Champlin Park spoils homecoming in Coon Rapids
Thirty-five point barrage in second quarter lifts Rebels to 49-7 victory
It was homecoming in Coon Rapids Sept. 21, and a throng of Cardinal faithful withstood the winds and rain that accompanied the second half of a football game that had long been decided.
That they were still there in the first place was a considerable accomplishment for a student section pelted by the weather for much of the third quarter.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, that wasn’t the only beating handed out on this night.
Champlin Park crushed the Cardinals to the tune of a 49-7 victory that had the Rebels reserves in by the first series of the second half.
By then, the score was already 42-0, and that barrage of points came at a startling pace.
The two teams were scoreless after a quarter, but over the course of 11 minutes, 10 seconds of actual game time, Champlin Park scored seven touchdowns to silence the overflow crows on the opposite side of the field.
Michael Sales scored three of those touchdowns. His first two represented the game’s first points on a pair of short runs early in the second quarter.
The senior then answered any questions of a possible Coon Rapids rally on the opening kick-off of the second half after he returned it 96-yards to turn Champlin Park’s 35-0 halftime advantage into an even more lopsided tally.
In between, senior quarterback Trevor Garrison threw for a trio of touchdown passes to three different receivers, punctuating a nearly perfect for half for himself after he completed seven of his nine pass attempts for 117 yards and those three scores.
“We have some explosive players on our offense,” said head coach Mike Korton. “Offensively, I thought we played great. And our defense was fantastic too.”
The Champlin Park defense was only threatened once, and it came on the game’s opening possession, as Coon Rapids drove 69 yards on 15 plays and ate up over six minutes of the opening quarter. But the drive stalled inside the Rebel 15-yar line, the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs, and the Rebels went right to work.
Champlin Park marched 89-yards on their first drive, finishing it with a four-yard run by Sales.
The next four Coon Rapids possessions ended with a fumble, an interception and two punts. The Rebels answered each with a touchdown.
“Our defense kept getting us the ball right back,” said Garrison. “That really allowed us to get into a rhythm offensively, and we kind of took it from there.”
Champlin Park’s first-team offense scored a touchdown on each of its five possessions, a string of efficiency that didn’t end until a 21-yard touchdown pass from Garrison to Bryce Marquardt 10 seconds shy of the half that completed a 35-point second quarter.
The victory evened the Rebels record at 2-2 on the year, and it came on Champlin Park’s first road trip of the season.
The Rebels will board a bus again this week, as they head to Centennial (1-3) for a 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 kick-off against the Cougars.
“I know they’ve had a lot of guys hurt, but they are a good team,” Korton said. “They came back on us last year, so we have to show up and play how we can. I feel us getting better in different areas, but it has to happen every week.”