Reporting Jeff Wald
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It looked like a first game for many teams around Minnesota as the high school football season kicked off in full swing last Thursday and Friday.
First games usually aren’t pretty for a lot of squads. There are turnovers, penalties and miscues as teams take everything they’ve learned in practice and try to apply it to a live game on the field. But there are others who picked up right where they left off from last year.
Here are some of last week’s top performances from around the metro football fields.
Goplen Leads St. Croix Lutheran To Opening Win
Jackson Goplen made sure St. Croix Lutheran got off to a good start in defending its Class 3A state title from a year ago. The running back ran for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries to open Tri-Metro Conference play with a 36-14 win over Providence Academy. Goplen averaged 15.2 yards per carry in the game. The Crusaders will host Blake Friday night.
Fridley RB Leads Tigers To Win
Darius Mulbah was a force to be reckoned with last Friday as Fridley opened up its season with a 49-7 non-conference win over St. Paul Como Park. The junior running back ran for 153 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries in the game. The Tigers will get a stiff test in Week 2 as they travel to Chisago Lakes, which is coming off an unlikely 29-22 win over Mahtomedi in its opener.
DeLaSalle RB runs over Concordia Academy
Reid Travis will likely get a lot of the headlines this year for DeLaSalle, but Chris Williams made a name for himself Friday night as the Islanders opened up their season with a 42-0 win over Concordia Academy in the Tri-Metro Conference. Williams could not be stopped, rushing for 224 yards and three scores in the DeLaSalle victory. The program has been blessed with highly-skilled running backs the last several years, and this season so far appears to be no exception. The Islanders host St. Anthony Village Friday night.
South St. Paul Uses Balanced Ground Game In Win
South St. Paul prides itself on running the ball with several athletes to win games, and it was on full display Friday night in a 49-14 win over Richfield to open Classic Suburban Conference play. It was also our featured game for WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally. Jack Pietruszewski ran for three touchdowns for the Packers in the win, while Jake Hill and Bill Brandecker combined for 280 rushing yards in the game. South St. Paul looks to go 2-0 as it travels to Henry Sibley, who beat North St. Paul last week, on Friday night.
Later on this week, we’ll preview four big games around the Twin Cities and feature one of those games that will have full highlights on High School Sports Rally.