With less than 2 minutes remaining Coon Rapids had the ball inside Champlin Park’s 40 yard line and appeared to be on their way to a victory and an improbable 4-0 start to begin the 2010 season.  They failed to get a final first down that would have sealed the game, failed to make a field goal that would have sealed the game, failed to stop the Rebels offense on a couple of 4th down plays that would have sealed the game, then failed to keep them out of the endzone which sent the game into overtime.  With 20 seconds remaining wide receiver Paris Woods (Jr) slid inside a Coon Rapids defender and pulled the pass down from quarterback Nick Frohreich (Jr) tying the game at 14-14.  Two overtimes later Champlin Park running back Michael Sales (So) plunged into the endzone converting a two-point conversion to win the game 29-28.

It took Champlin Park a half to realize they were playing another game after the emotionally draining loss the previous week to the Blaine Bengals.  By that point the Coon Rapids Cardinals were poised for the upset and were starting to control the game.  After a scoreless first half Coon Rapids succeeded on a second half kickoff gamble when Tom Hanson (Sr) recovered a pooch kick giving them the ball deep in Champlin Park territory.  A few plays later quarterback Alex Aase (Jr) fired a laser to Sean Bush (Jr) who dragged a Champlin Park defender into the endzone for the first score of the game.  The lead was short lived as the Rebels responded with a touchdown drive of their own tying the game at 7-7.  The Cardinals made it clear on their next possession that they planned on being in this game to the finish with their best drive of the game to reclaim the lead 14-7 on a short Antonio Ford (Jr) touchdown run.

The story for Coon Rapids this season hasn’t been their offense it has been their defense.  In their first three games of the season they hadn’t given up a single point in the second half to any opponent.  The defense was why they were 3-0 and a big reason they were on the verge of an improbable fourth straight victory to start the season.  Against Champlin Park the Cardinals defense, which had employed a “bend but don’t break” approach to perfection all game long, would be called upon for one more stop.  Soft coverage and an inability to contain Champlin Park’s primary offensive weapon (Sales) opened the door for an epic 2-minute drive.  In less than 2 minutes, without a single timeout remaining, the Champlin Park Rebels raced down the field on the passive Coon Rapids defense sending the game into overtime where they broke the Cardinals’ hearts and stole a victory from their grasp.

Coon Rapids (3-1) will have to find a way to pick themselves up quickly as they travel to Blaine next week to face the unbeaten Bengals (4-0) on their homecoming.  Champlin Park (3-1) has to recover from a second straight emotional game as they hit the road to face the unbeaten Andover Huskies (4-0).

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Highlight videos of the Coon Rapids vs Champlin Park game courtesy of Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube

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