The Huskies were unbeaten but hadn’t faced a strong foe. That’s not an issue anymore after whipping the Rebels.

By DAVID La VAQUE, Star Tribune

Andover’s football players have heard their 4-0 start this season was suspect because it lacked a decisive victory against a solid opponent.

The No. 7 Huskies prepared all week for Champlin Park by reminding themselves of those doubts and got the last word with a 28-0 victory on Friday.

“I think we made a statement,” quarterback Tyler Finnes said.

The statement was two-fold. Andover coach Rich Wilkie said before the season that this team must run the ball often and effectively. The Huskies (5-0) did that Friday, running for all four touchdowns and 214 yards. Logan Quinn picked up 75 of those yards on his first-quarter touchdown dash.

Finnes sparked the Huskies’ opening drive with a 15-yard run that caught a few Champlin Park (3-2) defenders flat-footed. He later ran for a 3-yard score.

Champlin Park sophomore running back Michael Sales carried on Champlin Park’s first five plays for 26 yards on the ensuing drive, and the game of one-upmanship between two of the metro area’s top playmakers, Sales and Finnes, seemed to be on. But the Rebels’ first drive ended when they turned it over on downs.

An option reverse sprang Quinn for that 75-yard touchdown on the first play of Andover’s next possession and the Huskies led 14-0.

Quinn and Connor Scott ran for a combined 108 yards and helped to overcome the loss of Cole Westerlund — who was helped off the field in the second quarter unable to put weight on his left leg. He did not return.

“Losing Cole was a big downer,” Finnes said. “But our guys stepped up. Our strength is our running game, and we showed that tonight.”

Champlin Park’s running game sagged because coach Mike Korton said Sales “got tweaked” in the first half and was unable to be much of a factor. Sales had posted four consecutive 100-yard games but finished with eight carries for 35 yards. He had an ice pack around his left knee after the game.

With Sales limited, the Rebels offense struggled. Quarterback Nick Frohreich completed just four of 13 passes for 16 yards.

“We had issues everywhere,” Korton said. “We’re a young group, but I thought we had worked through a lot of these things. Obviously we have more work to do.”

Finnes completed only five of 16 passes for 66 yards but connected with Jake Wagner for 33 yards to convert a third-and-24 and set up Finnes’ 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.


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