkey on our back.” Kids drifted away from football as the losses piled up for the program in recent years, making any attempt at a rebuild a challenge.
Forest Lake’s best shot at a win looked to be next year, when the Rangers move to a subdistrict filled with smaller schools.
Still, there was hope this year. While Forest Lake isn’t big in size, there are some talented athletes, particularly on defense.
“We have a real solid core of seniors that have worked really hard,” Wilson said in a phone interview. “We believe in their skills.”
There have been plenty of weeks in recent years where Wilson has heard people say ‘I’ve got a feeling,’ the streak would end that Friday. But he said this week felt different. Practice was good. This chance could be real.
It showed early, as Forest Lake (1-1) jumped out to a 14-0 lead. But White Bear Lake (0-2) rallied to tie it in the third. That’s when the doubts crept back. Would this be another near miss?
“Regardless of what anyone wants to say,” Wilson said, “your mind wants to travel back to ‘This can’t happen again.’”
It didn’t, as Forest Lake regained the lead late in the third and held on for that elusive first victory in forever.
Wilson wouldn’t believe the Rangers had won it until the final whistle. When that came, the students stormed the field.
“Their motto this year was ‘Finish the fight,’” Wilson said of his players, “and that’s what they did.”
East Ridge 24, Mounds View 14: Raptors senior running back Dominik London, a Gophers commit, ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns on 41 carries to lead East Ridge (1-1) past Mounds View (1-1).
Lakeville North 42, Eagan 7: Panthers running back Wade Sullivan ran for six touchdowns on Friday night — all in the first half. His longest scoring strike came from 68 yards out as Lakeville North cruised to 2-0.
South St. Paul 29, Park 26: Sam Rohrer was the hero for the Packers (2-0) on Friday night, as he kicked the game-winning 32-yard field goal in the closing seconds to push South St. Paul past Park (1-1). Packers senior quarterback Ryan Duffy accounted for four touchdowns, three of which came on the ground.