by Bob San
Maple Grove avenged last year’s loss to the Armstrong Falcons with a 54-28 win in a Northwest Suburban Conference football opener Thursday, Aug. 30.
The Falcons ruined Maple Grove coach Matt Lombardi’s debut last year with a close victory but in last week’s contest the Crimson collected 554 yards in total offense and dominated from start to finish. They led 20-7 after the first quarter and put the game out of reach by outscoring the host team 21-0 in the second quarter.
Senior quarterback Blake Skaja made his first varsity start a memorable one as he completed 18 of 22 passes for 262 with two touchdowns. Veteran receivers Jake Wieneke and Brycen Wojta both had huge nights. Wieneke had 5 catches for 144 yards with two touchdowns and Wojta caught 10 passes for 113 yards.
Brian Yasosky led the running attack by rushing for 151 yards on 5 carries and Jack Wallick added 109 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown.
Defensively, the Crimson were led by senior safety Tyler Field with 11 tackles. Gunnar Ayres, Mark Fondakowski, Peder Olson, and Emmanuel Ehrich each had seven tackles and Matt Kreye returned a fumble for a touchdown.
The special team also got in the scoring act as Chris Wieneke returned three kicks for 178 yards and scored one touchdown.
The Crimson next host Osseo Friday, Sept. 7.