Reporting Jeff Wald
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was yet another big Friday in high school football with plenty of big match-ups around the Twin Cities.
As hard as it is to believe, we are now at the midway point of the season. It’s that time of the year where a team’s identity is established, it’s a matter of executing the game plan and knowing what the team across from you will do. The top players on teams have emerged, and those athletes are relied on to make big plays in leading their teams to victory.
Every game has more meaning as we get closer to deciding conference titles and seeding for section playoffs. And every so often we have an upset that leaves the high school football fans, players and coaches buzzing.
That’s where we start with the top performances from Week 4 in prep football.
Hastings stuns Stillwater 35-34 in Suburban East
It appears Hastings didn’t want to hear that they were the underdogs Friday night when they traveled to Stillwater in the Suburban East Conference. Trailing 28-0, they rallied with 28 straight points to force overtime. Quarterback Brandon McCarthy accounted for all five touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a stunning 35-34 win over the Ponies, including the game-winner. The result opens up all sorts of possibilities in the league with East Ridge at the top at 4-0. But the Raptors have lost their top running option, Nick Leach, to a season-ending knee injury. The Raiders have a closing stretch at White Bear Lake, home against Mounds View, at Woodbury and home against East Ridge. Stillwater has a brutal three-game stretch at Mounds View, home against Roseville and at East Ridge.
Hutchinson beats Waconia 45-22
Hutchinson remains the team to beat in the Wright County Conference and the Tigers proved it with a 45-22 win at Waconia last week. Their power run game was too much for the Wildcats. Jaden Fleck rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns as Hutchinson led 39-0 at half. The Tigers are 2-0 in league play and travel to face Holy Family Catholic this week before a potentially huge match-up with unbeaten Delano in two weeks. Waconia is still looking for its first win of the season and can get it at home against Mound-Westonka this week.
Osseo QB throws 5 TDs in victory over Armstrong
Osseo is a team that’s not to be forgotten in the Twin Cities this fall and especially in the Northwest Suburban Conference. Quarterback Matt Miedtke is making sure of that as he passed for 327 yards and five touchdowns in the Orioles’ 49-10 win over Armstrong last week. Miedtke has 12 touchdown passes on the season and just four interceptions. Osseo is suddenly second in the league at 3-1, with its only loss being a 31-28 setback against Minnetonka. The Orioles have put up 115 points in their last two games, and they’ll get a good test hosting Andover this week. The Huskies are coming off a 35-20 win at Elk River. Armstrong, still looking for its first win, hosts Park Center this week.
Champlin Park RB leads Rebels past Coon Rapids 38-22
Champlin Park has recovered from an 0-2 start, and now the Rebels are starting to make some noise in the Northwest Suburban Conference. Led by Datrice Musulmo’s 297 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the Rebels beat Coon Rapids 38-22 on Friday to improve to 2-2 on the season. Musulmo now has seven rushing touchdowns on the year. The Rebels can get back over the .500 mark as they host Centennial Friday night and then head to Blaine in two weeks. Centennial is coming off a 23-0 victory over Anoka as things are starting to tighten up a bit around the league.
In taking a closer look at polls across the six classes, there are no huge surprises among the top teams other than East Ridge in Class 6A. The Raptors are 4-0 and ranked No. 3, but are without their top running back the rest of the year. The Class 4A poll is loaded with talent as eight of the top 10 teams are undefeated on the season. Only Becker and Benilde-St. Margaret’s in Class 4A have losses among those teams.
Check back with the WCCO Prep Blog later this week as we provide previews of four big games around the Twin Cities metro.