ROSEVILLE — Stillwater’s version of a gridiron fixer, Landon Weyer helped provide an early spark for the Ponies in an eventual 42-7 Maroon North Sub-district football victory over the Raiders on Friday, Sept. 16 at Roseville Area High School.
The senior intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown as part of a 21-point opening quarter to propel Stillwater (1-0 MN, 3-0) in its conference opener.
“It feels great,” Weyer said. “The team pulled together, we played as one and got a great W all around.”
Stillwater was in control from the start, despite possessing the ball for less than four minutes in the first half — averaging a whopping 15.8 yards while running 14 plays.
Running back Samuel Young raced 32 yards for a touchdown on Stillwater’s first series and things only got worse from there for the Raiders (0-2, 0-3), who have been outscored 132-27 in three games this season.
Weyer picked off Raiders quarterback William DeVries and returned it down the right sideline for a touchdown and 14-0 Stillwater lead with 5:34 remaining in the first quarter.
“I was just reading the quarterback and I saw that he was going to kind of throw the ball to the right side so I just kind of floated over, caught it and it was just daylight from there,” Weyer said.
It was just the latest scoring contribution for the do-everything Weyer, who has scored touchdowns in four different ways during the past two seasons. He scored at least one rushing, receiving and punt return touchdown a year ago.
He was moved to safety this season immediately after Ryan Nelson was injured in the season opener against Centennial.
“(Weyer) was a little rusty, a little raw Game 1, but he he’s as athletic and fast of a defensive back as we’ve had back there since I’ve been here,” Ponies coach Beau LaBore said.
The versatility has been an important asset for the team and Weyer’s enthusiasm for whatever role required of him is not unappreciated.
“He was a really strong running back and linebacker on the sophomore team and we had guys at linebacker last year, so it was a natural opportunity for him to go from running back to wide receiver and then coming in this year we wanted him to be ready to play running back, wide receiver, outside linebacker, safety and then just do what he did on special teams last year,” LaBore said. “With injuries and the way things shook out right out of the gates early on the first play of the season, he needed to be a starter on defense. He’s embraced it really well. He hasn’t hung his head that he doesn’t get to run routes, even though that’s what he pretty much has been doing for the past 18 months, but the way he’s carried himself and the way that he’s put the team first, there isn’t a more appropriate situation than him get an opportunity to pick one and take it to the house.”
Stillwater padded its margin in the final minute of the first quarter when quarterback Max Shikenjanski hooked up with Tanner Schmidt for a 63-yard touchdown for a 21-0 lead.
“The message all along is that what matters most is what is what we do to make ourselves a better team this week,” LaBore said. “Week in and week out it doesn’t matter if it’s a team that’s struggling or a top 10, we have to worry about what we do and how we do it. For the most part, I think we were able to do that all week long and I think our execution showed that we’ve tightened some things up and made some things better, but if they can carry that over into every week, every day, then we’ve got something to be excited about. Our guys can’t relax, they can’t coast, and they’ve got to keep turning the pressure up on themselves.”
Roseville put together its best drive of the game in the second quarter while taking more than eight minutes off the clock, but came up empty after getting stuffed at the 2-yard line with less than four minutes remaining in the half.
The Ponies then went 98 yards in the other direction, capped by the first of two touchdown receptions for Joe Hoheisel — and superb over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone covering 35 yards and providing a 28-0 lead going into halftime.
It was another banner night for Shikenjanski, who completed 9 of 11 passes for 169 yards in the first half. He finished 16 of 19 for 272 yards and four touchdowns.
“The biggest thing that we want out of Shik is to stay within what our calls are and execute them,” LaBore said. “There are moments where he can make some things happen or he can go off script and be an athlete, but the tougher the opponent the more likely that he’s going to have to run the play true and we need to be ready to execute.”
Shikenjanski spread the ball around to five different receivers, led by Schmidt with five catches for 109 yards and Hoheisel with four receptions for 92 yards.
Thomas Jacobs also hauled in a six-yard scoring pass in the third quarter for a 42-0 lead, giving Shikenjanski 12 touchdown passes against just one interception this season.
“They’re just so good,” Weyer said. “Our wide receivers are amazing, quarterback, running back, line, so you know they can put the ball in the end zone quick. As defense, we just stick to what we practice and we were able to shut them out for a while there and do our thing.”
Stillwater’s defense limited the Raiders to just 207 total yards, an average of 4.1 per play. The Ponies averaged 10.9 yards per play in the game, which is just half a yard shy of the school record 11.4 yards per play Stillwater produced in a victory over Roseville in 1987.
Facing that firepower in practice can be humbling, but also forces the defense to sharpen its play, Weyer suggested.
“It can definitely get frustrating in practice when you know you have such a great offensive quarterback who can move and wide receivers who can catch and a running back who can get it in the end zone, so yeah, it’s tough, but it’s great to practice against them every single day and be ready for game day.”
Roseville did spoil Stillwater’s bid for a shutout when Isaiah Magee finished off an 80-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown with more than two minutes remaining in the game.
“Things things went well for us in most phases of the game,” LaBore said. “We were able to execute pretty effectively and get every kid in the football game.”
Stillwater 21 7 14 0 — 42
Roseville 0 0 0 7 — 7
St — Samuel Young 32 run (Landon Huber kick) 8:48.
St — Landon Weyer 44 interception return (Huber kick) 5:34.
St — Tanner Schmidt 63 pass from Max Shikenjanski (Huber kick) :53.
St — Joseph Hoheisel 35 pass from Shikenjanski (Huber kick) 1:31.
St — Hoheisel 18 pass from Shikenjanski (Huber kick) 11:12.
St — Thomas Jacobs 6 pass from Shikenjanski (Shawn Stephens kick) 6:46.
Ros — Isaiah Magee 5 run (Karsten Landenverde kick) 2:25.
First downs 18 15
Rushes-yards 12-84 35-168
Passing yards 275 39
Total yards 359 207
Comp-Att-Int. 17-21-0 7-15-1
Fumbles/lost 0/0 2/1
Penalties/yards 2/10 1/5
Punts/avg. 0/0.0 3/31.7
Rushing — St: Samuel Young 3-52, Max Shikenjanski 1-12, Carson Hillstrom 2-10, Jackson Kramer 2-9 and Roan Hickey 4-1; Ros: Jacob Nelson 6-46, Isaac Ivy 5-42, Darren Burch-Walker 2-29, William DeVries 9-18, Daniel Tschida 4-17, Dyvonte Clinton 4-11, Isaiah Magee 3-8, James Darling 1-0 and Parker Gangl 1-(-3).
Passing (com-att-yds-td-int) — St: Max Shikenjanski 16-19-272-4-0 and Connor McGlynn 1-2-3-0-0; Ros: William DeVries 7-13-39-0-1 and Parker Gangl 0-2-0-0-0.
Receiving — St: Tanner Schmidt 5-109, Joseph Hoheisel 4-92, Thomas Jacobs 3-33, Samuel Young 3-26 and Brett Hilde 2-15; Ros: Dyvonte Clinton 4-20, Isaac Ivy 2-18 and James Darling 1-1.
Kickoff returns — St: Thomas Jacobs 1-30; Ros: Jaidyn Belton 2-47, Shannon Jacobson-Walker 3-27, Isaac Ivy 1-22 and Omari Magee 1-0.
Punt returns — St: none; Ros: none.
Interceptions — St: Landon Weyer 1-44; Ros: none.
Fumble recoveries — St: Frank Kubitschek 1-0; Ros: none.
W L W L
Forest Lake 2 0 3 0
White Bear Lake 2 0 2 1
Stillwater 1 0 3 0
Osseo 1 1 1 2
Anoka 0 2 0 3
Mounds View 0 2 0 3
Roseville 0 2 0 3
Week 3 results
Stillwater 42, Roseville 7
Forest Lake 28, Osseo 19
WB Lake 20, Mounds View 14 (OT)
Burnsville 28, Anoka 24
Week 4 games
Stillwater at Osseo
Roseville at Anoka
Mounds View at Forest Lake
Eastview at White Bear Lake