Sloppy start erases Rebels chances in Wayzata
Early deficit too much to overcome in season-ending defeat to Trojans
If one does exist, Champlin Park has yet to figure it out.
But no question, as Edina proved earlier this year, there is a way to beat Wayzata in football.
“Oh for sure,” said Wayzata head coach Brad Anderson. “We are beatable. We know that.”
There are also, however, plenty of ways to lose to the powerful Trojans, including the route the Champlin Park took in their most recent season-ending visit to the state’s glitziest football program.
Nowhere in any game plan on the planet does spotting a team like Wayzata a three-touchdown, first-quarter lead appear in print.
Nonetheless, that is the way Champlin Park went about trying to end a string of five consecutive season-ending defeats in Wayzata.
And as anyone could have predicted, it didn’t work.
“No, that is not how you are going to win here,” said Rebels head coach Mike Korton, whose team ended up on the wrong side of a 49-14 defeat to Wayzata Nov. 2. “You can’t play how we did in the first quarter and expect to win here. It is just not going to happen.”
One would think Champlin Park has figured at least that much out. But already having lost five straight games on that exact lot of land, the Rebels made it six straight defeats by handing Wayzata this one early.
A bad snap on a punt and then consecutive fumbles by Michael Sales set Wayzata up with a short field on three straight possessions. The Trojans cashed in on each, jumping to a 21-0 lead before the game was even 10 minutes old.
By then, the Rebels were just getting their feet going. Once they did, the offense started to move, and it resulted in a pair of first half touchdowns.
Garrison found Matt Juneau on what amounted to a 6-yard shuffle pass early in the second quarter to get Champlin Park within 21-7.
Wayzata went right back down the field to make it a 28-7 game, but the Rebels drove the ball again, this time scoring their second touchdown on a short run by Sales to make it 28-14 with 2:20 left in the first half.
Just like that, this was a game. At least temporarily.
“Football is a game of momentum, and they had it,” said Wayzata’s Anderson. “They closed it to two scores and were getting the ball back at the start of the third quarter. We really needed points on that last drive of the half.”
The Trojans ended up getting seven of them, as Jeff Borchard – who would score six total touchdowns and amass 232 total yards of offense – scored on a 31-yard screen pass to put Wayzata up 35-14 at the half.
“It was just a killer,” said Garrison. “We felt good about getting back into the game, but they come right back down and score before the half. That one hurt.”
The Rebels did have one chance early in the third quarter to fend off the obviousness of the outcome, but after driving deep into Wayzata territory, Champlin Park turned the ball over on downs, then watched as the Trojans stretched the lead to 42-14 and eventually 49-14.
“That whole series of events did a lot,” said Korton. “They score at the end of the half, and then we go and start the first drive of the second half and drive all the way down the field and can’t put it in. That was huge. If we get that and cut it to a 14 points, the intensity would have been there for us. Instead, they stop us. That made it really tough.”