MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Week 1 in the Minnesota high school football season is in the books. There were some blowouts and some nailbiters, expected standouts had big nights and some unknowns made a name for themselves. When it was all over, four performances stood out from Friday night. Here are our top four performances:
QB has big night in Becker victory
Becker quarterback Tommy Benson had a night to remember in his first career high school start Friday night against Buffalo. The junior threw for more than 400 yards and had six touchdown passes as the Bulldogs defeated the Bison 42-33 in Mississippi Eight Conference play. He completed four of those six touchdown passes to Joel Hopkins. Benson also has some family bloodlines in his favor as his grandfather is John Gagliardi, the legendary football coach at St. John’s University.
Ayers scores four touchdowns in W-E-M victory
Junior wide receiver Brady Ayers couldn’t think of a much better way to start the season than what happened Friday night as Waterville-Elysian-Morristown shut out Jordan in its season opener. Ayers caught three touchdown passes and scored another on an interception return as the Buccaneers beat the Hubmen 39-0.
Senior QB leads Holy Family to opening win
Holy Family Catholic is establishing itself as a powerhouse in Class 3A, and this year one of their horses is going to be quarterback Michael Roane. That’s at least if Friday night is any indication. Roane had a hand in every point the Fire scored on a 29-12 victory over Watertown-Mayer. He tossed three touchdown passes and ran one in for another score. And if that’s not enough, he added three extra points as the team’s kicker.
Gopher recruit shakes off early nerves in win for Lakeville South
Every football player is nervous before their first game, and Lakeville South senior quarterback Mitch Leidner is no exception. The University of Minnesota recruit shook off some early jitters as the Cougars, ranked No. 4 in Class 5A, beat Eagan 35-21 in South Suburban Conference play. Leidner completed 11 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more touchdowns to lead Lakeville South to the victory.
Tidbits: Two metro area head coaches had their debuts Friday night. One got a win, while the other wasn’t quite as successful. Brooks Bollinger, a former Wisconsin quarterback and Minnesota Viking, won his opener as Hill-Murray defeated St. Paul Johnson 42-14. Ricky Foggie over at Park Center had a bit rougher time as the Pirates lost to Anoka 41-7.
Later this week, we’ll preview our “Big 4″ for Week 2 and be sure to tune in to WCCO-TV at about 10:20 p.m. Friday for High School Sports Rally.