Reporting Jeff Wald
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was another big week in prep football around Minnesota and with it came some big performances on fields across the Twin Cities.
Conference races are already starting to take shape as we still have six weeks left in the regular season, making every week bigger for several programs. There aren’t a ton of surprises early on, but one of the biggest is probably East Ridge in the Suburban East Conference. The Raptors are off to a 2-0 start and knocked off Roseville last Friday. That Raiders squad beat Cretin-Derham Hall in Week 1.
In the South Suburban Conference it’s pretty rare to see Bloomington Jefferson at the top. But that’s exactly the case after the Jaguars have started the season with wins over Kennedy and Apple Valley. But the schedule only gets tougher as Jefferson faces Minnetonka, Lakeville North and Eastview in its next three contests.
There were plenty of big performances Friday night, so here’s just a sample of some of the best.
Leach runs East Ridge past Roseville 42-19
East Ridge was thought to be a quiet contender coming into the Suburban East Conference season, but there’s been nothing quiet about the approach the Raptors have taken in two victories. They’re going to run the ball, and run it down your throat with senior Nick Leach. He had his second straight 200-yard game Friday as the Raptors ran over Roseville. He had 201 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries Friday to lead East Ridge to a big conference victory. He started the season with 228 yards in the win over White Bear Lake. The Raptors travel to Woodbury this week before consecutive home games against Park of Cottage Grove and Cretin-Derham Hall. The Royals are coming off a 31-29 victory over White Bear Lake. If East Ridge can get through that stretch 5-0, they’re the real deal.
Ruhl leads Lakeville South in upset win over Wayzata
While nothing can be taken for granted, there are few people out there who thought Lakeville South had a chance to beat Wayzata last week. Don’t tell that to Mike Ruhl, who ran like he had something to prove as the Cougars stunned the Trojans 24-14 for their first win of the season. Ruhl had a pair of rushing touchdowns to help Lakeville South beat the No. 2-ranked team in the state. Now anything is possible for the Cougars, who host Eagan and Apple Valley in their next two games before traveling to Burnsville and Rosemount. Eagan beat Burnsville 20-7 last week.
Banham leads Cretin to win over Hastings
What’s the best way to recover from a heartbreaking loss? Take out your frustrations on your next opponent. That’s exactly what Cretin-Derham Hall did to Hastings after falling to Roseville in its season opener. Cretin running back Blake Banham scored four touchdowns, and did so effectively in about a six-minute span, as his Raiders rolled to a 56-6 win over the Hastings Raiders. It was a much-needed win for Cretin, which has a big game against Stillwater on Friday at St. Thomas. Their upcoming stretch doesn’t get any easier with games at Mounds View and East Ridge before hosting White Bear Lake. Stillwater is off to a 2-0 start after easy wins over Park of Cottage Grove and Forest Lake.
Williams leads DeLaSalle past Champlin 13-10
If there was any worry that DeLaSalle would struggle without Reid Travis, that fear is now subsided as the Islanders are off to a 2-0 start. They went up in class for a non-conference tilt with Champlin Park and came away with a 13-10 victory over the Rebels. Running back Chris Williams led DeLaSalle with more than 130 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns in the win. DeLaSalle now has three straight home games to build on that confidence of beating a bigger school. The Islanders host Concordia Academy of Roseville this week, then face Providence Academy and Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Concordia Academy is off to a 2-0 start after beating Breck in Week 1 and Providence Academy last week.
Newell scores 4 TDs for Lakeville North in victory
Lakeville North has played eight quarters of football and has yet to allow a point in a 2-0 start to the season. After beating rival Lakeville South in Week 1, the Panthers cruised to a 59-0 win over Kennedy last week. They were led by their speedy running back Jamiah Newell, who ran for four first-half touchdowns in the game. He finished with 94 yards on 12 carries. Lakeville North is currently ranked No. 6 in Class 6A, and the Panthers have a pair of home games ahead against Eastview this week and Jefferson in Week 4. The Lightning is coming off a 24-0 shutout loss to Rosemount.
2 Others worth noting
There were two other individual performances that couldn’t go without nothing, and they both came in Minneapolis City Conference action. Washburn star Jeff Jones ran for about 180 yards and three touchdowns and also caught two touchdown passes to lead the Millers to a 38-0 win over Edison. Jones now has 11 touchdowns in two games.
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Johnson had a game to remember as Minneapolis North beat Southwest 48-24. He had 269 passing yards and five touchdowns through the air. In all, he accounted for eight touchdown in the game as he also ran for more than 100 yards and three scores. The Polars face the Millers this week.
Check back with the WCCO Prep Blog later this week as we preview four big games around the Twin Cities Friday night.