Lassoing in the win

Orioles run over Red Knights with 33-28 comeback


Lilly Fandel Thompson

Senior Jimmy Hager runs past the Red Knights defensive line Sept. 24. Hagers touchdown was the start of Park’s comeback to take down the Knights 33-28.

Anya Panday, Alicia Mainjeni, and Sarah Peterson

A sigh of relief echoed through the stadium Sept. 24 as the Orioles took back the lead from Benilde after trailing behind 28-13 in the fourth quarter. 

For the larger part of the game, the Red Knights were in the lead with back-to-back touchdowns. With a minute left on the clock, the Orioles took the win with two interceptions. The game, Benilde St. Margaret’s homecoming, came in advance of Benilde’s western homecoming dance, creating high-stakes for the opposing team. Paired with the Orioles cowboy dress code, the game quickly became a western showdown.

Defensive coordinator Rob Griffin said that playing Benilde had a bigger significance than just football.

“There’s more pride on the line, bragging rights do matter. Both schools are right here in St. Louis Park, these kids grew up playing together and know each other well,” Griffin said. “Private (schools) versus public (schools) is a big deal too. We need to prove that we’re just as strong despite being a public school, and it’s nice when Park comes out on top.”

We have to start the game strong and not wait until the second half or fourth quarter to really turn it on and come back.

— Rob Griffin

Senior Zach Johnson also said there were higher-stakes when playing Benilde.

“(The Orioles) don’t love Benilde — we have a rivalry,” Johnson said. “They’re a private school and they act very stuck up to us because of it.”

Despite the rivalry and incredibly close game, Griffin said that there were some big highlights for the Orioles.

“Tony Kruse deserves a big shout-out. I asked the defense to come up with the ball and make a big play, told them we would probably need to score and he did it multiple times,” Griffin said. “He just showed up big-time today, especially being someone whose position was switching due to (other) injuries.”

Sophomore Tony Kruse said that even though the Orioles won, they still had many things to improve on.

“We had a lot of mistakes, especially in the first half,” Kruse said. “We need to clean up our plays and pick it up. We made more mistakes than we should’ve.”

Griffin shared similar sentiments on how the Orioles could improve moving forward from this game.

“It was still not our best performance and we’ve got to tighten things up,” Griffin said. “We have to start the game strong and not wait until the second half or fourth quarter to really turn it on and come back. But, as soon as we get healthy on defense, we’re going to be a tough team to beat come October.”

Football’s next game is 7:00 p.m. Sept. 30 at Orono High School.