Minneapolis North came into Saturday’s game against Mound Westonka not only with the advantage of having a record of 2-0 and three players already committed to Division 1 schools, but they were also the number two ranked team in the state. The Polars are also accustomed to the snow and cold, and it seemed like this day they even preferred it.
Although Westonka knew they could be potentially outmatched by the Polars, the White Hawks were ready to play before their first COVID-capacity home crowd. It was Senior Day for the White Hawks and despite the final score, Westonka fans got to see first hand the contributions of the team’s senior leadership.
The opening kick off was a good indicator that this was going to be a new week and a new Westonka. The week before the White Hawks had barely generated a return but on Oct. 24 senior captain Trent Bowe’s return provided good field position to start, and despite a few first down conversions the Polars’ big line stopped the White Hawks, forcing a punt.
The Polars didn’t waste time in showcasing the talent of their Division 1 prospect, Terrance Kamara, and he slipped through the White Hawk defense, scoring a touchdown. Although the White Hawks couldn’t stop #2, they could stop the 2-point conversion.
After another good return by Bowe and a series of offsides by Polars, the White Hawks soon found themselves 22 yards from the endzone. They made the decision to go for it on fourth down, but the big defensive line stopped them short again, turning the ball over on downs.
The Polars took quick advantage of the turn in momentum, and with 2:48 left in the quarter they took a 12-0 lead with a long pass to Mario Sanders. Trying to make up for the missed 2-point conversion, the Polars tried again, but seniors Michael Nolan and Tucker Anderly stopped their effort once again. The first quarter ended with a 12-0 North Polars lead.
The Polars started their migration down the field again, but the White Hawks stopped their 4th down attempt and took over on their 7-yard line. Despite the big stop, the White Hawks continued to struggle in their march down the field and Westonka was forced to punt from inside the 10. Unfortunately, the punt was blocked and the Polars recovered first and goal. They capitalized on the amazing field position, and the quick score and extra point made it 19-0.
With time running out and with what seemed like a Polars-dominated first half, the White Hawks weren’t done yet and dug deep to respond. They finally managed to string together a series that worked and on 4th and goal a screen pass to Anderly with extra point by Neve made the score 19-7 with less than 4 minutes remaining in the half.
Still, 4 minutes left plenty of time for the Polars to convert one more time and in less than two minutes scored again, making it 25-7 with 1:56 left. The White Hawks had a little left in them, too, and as hawks should, they took to the air for a long touchdown reception to Logan Leonard. Extra point by Manu Jordan made it 25-14 and the White Hawks went into halftime still very much in the game.
The Polars received the ball in the second half and Kamara showed us again why college football is in his future. His 70-yard run made the score 31-14. Once again the White Hawks failed to convert and the Polars picked up Bowe’s punt inside the 10. Zachow forced a fumble on the punt and Leonard covered it inside the 10. Despite the big play, the Polars defense held strong and the White Hawks could not capitalize on this turnover.
The next 15 minutes of play was a whirlwind of penalties. Minneapolis seemed to be moving backward with a series of holding, personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Still, the White Hawks could not capitalize. The Polars would score two more times in the 4th quarter before it ended at 47-14.
Seniors Tucker Anderly and Logan Leonard led the White Hawks on defense with 19 tackles between the two of them and each with a touchdown. Junior Adam Mack contributed six tackles. Joe Zachow had five, and Tyler Von Bank and Cam Peterson each had four.
After the game, senior captain Logan Leonard stated, “The score doesn’t tell the full story. It was a hard fought game in cold conditions, but we just didn’t finish when we needed to. I’m excited for our matchup against Fridley since they beat us at home last year.”
“I was pleased with the fight in our boys today. They fought all game long and never backed down to a very talented Minneapolis North team” said coach Nick David on the loss.