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Crimson Back to State After Battle with Armstrong

Oct 24, 2015 01:29AM ● Published by Doug Erlien

Gallery: Maple Grove vs. Armstrong [9 Images] Click any image to expand.

It wasn’t easy, but it’s the playoffs and it isn’t supposed to be. The Maple Grove Senior High Football team earned their way to the state tournament with a 21-18 win over a strong Armstrong High School squad.

“Armstrong was a really good team,” Crimson Head Coach Matt Lombardi said. “I knew that coming in. There’s a lot of really good athletes that have a lot of great football lineage that have grown up with the sport at a very high level. To beat them on a night where they gave every ounce of what they had, we are very fortunate.”

With the score tied at six, Armstrong took the lead early in the second half when Collis Barber found Isaiah Poster on a 62-yard touchdown when Poster found himself behind the Crimson defense. The Falcons missed the point after, but led 12-6. The Crimson answered as they have all season. Quarterback Brad Davison found Eddie Lee on a deep pass and Lee scampered 64-yards for the touchdown that put the Crimson up for good.

Maple Grove added to their lead in the fourth quarter on a drive that saw Davison make play after play both on the ground and through the air. Davison scored from 10-yards out, then added the two point conversion to give his team a somewhat comfortable nine point lead with a little more than 2:30 to play in the fourth quarter.

Enter Thomas Barber, who had scored the game’s first touchdown for Armstrong. The Falcons drove the field, and Barber scored from 12-yards out, pulling Armstrong to within three. With a little more than a minute remaining, the Falcons recovered the onside kick and began driving once again trying to spring the upset for the second straight week.

Maple Grove's Isaac Collins ended any such thoughts as he intercepted a Barber pass allowing the Crimson to run out the clock and advance to the state tournament for the third straight season. 

Maple Grove will face Burnsville High School Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 at Hopkins High School.

 







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