Archive for October, 2010

The Andover Huskies (8-2) jumped out to a 17-0 first half lead and appeared on their way to an easy victory before a thrilling comeback by the Coon Rapids Cardinals (6-4).  Trailing 17-0 and unable to run the ball effectively Coon Rapids turned to the arm of quarterback Alex Aase (Jr) and he did not disappoint.  Behind a handful of Aase completions the Coon Rapids offense came to life marching down the field and into field goal range.  As the first half expired kicker Josh Hrab (Jr) split the uprights from 35 yards out making the score 17-3.  More importantly though it set the tone for what would become an exciting second half.

Building off the momentum of that final first half drive Coon Rapids forced an Andover punt and took over possession at midfield.  Facing a 3rd and long Aase rolled to his right and slinged a pass to Bill Holder (Sr) for 15 yards and a first down keeping the drive alive.  Running back Antonio Ford (Jr), who had been kept under wraps to this point, then sliced his way 12 yards to the Andover 26 yard line.  From there Aase would deliver his best throw of the game to wide receiver Tom Hansen (Sr) who had gotten behind the secondary.  Aase and Hansen had failed to connect long on a few previous occasions but this time Hansen laid out in the back of the endzone and came up with the catch for a touchdown pulling Coon Rapids to within a touchdown at 17-10.

Things would go from bad to worse on Andover’s next possession when quarterback Tyler Finnes (Sr), under pressure, rushed a pitch to the running back.  The ball skipped past free and Coon Rapids linebacker Jake Sederstrom (Sr) dove and recovered it for the Cardinals at the Andover 36 yard line.  The excitement was short-lived however as Coon Rapids gave the ball right back to Andover.  On their first play following the fumble recovery a botched handoff attempt from Aase to Ford resulted in a fumble and Andover recovered it.  The turnover put a halt to the momentum Coon Rapids had built up but it was only temporary.

With the ball on their own 43 yard line Tyler Finnes threw a laser to wide receiver Jake Wagner (Sr) who caught the ball in stride and turned up field.  Wagner raced down the sideline for 48 yards before being brought down at the Coon Rapids 9 yard line.  From there the Cardinal defense would stiffen forcing a field goal attempt from kicker Tyler McLaughlin (Jr).  McLaughlin, who had already kicked a 23 yard field goal on Andover’s first possession of the game, hooked this one to the left and missed from 27 yards out.

As the game moved into the 4th quarter neither offense was able to move the ball for the next few possessions as the defenses took control.  Facing a 4th and long from the Andover 45 yard line Coon Rapids lined up to punt in an effort to control field position.  As quarterback Alex Aase took the snap from center defensive lineman Tyler Hartmann (Jr) saw an open lane and went for it and was able to reach Aase and block the punt giving Andover the ball at the Coon Rapids 41 yard line.  But the Cardinals defense, as they had done the entire 2nd half, wouldn’t budge at all and forced them to punt.

Down 17-10 the Coon Rapids offense came to life again.  Aase hit Holder over the middle for 15 yards, then Ford saw a lane and sprinted through it for 21 yards and again for another 13 yards, finally Aase threw a quick slant to Sean Bush (Jr) who cut his way for 20 yards to the Andover 4 yard line.  Ford finished the drive leaping into the endzone from a yard out pulling Coon Rapids to within a point at 17-16.  The extra point would tie it and likely send the game into overtime considering how the defenses were playing but it was not meant to be.  Facing the wind Josh Hrab pushed the kick wide of the right upright and missed the extra point.

Coon Rapids got the ball back and were within striking distance after driving inside the Andover 30 yard line, but with less than 30 seconds to go Aase’s desperation pass was intercepted at the 1 yard line by defensive back Tyler Bridgeman (Jr) to seal the game.  For Coon Rapids quarterback Alex Aase finished the game 19-for-37 for 189 yards and a touchdown.  Running back Antonio Ford rushed 21 times for 124 yards and a touchdown.  For Andover quarterback Tyler Finnes finished the game 13-for-23 for 145 yards and a rushing touchdown.  Running back Camden Briggity (So) rushed 26 times for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Andover advances to the Section 7AAAAA Championship where they will face the top seeded, and unbeaten, Blaine Bengals next Friday at 7:00pm.


Highlight videos of the Coon Rapids vs Andover playoff game courtesy of Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube



Six takeaways allow Bengals to improve to 9-0
By Dallas Johnson

A well-rested Blaine team dominated on both sides of the ball Saturday as the Bengals remained undefeated with a 48-23 victory over visiting Forest Lake in the Section 7AAAAA semifinals.

“Our kids played well,” Blaine coach Shannon Gerrety said. “We had 10 days off, and you’re always a little worried about how that time off is going to affect you.”

The Bengals (9-0) had extra time off because they went into the sectional as the No. 1 seed and receiving a first-round bye. Time off didn’t seem to hurt them, however, as both the offense and defense overpowered Forest Lake (4-6).

Senior quarterback Eric Kline continued a stellar season for Blaine, completing 16 of 19 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 32 yards and a touchdown.

“Our offense was rolling,” said Kline, taken out midway through the third quarter. “The coaches gave us a great scheme, and the defense had a lot of big turnovers.”

Senior linebacker Chris Thomas led the Bengals’ defense, scooping up two Rangers fumbles in the first half and taking the first one 82 yards into the end zone. He added a diving interception early in the third quarter.

The Bengals forced six turnovers and held the Rangers’ offense out of the end zone until Dan Johnson scored on a 45-yard run with three minutes remaining.

Blaine, which won the Northwest Suburban Conference title for the second straight year, came out sluggish.

“We had a slow start,” Gerrety said, “but our kids came out well and I think we played really well as a football team.”

Blaine’s defense allowed the Rangers to control the ball for most of the first quarter, but allowed them only a field goal attempt.

The Bengals’ offense erupted for five touchdowns in the second quarter. Ben Pigorsch ran for two of them and finished the day with 106 yards on 19 carries.

The victory sets up a Section 7AAAAA final against second-seeded Andover on Friday at Blaine.

“We’re going to take 12 hours off and rest,” Gerrety said, “then tomorrow we’re going to get after it. . . . This team has been really focused all season and we’re just going to try and carry that on to the next level.”

Final scores from the Section 7AAAAA semifinals (home team in bold)…

– (2) Andover over (3) Coon Rapids, 17-16
– (1) Blaine over (5) Forest Lake, 48-23

This season we’ll have a weekly segment called “The Big One” where we feature a game with post-game articles and/or analysis including video from our friends at Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube.  Our next “Big One” of the 2010 season will be Coon Rapids @ Andover on Saturday, October 30th (1:00pm).

These two teams met just a few weeks ago in a game that was tied 7-7 in the 4th quarter before Coon Rapids scored two touchdowns to win it 21-7.  Andover (7-2) was a different team back then.  They were unbeaten at 5-0 but had just lost their starting running back the week before and really seemed to struggle finding an identity offensively that entire game.  Those struggles continued the following week at Blaine and they got whipped.  In their final regular season game of the season, against conference unbeaten Osseo, they appeared to find that identity.  Quarterback Tyler Finnes (Sr) would now shoulder the load of the running game in addition to the passing game.  Finnes rushed for 246 yards in a close 29-26 victory and added another 155 yards last week in a come from behind first round of the playoff victory last week against Anoka.

Coon Rapids (6-3) has been solid all season.  They don’t have the firepower to compete in high scoring contests but they’ve shown that they can win the ugly close ones.  Thanks to a much improved defense that is surrendering around 17 points a game and a heavy rushing attack, led by Antonio Ford (Jr), they have found themselves in every game with a chance to win in the 4th quarter – with the exception of the Blaine game.  That was the case back in week 6 of the regular season when unbeaten Andover visited Cardinals Stadium.  They kept the game close and found a way to win it in the 4th quarter.

Highlight videos of  the regular season Andover vs Coon Rapids game courtesy of Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube

It’s difficult to beat a team twice in one season and with home field advantage in this game Andover might be considered the favorite.  But Coon Rapids is playing with confidence.  A strong defense will do that for you and I suspect this game will be very similar to their previous meeting.  Has Andover found an offensive identity good enough to carry them to the Section 7AAAAA championship game?  Can Coon Rapids control the tempo of this game and pull off another late victory bringing them one win away from a trip to the State Tournament?  We’ll find out tomorrow.

Other A-B-C Playoff games this week:

* Forest Lake @ (2) Blaine


by Tom Yelle

Centennial handed Coon Rapids its final two defeats of 2009 in a seven-day period, but the record will show Coon Rapids handed Centennial its final defeat of 2010 – in the first round of 7AAAAA play.

Just enough offense was mustered by the Cardinals Oct. 26, but on this windy night just enough – 180 yards – was just fine.

Especially when it was complemented by another strong defensive effort and a huge defensive play early in the game when junior lineman Tanner Lowe tore the ball from the grasp of Centennial quarterback Austin Malinowski and ran 56 yards the other way for a game-opening touchdown.

A two-point conversion run by quarterback Alex Aase gave Coon Rapids an 8-0 lead, a lead Centennial cut to just two points later in the first quarter with a touchdown punt return. A missed extra point kept the score 8-6.

Coon Rapids boosted its lead to nine points,15-6, in the third quarter when Aase combined with Malcom Farley on a three-yard touchdown roll-out pass play and Josh Hrab kicked the extra point.

This touchdown and point after came in handy as Centennial scored its second touchdown shortly after. But similar to its first score, the extra-point kick was missed.

And similar to other games Coon Rapids has played at home this season, the defense stood firm to the finish in securing the win and a chance to play Andover Saturday, 1 p.m., in the 7AAAAA semifinal round.


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


by Jason Olson

Defensive stands, long offensive drives and field goals led No. 2 seed Andover to defeat No. 7 seed Anoka 16-13 Oct. 26 in the Section 7AAAAA opener.

Huskies senior quarterback Tyler Finnes scored the eventual game-winning touchdown with 1:18 remaining as he followed the offensive line for the final five yards on third down as how the Huskies offense worked for much of the game.

Finnes scored on the game’s opening drive, guiding Andover on a nine-play, 78-yard drive that spanned nearly four minutes and ended with Finnes scoring from six yards out for part of his 155-yard game on 29 carries.

Anoka (2-7) responded with the first of a couple long drives that ended with quarterback Ben Britton scoring the touchdown on a run from one yard out. The drive covered 80 yards, 14 plays over 6:16 in the second quarter to make it 7-7 deep into the second quarter.

The Tornadoes looked to take a huge shot at not only the psyche of Andover but its first lead after the Huskies (8-2) turned the ball over on its own five yard line after a bad snap on a punt.

Anoka tried to pound the ball in using its powerful line play so far, but fullback Josh Werness was stopped on second and third downs setting up kicker Josh Strueve’s first field goal attempt of the game. He converted the kick, despite the wicked cross wind, giving Anoka a 10-7 lead heading into halftime.

Werness was the key force for the Anoka offense, carrying the ball 20 times for 103 yards, without being rewarded for a touchdown.

Coming out of the break, Anoka once again started with the ball and didn’t want to give it up, literally as they drove 80 yards spanning more than 15 plays in 9:06.

Buerkle said the goal of what was said at halftime was to make sure they kept the Andover offense off the field as long as possible. They did exactly that, with one exception – coming away with a touchdown. Anoka had to settle for a second field goal by Strueve to take a 13-7 lead instead of 17-7 for the lone points for the third quarter.

Andover began its comeback with a strong defensive stand, which forced Anoka to punt as the snap on the punt sailed well over the punter’s head, through the end zone and out of the back of the end zone for a safety to make it 13-9 with 3:27 left in the game.

As a result of the safety, Anoka punted from its own 20 yard line. The kick, traveling into the wind, hit Anoka ‘s 40 yard line and simply stalled as it fell to the grass, giving the Huskies a very short field to work with.

Andover took advantage of the good bounce, setting up Finnes’ go-ahead score to earn another home game.

Coon Rapids , the No. 3 seed, comes to Andover Oct. 30 for the second round of sectional play. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Final scores from the Section 7AAAAA quarterfinals (home team in bold)…

– (2) Andover over (7) Anoka, 16-13
– (3) Coon Rapids over (6) Centennial, 15-12
– (5) Forest Lake over (4) St. Francis, 14-12