Coon Rapids ended the regular season on a high-note with a 23-20 win against Centennial Oct. 16.
The second win in three weeks gave the Cardinals a sense of confidence with a close Northwest Suburban Conference victory.
“Great game on Wednesday. Centennial is a qualtiy opponent and we are happy with our effort and the win,” Cardinals coach Jon Young said. “The cool part is our kids had to fight back, show some grit and new kids had to step up and make plays.”
Those making an impact in their new starting roles included: Nick Gervais at safety, Easton Sorensen at center and Sam Tabla made his second start at running back.
The teams started the second half tied 6-6 before a 20-yard field goal by Alex Kolden gave Coon Rapids a 9-6 lead. Centennial running back Tyler Iaquinto scored for the second time to retake the lead for the visitors 16-9 in the third quarter.
Coon Rapids took over the game in the fourth quarter on two touchdowns to build a 23-13 lead before a late score by the Cougars made it 23-20.
Coon Rapids quarterback Austin Anda threw for two touchdowns, one to receivers Tykeise Johnson and another to Jeremy Becker. Johnson finished with six catches for 134 yards in what Young described as a break-out game for him.
About the first touchdown grab: “[Anda] put it on the outside shoulder perfectlly and Tykeise made the play,” Johnson said.
Johnson pulled in a second touchdown catch from Alex Boxwell in the fourth quarter to help the Cardinals retake the lead 16-13. Boxwell took the ball on a sweep before throwing the jump ball into the end zone. The Centennial defensive back had the interception but Johnson wrestled the ball away on the way down.
Defensively, safety Nick Gervais made the most of his first start of the season with a fumble recovery on Coon Rapids’ 1-yard line and key open-field tackles.
The defense also forced a fumble to start the second half and came through with fourth down stops in the fourth quarter by Zach Klisch and Jordan Rayford.
The game was also a food shelf challenge in which the Cardinals challenged Centennial fans to see who could fill the shelves at area foodshelves the most.
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