Football team will play for conference title this week
They have the paddle back, now the Champlin Park football team would like nothing more than to grasp something a little less tangible, but all the more meaningful.
A Northwest Suburban Conference championship could await the Rebels this week, as the team will follow up its 42-17 thrashing of Anoka Oct. 12 by hosting Maple Grove Wednesday, Oct. 17 in what will be an outright title game for the North Division crown in the NWSC.
The Crimson (7-0) also won last week, beating Coon Rapids 49-19 to move to 7-0 on the year. Champlin Park is 5-2, but both losses (at home to Eden Prairie and Hopkins) were in non-conference play, meaning the two teams enter this week in a virtual tie atop the North Division standings.
Champlin Park remained there by beating up on their rivals from the north, and retaining the paddle representing the traveling trophy at stake when these cross-Mississippi River rivals meet.
The Rebels jumped Anoka for a 14-3 first quarter lead that was 28-3 at the half, and 42-3 in the fourth, before a pair of Tornado touchdowns in the final two minutes made the final score appear somewhat respectable.
Trevor Garrison and Michael Sales both scored on long touchdowns runs in the opening quarter. Garrison finished Champlin Park’s opening drive with a 60-yard scoring run for the game’s first points, and then after Anoka came back with a field goal, Sales raced in from 53-yards out to make it 14-3 after one.
Garrison then found Bryce Marquardt for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 3:12 left before half, and the quarterback pushed the Rebels advantage to 28-3 with a 1- yard plunge 12 seconds shy of halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Rebels got on the board again early in the fourth as Garrison found Matthew Juneau for a 15-yard touchdown pass 47 seconds into the final quarter, and Datrice Mulsumo finished off the scoring with a 38-yard run for his first career high school touchdown with 6:20 to play.
Mulsumo finished with 59 yards rushing on nine carries. Sales had 133 rushing yards on just 10 touches, Marquardt ended up with 66 receiving yards and that touchdown, and Garrison continued his strong play by totaling 156 yards of total offense and four scores.