By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
High school football started on time in the state of Minnesota in 2021, one year after nearly canceling the entire season. The Knights kicked off their season on Thursday night, Sept. 2, against Forest Lake, routing their opponent 42-6.
The Knights started quickly as they scored a touchdown on a 33-yard run by Max Keefer. The successful quarter continued with a short touchdown run by Brett Roos to make the score 14-0. It became 21-0 in the final minutes of the quarter on a Conner Luongvan touchdown run.
With the big lead, the Knights began using many of their players. 16 different players ran the ball for STMA in the contest, with Luongvan (76 yards, two touchdowns) and Carter Bolduc (52 yards) leading the way as they ran for 330 yards.
The Knights only threw for 56 yards total, but two quarterbacks each threw a touchdown. Owen Neros found Brooks O’Brien for a 27-0 lead in the second quarter. Later in the second, it became 29-0 when Forest Lake’s longsnapper snapped the ball over the head of the team’s punter, and it wound up in the endzone.
Before halftime, Luongvan ran for his second touchdown to make it 35-0.
The second half saw just two scoring drives. Forest Lake avoided the shutout with a short touchdown run in the third quarter, and Brody Odland caught a beautiful touchdown pass from AJ Lester to make the final score 42-6.
The STMA defense held Forest Lake down the entire night and got some help from the elements. Reven Simat forced a fumble, Jake Springer had a sack, and Mason Mogard got his first varsity interception on Forest Lake’s final possession.
The same elements that helped STMA’s defense hurt the kicking game, as both teams missed extra points in the rain.
Head coach Jared Essler felt that it was a good overall team win.
“We’re a team that prides itself on running the ball, and for us that was maybe a little bit of an advantage here today,” he said.
The Knights host Centennial on Friday night, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m.