After falling behind two scores early, Anoka put together the type of drive it needed, getting right back into Friday’s showdown with returning state semifinalist Champlin Park.
But a single play later, the momentum was gone, and the Rebels were off and running.
Champlin Park finished the night on top 42-13, improving to 2-0 and dropping host Anoka to 0-2 to start the season.
“Champlin is a tough match-up because of the size and speed they have,” Anoka head coach Jeff Buerkle said.
The Rebels flashed that speed from the outset, churning their way to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Anoka responded early in the second quarter, getting the ball down the field to set up a score from three yards out by Hunter Way.
However, Champlin Park would return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and never look back.
“The team was confident that they could drive the ball and executed well on that drive,” Buerkle said.
“The kickoff return was a heart breaker. It took the life out of the team at a time that we needed to keep the momentum.”
Next up for Anoka is a home game against 2-0 Centennial.
The Cougars have opened the season with a 27-21 overtime win over White Bear Lake and a 25-17 win over Totino-Grace.