It was a night made for jumping in a lake and Noah Voigt looked like he just had.
Dripping in sweat, the St. Cloud Tech senior lineman was overjoyed with the Tigers’ 14-0 win Friday night over Sartell.
“It was great,” Voigt said. “It’s always big to beat Sartell.
“It’s our biggest rival, I’d say.”
Tech did it on a sweltering night at St. Cloud State’s Husky Stadium to win its season-opener in a matchup of Central Lakes Conference South Division rivals.
“I haven’t tasted a win in a while,” said Tech’s Philip Amundson, who had a big evening. “It feels really good.”
Amundson made an acrobatic catch in the end zone with 1:30 to go in the first half to put the Tigers up 6-0. The catch came on a 12-play, 91-yard drive that included a 46-yard run by Amundson, a receiver and one of four Tigers going two ways on a hot, humid night.
“I was very impressed with the four kids we asked to go two ways,” said Tech head coach Gregg Martig, who called Amundson’s catch “Willie Mays” style. “They gutted it out.”
Voigt, Amundsen, Austin Klaverkamp and Jesse Joiner did the double duty for the Tigers and all played well.
Amundsen scored Tech’s second touchdown on a seven-yard run with 3:53 to play and then made the two-point conversion on the same play.
The Tigers call it a ‘T’ formation, with three backs lined up side by side about five yards behind the quarterback.
It’s something they hadn’t used before Friday.
“You’ve got to hand it to Tech,” Sartell head coach Scott Hentges said. “They played well. It was a real physical game.
“We played hard, but made some key mistakes at critical times. We had a long drive in the first half that ended with a mistake and a long drive in the second half. They (the Tigers) also made the play on the fourth-and-one (at the Tech 20 in the fourth quarter).”
The game went as advertised: Physical and intense with defenses ruling the evening.
Neither team threw much or particularly well. Tech ended up grinding out 243 yards rushing on 40 carries, using a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-rubber-pellets mode of offense.
Josh Falk led the way, gaining 111 yards on 15 carries.
Brennan Paulsen rushed 17 times for 66 yards, including 12 times for 60 yards in the second half.
For Sartell, junior running back Darek Stachowski had a big game, rushing 26 times for 114 yards.
But it wasn’t enough.
Amundson also had an interception he returned 41 yards near the end of the first half and had a big punt return in the second half that helped Tech get some important field position on a night when field position mattered.
“Right place at the right time,” Amundson said of his evening. “I guess they (the coaches) called the right number. It was good to help the team.”
Like many players on both sides, Amundson wound up with cramps. He drank plenty of water beforehand, or so he thought.
“Not enough apparently,” he said.
But it was enough for a big win to start the season.
“We’ve got work to do for next week,” Hentges said. The Sabres play Friday at Alexandria, a 28-14 loser to Moorhead.
Tech also hits the road, playing Friday at Grand Rapids.
” We’re excited,” Martig said. “It’s a good football win against a very solid football team.”
T — Philip Amundson 11 pass from Jay Kedrowski (kick failed)
T — Austin Klaverkamp 7 run (Klaverkamp run)
Rushing: S — Darek Stachowski 26-114, Hunter Anderson 1-7, Nick Jensen 4-2, Brandon Snoberger 8-(-7). Total: 39-116. T — Josh Falk 15-111, Brennan Paulsen 17-66, Amundson 1-46, Klaverkamp 3-22, Riley Bates 3-0, Kedrowski 1-(-3). Total: 40-243.
Passing: S — Snoberger 6-18-1 57. T — Kedrowski 1-9-0 11.
Receiving: S — Mickey Kutz 2-6, Jensen 1-21, Alex Haima 1-14, Aaron Randall 1-10, Sam Neeser 1-6. T — Amundson 1-11.