Oriole football team continues to roll, sets sight on new section tournament

By Bob San

The defense stymied an explosive Elk River offense and Troy Kray and Bridgeport Tusler each scored two touchdowns to lead Osseo to a 36-10 win at Elk River Friday, Oct. 12.

“Elk River is a tough team. They played everybody tough and we pretty much handled them,” Osseo coach Derrin Lamker said. “They are a hard team to defend but our defense did a great job and gave up only 10 points. Maple Grove was 31-28, Andover 21-14. Everybody else gave up a lot but we didn’t give up too much.”

Osseo defensive tackle Troy Williams had a dominating performance as he came up with nine solo tackles.

Kray opened scoring by dashing 44 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The Elks countered with a field goal in the second quarter but Osseo broke the game open with two unanswered touchdowns. Tusler got his first of the night on a 3-yard run and quarterback Garrison Gillard connected with Conner Kittelson for a 15-yard scoring pass play to make the halftime score 22-3.

Kray buried any Elk River comeback hope when he returned the second half kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown and Tusler added a 5-yard TD run.

Tusler picked up 120 yards and Kray had a productive night to lead the rushing game and Kittelson had another solid night receiving the ball.

The Orioles played Totino-Grace Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the season finale. Seedings for the section tournament is Thursday, Oct. 18. The section tournament begins Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Osseo and 31 other Class 6A teams will participate in a new playoff format this year. The 32 teams are divided into four sections and the sections’ top seeds will take on the lower seeds (No. 1 against No. 8 seeds, the No. 2 seeds get the No. 7 seeds, and so on) in the section quarterfinals Oct. 23. In the next round, the four teams in each section will crossover and take teams from another section in pre-determined games. The eight winners will qualify for the state tournament. It will be an interesting seeding meeting as Osseo, Maple Grove and Champlin Park are all worthy of a No. 1 seed.

Lamker expects his squad to receive the No. 1 seed in its section and thus can earn two home games in the playoffs. No matter what seed Osseo ends up getting, Lamker likes his team’s chances.

“We are playing our best football now,” he said.