By Matthew Davis
Osseo overcame a fast start early by defending Class 6A football champion Totino-Grace but couldn’t get enough momentum in the second half en route to a 28-7 defeat Oct. 6.
“We’ve just got to focus on playing mistake-free football,” Orioles coach Ryan Stockhaus said. “Penalties and turnovers put a very good team in a good spot to kind of take advantage of the game.”
Ryan Suggs took the opening kick-off for Totino-Grace 80 yards for a touchdown to start the game. Osseo (2-4) rebounded in the first quarter with a 2-yard rushing TD to tie the game 7-7.
Osseo struggled to run the ball otherwise with 67 yards on 29 attempts. The Orioles’ longest run of the night game on a 13-yard gain.
Zach Clausing put Totino-Grace (5-1) back up 14-7 in the second quarter on a 17-yard TD run. It went downhill for the Orioles after first half.
Osseo fumbled early in the third quarter deep in its own territory, which set up Totino-Grace for another score. Sam Hanson ran 14 yards to give the Eagles a 20-7 lead.
He gave the Orioles trouble later in the quarter with a 36-yard TD. Clausing added a two-point conversion for a 28-7 advantage.
“We had a couple times where we bailed them out — penalties, late hit, roughing the passer — some of that stuff came up,” Stockhaus said. “You can’t a give a good team those opportunities that can lean on you and run, especially when they get a lead.”
Osseo’s defense kept it from getting any worse with an interception on a deep throw by the Eagles. The Orioles couldn’t capitalize on offense though with a three-and-out.
Osseo couldn’t get its offense going overall in the second half to stage a rally with punts on each of their drives until the final one in the fourth quarter. With the game in hand at 28-7, Totino-Grace turned the ball over with a minute left near the Osseo goal line.
Osseo quarterback Greg Arrell then led a scoring drive capped by a 26-yard TD pass. He finished with 129 yards on 11-20 passing along with an interception. He also took his share of sacks against the Eagles defense.
The Orioles struggled to keep drives going with 4-11 on third downs and 0-1 on fourth downs. Their defense couldn’t get off the field on third downs with Totino-Grace going 6-9.
Osseo had a bright spot on special teams with junior Joe Cheaa getting a 40-yard kick-off return.
The Orioles will look to rebound when they host winless Anoka (0-6) Friday at 7 p.m. The Tornadoes held off Osseo 25-11 last year.
“I think we came out and proved once again this week that we can play with anybody we line up against, but we’ve got to put four quarters together,” Stockhaus said.
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