by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
The new look Osseo Orioles passed their first test of the season in flying colors as they defeated host Centennial 21-6 in the conference season opener Aug. 29.
Osseo’s defense held Centennial in check for most of the night. On offense, the Orioles showcased a balanced attack with 122 rushing and 214 yards passing.
“Our defense played great and did a lot of nice things,” Osseo coach Derrin Lamker said. “Centennial is a big team and we did a great job holding them to one touchdown. Coach Johnson had them really well prepared. Centennial missed a field goal and scored on a tricked play. That was it. I am really proud of the defense.”
Osseo returns only three starters on defense but the new players played like veterans and kept Centennial under wrap all night. Linebackers Andrew Lanners and Kwenton Perkins led in tackles and cornerback Ryan Swensen intercepted two passes.
Offensively, the Orioles gave their fans who were used to seeing a run-heavy offense a new look. They still saw a bruising running game led by fullback Jaimen Hampton, who had 86 yards on 21 carries. He scored on touchdown runs of two and three yards in the second quarter and Elliott Kane kicked two field goals to give Osseo a 14-0 halftime lead.
But Osseo showed their fans something they didn’t see much last season — an efficient passing game. Quarterback Matt Miedtke completed 12 of 21 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown. In the fourth quarter, with Osseo nursing a 14-6 lead, Miedtke tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to Connor Kittleson for a 21-6 cushion.
Kittleson finished with five catches for 72 yards and Josh Goldschmidt added 63 yards on four catches, Josh Riley-Phillips had two for 20 and Cameron Monson one for 39.
“We are back to playing old Osseo football,” Lamker said. “We were 50/50 our running and passing. Jaimen is a big boy and ran hard. Matt is a great leader in the pocket. He is 6-5 and can see over the defense. He is so calm and has a great arm.”
Lamker is pleased with his team’s performance in the opening game but knows the Orioles will have to elevate their level of play when they host No. 4 Minnetonka Friday, Sept. 6.
“Minnetonka is a great team and will give us some issues because they are big,” Lamker said. “They will be one of the best teams we will face this year and we will be able to tell where we are. We have one of the toughest schedules in the state. After Tonka, we get Blaine, who just beat Edina. I like it. We have some tough challenges early and hopefully we will play our best football by the end of the season.”
Contact Bob San at firstname.lastname@example.org