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Maple Grove Voice

Photos: Defense Shines in Maple Grove's 28-7 Victory Over Osseo in Football Season Opener

Sep 01, 2017 06:20AM ● By Doug Erlien
The Maple Grove offense has garnered the majority of the headlines the past few seasons and for good reason. The Crimson were chock-full of firepower on that side of the ball.

The 2017 season is a little different. It’s the defense that appears to be the identity and it was the defense that capitalized on Osseo mistakes in the 28-7 Maple Grove win in the first game of the year for both teams on Thursday, Aug. 31. 

“I thought defensively we created havoc and that was a good thing,” Crimson Head Coach Matt Lombardi said. “I was proud of the win, I thought we did a good job, now we need to take the next step and bury people.”

After forcing a 3-and-out on the first possession, the Crimson drove and scored on a 3-yard touchdown run by Joe Raymon to give Maple Grove a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Crimson would strike again after a blocked Osseo punt gave them excellent field position and fullback Justin Stolp scored from a yard out giving Maple Grove a 14-0 lead that they would take to tha halftime break.

Taking the opening kickoff the Crimson drove 71-yards in 10 plays and it was Raymon who scored again, this time from 2-yards out extending the lead to 21-0. The air attack showed itself in early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Curtis Haugen found Jake Kampsula for a 41-yard touchdown.

“Curtis is great,” Lombardi said. "He’s a great defensive player that we're using him on offense but he’s someone that down the road is going to have to do both for us.”

Haugen played safety for the Crimson a year ago and the shift to the lead spot in the offense isn’t a foreign one as he played quarterback on the sophomore team. There were nerves going into the game, however.

“Of course I was nervous,” Haugen said. “First game and a big game against our rival Osseo , but with nerves also comes excitement and those butterflies in the stomach are good.”

With a one-two punch in the backfield in Raymon and Evan Hull, the Crimson possess the ability to control the ball and sustain drives something Lombardi has taken with him from his time at Wayzata High School.

“I’ll admit that. I stole that from the Wayzata model,” Lombardi said. “Brad [Anderson] always had two or three running backs in there and kept running them. Probably wasn’t the best for all-state consideration, but for the team itself it was really good. It allows those kids as the weeks move on they are still healthy.”

Osseo capped the scoring with a Reggie Dupree 1-yard touchdown run after quarterback Greg Arrell hit Elijah Whitner for a 47-yard gain setting up the score.

Up Next:
Maple Grove hosts Prior Lake in a battle of top ten teams.

Osseo will host White Bear Lake in the Orioles home opener. 

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