by Bob San
Osseo got off to a terrible start in last Friday’s game against Armstrong, yet the Orioles still won by a convincing score of 42-14 to improve to 4-0.
The Orioles fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter but rallied for 42 unanswered points to win going away.
“We dropped the ball the first four times we touched it and had three turnovers,” Osseo coach Derrin Lamker said. “It was probably our worst performance this year. We just weren’t ready to play and it’s my fault. We will be ready to play this week.”
Armstrong took advantage of Osseo’s early mistakes to score two touchdown passes for a 14-0 lead. But the Orioles regrouped.
Senior Bridgeport Tusler narrowed the deficit to 14-6 with a 9-yard touchdown late in the first quarter.
Tusler then scored on a 3-yard TD run and added a two-point conversion to tie it 14-14 early in the second quarter.
Troy Kray put Osseo ahead to stay 22-14 with a 22-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion.
Osseo continued to dominate in the third quarter. Kray ran for a 10-yard TD to make it 29-14 and Tusler put the dagger in Armstrong’s heart when he returned a punt for 46-yard touchdown.
The Orioles capped the scoring when quarterback Garrison Gillard hit tight-end Harrison Lucas for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
“We just regrouped and the guys figured out what to do,” Lamker said. “We started hanging on to the ball and doing our assignments. Good things happen when we do that.”
Osseo powered for 356 yards rushing. Tusler led the Orioles with 204 yards on 32 carries and three touchdowns. The Orioles also received strong games from Lucas, Kray (7 carries for 96 yards) and Joshua Riley-Phillips.
Defensively, the Orioles were impressive after the first quarter. They held Armstrong to 49 yards rushing and 145 yards passing.
“Our defense gave up three big plays all night,” Lamker said. “After the first quarter we pretty much shut them down.”
Linebacker Carter Burquest had a big night to lead the Osseo defense. He had eight tackles and had four tackles for losses.
The Orioles are now 4-0 and are tied for the conference lead with Champlin Park and Totino Grace. Lamker is pleased with his young team’s performance.
“I wasn’t pleased with the way we started the Armstrong game. We have to be better,” he said. “But it’s the first time we are 4-0 for a lot of years.”
The Orioles next visit Andover Friday, Sept. 28.
“Andover lost on the last play to Edina and Edina beat Minnetonka,” Lamker said. “We are playing at their place, on real grass. It will be a tough game.”