Football roundup Sept. 6, 2012A look at how area teams are doing with a special focus on Cromwell-Wright.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
A loyal Vikings fan, Cromwell-Wright senior quarterback Jared Hutar will do whatever it takes to take in some football over the
“On Fridays I play, Saturdays I watch college and Sunday and Monday I watch the pros,” said the 6-foot-2, 170-pound right-hander for the Cardinals under center. “I’ve watched a lot of football.”
One thing Hutar couldn’t watch long last Friday was when sophomore fullback Tyler Hakamaki broke his leg during a two-point conversion effort early in a 38-20 defeat against Kelliher-Northome in Cromwell.
“It was terrible, I just walked away,” Hutar said. “It definitely took the wind out of our sails.”
“His season was over in the first five minutes of the game,” added Cardinals Coach Jeff Gronner. “That’s a big injury for us to fill. We’ll just have to improve. We’ll have to move a few guys around.”
Adjustments could be challenging with Cromwell-Wright’s roster size this fall. According to Gronner, their 23 total players are the fewest he’s seen since taking over the small-town 9-Man program in 2004.
Still, if there’s a community that can cope with injuries and limited depth, it’s Cromwell-Wright. Owning state championship trophies from 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2010, the Cardinals always plan for success.
“We focus on our quickness, speed and getting off the ball as fast as we can,” said Gronner, an offensive and defensive lineman in high school and college. “We just try to be quicker than the other team.”
Although taking a defeat in their opener last week, Gronner said he and his players – including Hutar – found improvements they can build on to be at their best in late October rather than late August.
“We have a lot of time left,” said Hutar. “We just have to get refocused. If we work together and do our jobs, I’m confident we can do great things.”
Cromwell-Wright will travel to Hill City Friday to take on the Hornets at 7 p.m.
Carlton dropped Class A football last year due to their lack of numbers, yet returned 35 players to fall camp in August. Taking part in a three-game varsity schedule, the Bulldogs – directed by new Coach Erik Hanson – will participate in the Section 5 9-man postseason.
Cloquet dropped a 20-13 double overtime nail-biter at St. Louis Park to open their season. The Lumberjacks, which led the game twice, allowed a pair of late Orioles scores before failing to convert. Quarterback Sean Kedrowski ran and threw for a score for Cloquet.
Esko allowed a 78-yard touchdown run on the opening play from scrimmage, yet clamped down on Deer River for a 22-12 win over the visiting Warriors. Riley Mudek, Ryan Holte and Earl Brinkley all scored as the Eskomos rattled off 22 consecutive points last Thursday.
Wrenshall kicked off their year with a 36-0 shutout loss at Great Northern Conference nemesis Nevis. The Wrens, which returned to varsity a season ago, have been blanked in five of their last 10 games.