Football can be a frustrating game as Spring Lake Park (8-3) learned first-hand losing the Class 5A state semifinal game to Simley (9-3) 21-14 on a snowy field at Hopkins High School Nov. 15.
Spring Lake Park (9-3) moved one step closer to its first state championship since 1991 after a 43-19 win over Faribault (8-3) in the Class 5A state quarterfinals Saturday.
Twelve months ago, Spring Lake Park walked off the field at Andover in tears with heads down after a 33-32 loss in overtime.
This year, as the No. 1 seed of Section 4-5A, Spring Lake Park celebrated its third section title under head coach Jeff Schlieff after a 28-11 win against Mahtomedi.
Two weeks earlier, Spring Lake Park handed Andover a 35-14 loss in the first and perhaps only Northwest Suburban Conference meeting after meeting in the section tournament each of the last two seasons. Each team won a section game by one point including the Huskies 33-32 win over Spring Lake Park last fall.
Spring Lake Park’s woes against rival Totino-Grace continued Friday night after a two-point conversion attempt fell short in a 34-33 loss in overtime. Totino-Grace had a chance to end the game in the final minute but missed a 26-yard field goal. The drive was set up after Eagles cornerback Luke Russel intercepted a pass from Panthers quarterback Derek Salwei with seven minutes left in regulation.
Before the season Spring Lake Park coach Jeff Schlieff knew the schedule would test his team in many ways.
After two losses to start the season, Spring Lake Park picked up its first win, 21-7, at Highway 65 neighbor Fridley Sept. 13.