Prep football: Apollo 42, Sauk Rapids 20

Prep football: Apollo 42, Sauk Rapids 20

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Prep football: Apollo 42, Sauk Rapids 20

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SAUK RAPIDS

Perhaps it was the weather. In the first two weeks of the season, St. Cloud Apollo felt like it hadn’t put together a complete half of good football.

The social media chatter apparently hadn’t been too kind to the Eagles, either.

On a beautiful Friday night at the Sauk Rapids-Rice High School Field, Apollo felt like it put both matters to rest.

The Eagles beat the Storm 42-20 to improve to 3-0.

“It’s just huge for our school,” said Apollo senior receiver/linebacker Jeremy Koffi, who rushed for a 75-yard touchdown and also caught a 10-yarder for six points. “We’ve been putting in so much work in the offseason and we knew we could come out strong and everything.

“It’s just big. It’s just nice to see all the hard work paying off.”

The Eagles led 28-7 and were up 42-7 when their starters began coming off the field. The fourth quarter was played in running time.

“We emphasized the importance of it being a good week of practice,” Apollo head coach Justin Skaalerud said. “We simulated a complete half of football. We ran out of steam a little bit the first two weeks and some of that definitely had something to do with the weather.”

There were big plays galore. Besides Koffi’s big run, Noel Teigen had several, including a 2-yard TD run with 1:05 left in the first quarter to open the scoring.

“We pretty much wanted to come out and shut everyone up that was saying, ‘Oh, they got lucky against Rocori and Moorhead,'” Koff said. “And, ‘Oh, Rocori and Moorhead are down’ or something like that.”

Sauk Rapids (0-3) bounced right back with a big play of its own. Michael Lommel went 55 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first quarter.

But other than that, it was a rough evening for the Storm.

“I honestly don’t know what to say,” Sauk Rapids senior quarterback/defensive back Tyler Bjork said. “They (the Eagles) did a good job of carrying out their plays.”

Penalties and mistakes in general hurt Sauk Rapids. The Storm wound up with seven penalties for 73 yards. There also were three fumbles and an interception.

“We’re struggling to pinpoint it right now,” Storm head coach Bill Magnuson said of his team’s woes. “You’ve got to hand it to them (the Eagles). They beat us.”

Junior quarterback Ben Alvord ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more, including a 35-yarder to Cooper Lynch that delighted Skaalerud. He said Lynch has been a key blocker on several long Apollo pass plays this year, making him a bit of an unsung hero. Friday, he got to shine as Apollo piled up 385 yards on 60 plays.

“It was a good game,” said Apollo senior linebacker/running back Michael Ashwill, who had two quarterback sacks. “We worked hard all week in practice and we were ready for (Friday) …

“Everyone did their jobs on those big plays we had and made them happen.”

Apollo faces its biggest test of the season next Friday at Brainerd. Sauk Rapids plays at Fergus Falls.

St. Cloud Apollo 7 21 14 0 42
Sauk Rapids 7 0 0 13 20

A — Noel Teigen 2 run (Connor Waldron kick)

SR — Michael Lommel 55 run (Mat Meyer kick)

A — Jeremy Koffi 10 pass from Ben Alvord (Waldron kick)

A — Koffi 75 run (Waldron kick)

A — Alvord 1 run (Waldron kick)

A — Alvord 5 run (Waldron kick)

A — Cooper Lynch 35 pass from Alvord (Waldron kick)

SR — Patrick Vannurden 40 pass from Jeremy Thorson (Meyer kick)

SR — Cole Neeser 71 run (run failed)

Individual statistics

Rushing: A — Koffi 2-79, Teigen 4-58, Ethan Carlson 8-32, Kyle Rosenthal 8-28, Antongy Vega 3-27, Michael Ashwill 5-14, Justin Barg 2-1, Sam Glass 1-0, Clayton Hoeper 3-(-1), Alvord 4-(-5), Troy Kosel 1-(-7). Total: 41-223. SR — Lommel 7-85, Neeser 2-71, Bobby Wittowski 8-45, Tyler Bork 5-8, Logan Smoley 5-8, Thorson 1-(-1), Brandon Morrison 1-(-5). Total: 29-211.

Passing: A — Alvord 11-19-0 162, Barg 0-2-1. SR — Bjork 9-16-1 110, Thorson 2-3-0 44.

Receiving: A — Teigen 4-59, Koffi 4-51, Lynch 2-44, Rosenthal 1-8. SR — Vannurden 5-72, Smoley 3-37, Wittowski 1-32, Brandon Morrison 1-8, Connor Heinen 1-5.

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