Final Football Sections Game: BSM vs. Orono

Rose Conry

Before Benilde-St. Margaret’s moved into the North Suburban Conference four years ago, their athletic teams competed in the Metro-Alliance Conference. As members of this conference, BSM’s football team battled Orono in several key match-ups over the years for the conference title, so when the Red Knights journeyed to Orono for the section semifinal game, they renewed an old rivalry with the Spartans.  Unfortunately this time, the rivalry refused to swing in their favor, and Orono outscored BSM 32-0.

Entering the game as an underdog against the number one ranked 4A team with a 9-0 record, the players knew a chance at victory relied on their ability to execute a hard-hitting and error-free game. “We need to play a hard physical game since they are a big team. We can’t make any mistakes, and we need to capitalize on theirs,” said one of the captains, senior Craig Shaver.

In addition, contending for the win required a strong start for the Red Knights.  “The game will be interesting if we score early,” said one of the head coaches, Jon Hanks.  Instead of a strong start, the team fell behind early on against the Spartans.

An undefeated Orono started the game with two touchdowns in the first quarter and built a 25 point lead by the end of the first half, disapproving any doubts of the team’s unworthiness of its high ranking. Led by quarterback, Tyler Hartlein, the Spartans moved down the field with relative ease.  “He can run, and he can pass the ball,” said Hanks.  Throughout the  game, he proved this versatility and showcased his talents, completing 15 out of 20 passes for a total of 183 yards and rushing for 19 yards, while facing heavy pressure from BSM’s defensive line.

Despite an early deficit, BSM continued to battle hard, during the course of the game.  Their unwillingness to surrender was shown in a better second half performance, allowing only one touchdown, holding Orono scoreless for the forth quarter and reaching Orono’s 18 yard line as the time clock expired.

Due to inconsistency on offense and defense, the Red Knights showed promise at times, but failed to push past Orono’s defense or stop several of their drives.  With a young team, BSM struggled with inconsistency throughout the entire season, having a handful of strong performances along with a few weaker games.  During the past week of practice, the team worked on improving this aspect of its play.

Although a disappointing overall performance for the Red Knights, senior Nate Hansen secured a spot in the record books for achieving a career total of over 1000 rushing yards, tying for sixth in the state for the season’s long rushing list.