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Photos, Recap: Maple Grove Survives Against Roseville; Advances in Playoffs

Oct 28, 2016 11:28PM ● Published by Doug Erlien

The Crimson celebrate after Brad Davison's fourth quarter touchdown. (photo by Doug Erlien)

Gallery: Maple Grove Senior High v. Roseville Senior High (Oct. 28_ [14 Images] Click any image to expand.

The Maple Grove Senior High Crimson football team had all they could handle against Roseville High School in their first round playoff game on Friday, Oct. 28 at the Crimson Stadium. While many in attendance might have been surprised the Crimson trailed 18-14 heading into the fourth quarter, head coach Matt Lombardi wasn’t one of them. 

“It’s the best seventh seed I’ve seen in the tournament and we knew that coming in,” Lombardi said. “I think they would have beat a lot of teams in the tournament. This was a good win.”

It appeared early in the game as though the team that had the ball last would be victorious. The Crimson took the opening kickoff and marched 64-yards in nine plays and took an early lead on a Brad Davison three yard touchdown run. The Raiders answered with an eight play, 76-yard drive that culminated in a 10-yard touchdown making it a 7-6 game.

On the next Crimson possession, Maple Grove took advantage of a face mask penalty on third down and Davison found senior receiver Teddy Raasch on a 6-yard touchdown pass. The drive spanned 12-plays and 64-yards to give the Crimson a 14-6 lead. As they did with their first drive, the Raiders drove the field and scored on their next possession making the score 14-12. Neither team scored the rest of the first half.

“I think the big thing was to settle them down,” Lombardi said about his message at halftime. “Brad said something to the team, then I noticed they were all standing by the door with like eight minutes left and I was like 'you guys need to relax'.”

Both teams seemed to settle in during the third quarter. The Raiders continued to find yards through the air. The Crimson methodically marched down the field, but couldn’t capitalize in the red zone when Davison threw his second interception of the night midway through the quarter. Roseville took advantage of the turnover and a roughing the punter penalty as they marched 97-yards in nine plays to take a 18-14 lead late in the third quarter.

Davison would lead the Crimson down the field and they would take the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter as he ran eight-yards for a touchdown giving his team a 21-14 lead.

As they had done all night, the Raiders began to drive the field to answer. Raasch, who had scored a touchdown on offense, had struggled defensively.

“We sat him for a couple of series defensively,” Lombardi said. “I think he got his bearings again and came back in and made a huge impact.”

Sitting on the sidelines definitely got Raasch’s attention.

“I got taken out and that made me upset, but I came back from adversity and I caught the ball and ran. That’s what I do,” Raasch said.

Although he fell short of finding the end zone, the senior wasn’t done making plays. Out of a Roseville timeout with a little over three minutes to play, Raasch lined up on the right side of the formation on third down and what seemed like a mile. It didn’t matter. Raasch found himself with single coverage and scored his second touchdown of the night.

“The play on 3rd and 27 was the game,” Lombardi said. “His adjustment on the post route, if that play doesn’t happen, this is a different game.”

“I think we threw the defense off. They thought it was a run,” Raasch said.

That play gave the Crimson a 28-18 lead and seemed to loosen the defense as well as they scored twice on interception returns for touchdowns from Gabe Hanson and Carter Kitterman to seal the victory 42-18 and send the Crimson to the second round of the playoffs against Edina High.

The Crimson host Edina High School 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. 

Senior Brad Davison puts the Crimson ahead 21-18 against Roseville.

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