Maple Grove moved within at least a share of the Northwest Suburban Conference North Division title after a 49-14 win against Coon Rapids Oct. 11.
The loss dropped the Cardinals to 2-5 overall, 1-3 in the conference, ahead of the regular season finale against Centennial Oct. 16.
Maple Grove led 42-0 at the half after some opportunistic scores.
Coon Rapids’ defense had the Crimson on a long third-down situation in its first possession when star running back Clark Wieneke broke off an 80-yard touchdown. He finished with a game-high 156 yards rushing on seven carries and teammate Shaun Harrell had 95 yards on 13 carries.
The Cardinals fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Wieneke scored from five yards out for a 14-0 Maple Grove lead, 1:51 into the game.
Coon Rapids seemed ready to respond with its first points of the game, reaching the Crimson nine-yard line, but Crimson sophomore defensive back Isaac Collins had other ideas as he returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown.
“We gave them 21 points and dropped a pass in the end zone,” Cardinals head coach Jon Young said. “It was an odd start and they capitalized on our mistakes.”
Coon Rapids was outgained 412 to 262 yards.
Senior Alex Boxwell accounted for 160 of the Cardinals’ 262 yards of offense. He ran for a 65-yard touchdown in the third quarter on a designed end-around and also had two catches for 47 yards. His lone pass attempt was intercepted. Sam Tabla scored the other touchdown for the Cardinals from three yards in the third quarter. Cardinals quarterback Austin Anda completed four of 16 passes for 28 yards and four interceptions and Deshon Johnson had 37 yards rushing.
The Crimson defense had 16 tackles for losses.
Young categorized his side as “shell-shocked” after the start and that feeling continued into the second half. “It was 42-0 but it felt like 100-0,” he said. “They had so many big runs and we couldn’t get first downs. It was just a really hard night.”
One week after scoring 13 points in a dominating 13-10 win at Anoka, Coon Rapids’ offense couldn’t string together much against a strong Crimson defense and an even stronger offense, keyed by a stout running game that racked up 397 yards on 40 carries (9.9 yards per carry).
Young said the plan coming into the game was to contain the Crimson running game, “At all costs,” he said. “They have great first-down percentages and we wanted to make them throw on third down.”
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