Stillwater senior touchline Mason Wilson said the Colts have been promoting it all summer. The Colts were defeated in that area in the last game of 2020.
Centennial and Stillwater met in a final last fall to end the football season. That November night, the Cougars ran all over the Colts in Stillwater.
Centennial ran 58 times and ran for 353 yards, beating Stillwater 27-14.
Thursday night is a completely different story. The Colts’ defensive front will no longer allow themselves to be bullied on the melee line.
Stillwater defeated the Centennial Sprint 7-0 in Thursday’s season opener. The Cougars sprinted 26 times for only 93 yards. Centennial defender Lance Liu, who ran 33 times for 215 yards in November last year, ran only 39 yards on Thursday, less than 4 yards per dribble.
“In the past two years we lost to them in the state (playoffs)… we got it (discounted). They ran all over us,” Wilson said. “(Tonight) We put the wood on them and took away W. It’s big. It’s super big.”
Ponies coach Beau LaBore pointed out that Stillwater’s goal is always to defeat the opponent. But this is difficult to do for the centenary.
“These guys are big, they will come to you,” Labor said. “In the past few months, especially in the past few weeks, we have spent a lot of time trying to face off. Simulating we already know that we will see a lot of things tonight.”
Stillwater was clearly prepared. The Colts held a centennial tournament-they integrated nine new starters from a year ago, including a second-year quarterback, with a total offensive distance of only 100 yards. Centennial coach Mike Diggins pointed out that the Cougars will improve, but they have no answer to Stillwater’s defensive line on Thursday.
“Their defense is much better than last year. It was a good football team,” Diggins said. “This may be our worst offensive output in the past 5 years when running our stuff. That team is commendable. Bo has done a good job of preparation and they should be proud of what they have done.”
Wilson said he and his teammates trust each other defensively. Everyone has fulfilled their responsibilities.
“No one wants to be a hero,” Wilson said.
At the same time, the Colts’ offense experienced several explosions. Stillwater seems ready to rely on the arm of junior quarterback Max Shikenjanski, the son of former Gophers basketball player Jim Shikenjanski. On Thursday, Max made several big shots, including a 39-yard shot against Joseph Hohessel in the first melee of the Colts, and recorded the only score of the game, which was the second. A yard sneak attack.
Stillwater’s offense became more conservative in the second half, choosing to rely more on running back Edward O’Keeffe. Considering Stillwater’s defense dominates, this is for good reason.
Stillwater’s offense maintained possession of the ball for most of the third quarter. After a long pause at the beginning of the quarter, Centennial made a mistake in the next moment, allowing Stillwater to pass the ball back to the Cougars’ 20-yard line. What is commendable is Centennial’s defense, which once again blocked Stillwater, turning the pony over at the Centennial 3 yard line.
But the extended time on the court seems to be detrimental to Centennial’s defense. In the latter part of the game, fatigue may have risen because Stillwater organized an impressive breakthrough with a large number of Okeeffe on the ground and a pass from Hikjanski to Hohesel. Impressive 3rd and 7th catches in the game. The game ended with Stillwater (1-0) kicking from Centennial’s 39 yard line, consuming most of the time, allowing Centennial (0-1) to start the final hit from his 20 yard line by 2 points. Play in 28 seconds.
This laid the foundation for Stillwater’s final actions. After two turnovers, the Colts defensive guard Samuel Ness intercepted an interception and basically ended the game, winning a big win for Stillwater, which will become an important part of the playoffs. factor.
“That’s everything,” Wilson said. “We know that entering this year we have some special things. We have been waiting for this year and our defense since our freshman year, which makes us even more excited. But we will remain humble and we will continue to work hard because we know the ultimate goal is Status, not week 1.”
George Thole coached Stillwater in the first game of the week against Mounds View 50 years ago, and he won the honor in Thursday’s game.