Cardinals’ football beats Forest Lake

In the opener, Coon Rapids came close.

Painfully close.

In week two, the Cardinals broke through.

After a heartbreaking 24-17 overtime loss to Chaska to open the season, Coon Rapids capitalized on a quick start and clutch play on both sides of the ball late to top host Forest Lake 16-8 on Friday, earning its first win since 2014.

The Cardinals took control early, scoring on their opening possession as Tyler George connected with Kenneth Nwachi on a 6-yard touchdown pass.

Later in the half, Alex Findley nailed a 36-yard field goal off the crossbar and in to give Coon Rapids a 10-0 halftime lead.

After being held quiet throughout the night, Forest Lake finally broke through at the end of the third quarter, connecting on a 70-yard strike along the sideline for a touchdown, then converting the two-point try to narrow the margin to 10-8.

Holding the ball late and looking to seal the win, Coon Rapids converted on fourth-and-inches from the Forest Lake 17 on a two-yard run by Myles Taylor, scoring two plays later on a 14-yard run by Jaylen Salazar to make it 16-8.

The extra-point attempt was no good, giving Forest Lake one last chance, but its final drive ran out of time at midfield.

Coon Rapids (1-1) will look to build off of the win as it hosts Park Center tonight. Park Center opened the year with a 39-12 loss at Robbinsdale Cooper, followed by a 42-30 win over Richfield.

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Coon Rapids sophomore Devin Taylor powers forward on a carry in Friday’s 16-8 win over Forest Lake. Photos by Brad O’Neil Coon Rapids senior Cole Dahlberg trips up a Forest Lake ball carrier before he can get to the open field.
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Coon Rapids sophomore Devin Taylor powers forward on a carry in Friday’s 16-8 win over Forest Lake. Photos by Brad O’Neil