Players from this year’s Osakis football team took every opportunity to put their stamp on this program for two weeks.
Osakis outscored Holdingford in a 42-12 match on October 24 in the season opener. The Silverstreaks followed that up with a 49-0 dismantling of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle on Friday afternoon in what was considered a homecoming game, even though it was played at Alexandria Area High School.
“We obviously have confidence in ourselves,” senior running back Duncan Vandergon said of the 2-0 start. “We didn’t bring a lot of people back (from last year), but we knew we had a lot of athletes based on weight room numbers and things like that. We were confident for that.
The Silverstreaks show they had every reason to be confident. Osakis (2-0) outplayed the Thunder (1-3) early on, taking a 36-0 halftime lead after Vandergon’s 45-yard touchdown late in the second quarter.
“I think physically (our defense) set the tone early,” Osakis head coach Bill Infanger said. “Long Prairie tried to take a few shots early in their passing game, and we did a good job defending that on the outside with our young backs – Carston Jacobson and Bauer Klimek, Carter Watnaas and Grant Mages. These guys did a great job. Then our D line up front and our linebackers, Brock (Faber) and Isaac Hetland, they did what they did by stopping the running game today. Coach (Chris) Ludwig had them ready to go as well. He deserves a lot of credit.
Junior Brady Mages is part of that defense up front, and he also had a huge impact on special teams when he blocked two punts. The first of these came in the middle of the first trimester. The ball was blocked beyond the 20-yard LPGE line and returned to the end zone, where junior lineman Chayce Meyer was rushing to land on it for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
“It was really nice to get that touchdown. It’s a lineman’s dream,” Meyer said. and grab it. It just kept rolling and rolling, and I just jumped on it and got a bunch of slaps to the head from my teammates.
The defense never let the Thunder reach the red zone, and Osakis’ offense was in LPGE territory most of the day. The Silverstreaks dominated on the ground, moving methodically across the field with consistent gains of 7-10 yards.
“The line opened up a lot today,” Vandergon said. “You can’t do anything without them, so a lot of credit goes to them.”
Vandergon is the speed option in Osakis’ 1-2 punch in the backfield. Hetland, a senior back, is a powerful fullback who can punish opposing defenses with his physical running style.
Hetland had three touchdowns on runs of 1, 14 and 19 yards. He carried a few defenders down the final five yards on that 19 yards before dropping over the goal line.
“He’s such a big, strong kid and he’s also incredibly fast,” Infanger said of Hetland. “He can move and also has cuts. It’s fun as a coach when one of your best players is also your hardest worker like him. He works so hard and is such a leader for us…we have two very good ball carriers. Duncan ran well today, broke a few tackles, and I think second Tyson Hagedon had a great day running the ball as well.
Hagedon put the finishing touches to the win with two second-half touchdowns, each one yard wide.
“It was a complete team victory – special teams, attack and defense,” Vandergon said. “We executed in all facets. No individual made a great performance. Everyone had their role. »
That’s the blueprint for this team as they prepare for the final two weeks of the regular season. Osakis will travel to Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta on Nov. 6 for a 7 p.m. game. The Silverstreaks next host the Paynesville area on Nov. 12 at AAHS at 7 p.m.
Morris and Paynesville both have a 3-0 lead going into the clash on Friday night.
“It gets harder and harder from here,” Infanger said. “Coming into this with a young football team, we just want to keep improving every week.”
Neither Morris Area nor Paynesville are sectional opponents with Osakis, so these last two games won’t necessarily be an indication of what’s happening in the playoffs.
This is ultimately where the Silverstreaks focus as they look to the team’s goals. After two weeks of solid play, this is a team that believes they have the pieces to fight for a 6AA title again.
“At the end of the day, our goal this year with the way the playoffs are run is to win the last game of the season and repeat as sectional champions,” Infanger said. “There’s no one I’d rather face right now than the top two teams on our schedule at the end of our season when we feel like we’re on a roll. That’s what we want for the playoffs, is to be tested and to face the best teams. We are delighted.
OSAKIS 49, LPGE 0
SCORE – FIRST QUARTER – Osakis – Isaac Hetland 1-yard run; Hetland 2-point conversion; Osakis – Chayce Meyer TD in the end zone on a punt block
SECOND QUARTER – Osakis – Hetland 14-yard run; 2-point conversion from Duncan Vandergon; Osakis – Hetland 19-yard run; Osakis – Vandergon 45-yard run; Hetland 2-point conversion race
THIRD QUARTER – Osakis – Tyson Hagedon 1 meter run
FOURTH QUARTER – Osakis – Hagedon 1 yard run; McCarter Kirksey PAT