By Matthew Davis
Signs of improvement shined for Irondale Aug. 31 in a 35-0 rout of 2016 Class 5A state runner-up Spring Lake Park.
“I am very happy for our players that they were able to see the hard work and process they have dedicated themselves to pay off,” said Knights coach Ben Fuller, whose team came off a 3-7 season in 2016. “Spring Lake Park is a great program who lost many starters from last year’s state championship runner up. So they had many inexperienced players playing Thursday, that I’m sure will come together quickly.”
Junior running back Parker Freiberg lit up the scoreboard for the Knights (1-0) with three TDs in the first quarter. Freiberg scored on a run of 17 yards followed by another for two yards. He also caught a two-point conversion pass from senior quarterback Brendan White to make it 14-0.
Freiberg concluded the quarter with a 56-yard TD run for a 21-0 lead. He finished the game with 156 yards rushing on 16 carries, an average 9.8 yards per attempt.
“The offensive and defensive lines were the hidden stars of this game,” Fuller said. “They controlled the line of scrimmage, and the rest took care of itself. We have come to expect that from our defensive unit, but our young offensive line was equally impressive.”
White had plenty of protection and extended the Knights lead in the second quarter with a 7-yard TD pass to Aden Price. The junior wide receiver caught two passes for 23 yards.
Freiberg grabbed a 10-yard TD pass from White with 2:13 left in the first half for a 35-0 lead. White finished with 9-12 passing and 103 yards for a 139.9 QB rating. He also rushed for 58 yards on six carries.
Sophomore quarterback Reece Herlofsky saw time in the second half and went 1-2 for 39 yards. The Knights also had 10 different players run with or catch the ball.
Senior wide receiver James Headley had two receptions for 49 yards, a team best 24.5 yards per catch. He also had 18 yards rushing on two carries.
Junior wide receiver Leighton Glodek had a team-high four receptions for 50 yards. Senior running back Ayrias Sears chipped in on the running game with three carries for 17 yards. Sophomore back Jakobi Bass added eight yards on six attempts. Senior receiver Nick Ellingson caught on pass for 10 yards.
Defensively, the Knights shut down the Panthers running attack, a hallmark of the program for years. The Panthers mustered 111 yards on 41 carries, a 2.7 yards per attempt average.
Sam Fritz led all Panthers rushers with 46 yards on 12 carries, a 3.8 yards per carry average. Brian Orellana-Lopez ran 11 times for 28 yards, and quarterback Zach Dunbar had 27 yards on 12 carries.
He went 0-3 passing and threw an interception. Knights junior strong safety Jack Olson had the pick.
Fritz led the Panthers defense with 12 tackles. Jesse Sills had eight, and Andrew Ullman, Cyrinus George, Nick Tuomi and Teshaun Pate each had seven.
Irondale visits North St. Paul (0-1) Friday at 7 p.m. Spring Lake Park hosts Robbinsdale Armstrong (0-1) Friday at 7 p.m.
Fridley beat Minneapolis Southwest
Ben Zayzay scored two first half touchdowns as Fridley downed Minneapolis Southwest 27-10 Aug. 31 in Minneapolis.
Zayzay, a senior, had 45 yards rushing and two TDs on three carries. He put the Tigers (1-0) on the board 7-0 3:20 into game on a 7-yard run. He added a second with 4:31 left in the first half with a 2-yard run.
Senior quarterback Noah Couwenhoven helped build the lead with a 37-yard TD pass to fellow senior Nate Soto in the second quarter. Couwenhoven went 6-13 for 134 and two TDs.
He added his second TD in the third quarter on a 47-yard completion to junior wide receiver Casey Fisher. It gave the Tigers a 27-3 lead after Minneapolis Southwest (0-1) added 27-yard field goal by Andrew Rowander before halftime.
The Lakers got on the board again fourth quarter with a 4-yard TD run by TK Marshall, who had 57 yards on 17 carries. Fridley limited the Lakers to 136 yards of total offense.
Fridley will host St. Paul Highland Park (0-1) Friday at 7 p.m. The two have met in the Class 4A Section 4 title game for the past two years.
Columbia Heights falls short to Breck
Antonio Triplett Jr. had 135 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, but Columbia Heights couldn’t keep up with Breck’s high-octane offense.
The Hylanders fell short 37-19 to the Mustangs in their home opener Sept. 1 after giving up 384 yards of total offense. Triplett, a junior running back, put the Hylanders up 7-0 on a 12-yard TD run with 8:17 left in the first quarter, but the Mustangs scored four unanswered TDs.
Down 24-7, Triplett closed the gap in the third quarter with an 11-yard score. He led the rushing attack with 104 yards on 18 carries, a 5.8 yards per carry average.
Hylanders sophomore quarterback Aaron Severson trimmed the lead again in the fourth quarter with a 24-yard TD pass to Deundra Roberson for a 30-19 game. The senior wide receiver caught three passes for 44 yards.
Severson went 11-122 passing with 196 yards but threw three interceptions. Senior wide receiver Quentin Hardrict led in receptions with six for 109 yards.
Hylanders senior linebacker Chase Lyght led the defense with eight tackles. Defensive backs Ben Rogotzke, a junior, and Dorian Poindexter, a senior, each had five.
Columbia Heights will look to bounce back at St. Paul Harding (0-1) Friday at 7 p.m.