By: Jared Hines (Feature Photo taken by Matthew Sauser)
What a difference a week makes.
Just seven days after falling 22-3 to Becker, the Magic returned home to Monticello Memorial Stadium and were dominant in a 48-6 win over Cambridge-Isanti. The crowd was electric, the defense unstoppable, and the rushing attack about as perfect as can be in the victory. The win brought the Magic back to .500 on the season with another home game looming next Friday night against Andover.
While the Magic started on defense in Friday’s game, it didn’t take long for Monticello’s defense to take care of business. Pushing the Bluejackets offense back five yards on the opening drive, the Magic offense took over with excellent field position at the Bluejackets 40-yard line. Quarterback Alex Opatz hooked up with Eli Kuhn early and one play later, running back Sam Valor punched it in from 17-yards out. Wyatt Sawatzke’s extra point was good and less than three minutes into the game, the Magic had their first lead of the season.
The fun was just beginning.
After another three-and-out forced by the Monticello defense, punt returner Calvin Schmitz carried the ball 37-yards back to Cambridge-Isanti’s 15-yard line. After offsetting penalties, Valor was able to get loose for the second time, putting Monticello up 14-0. Another defensive stand plus a muffed punt led to a 29-yard touchdown by Riley Banyai and gave Monticello a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. Schmitz returned a punt 68-yards as well but it was called back on a penalty on the Magic.
After Monticello’s first punt of the game, Cambridge-Isanti began driving before Thomas Van Culin picked off a pass to give the ball back to Opatz and Co. One play later, Opatz and Van Culin connected for a 38-yard pass and a couple plays later, Schmitz punched it in for the fourth Magic touchdown of the half. With 1:22 left in the half, Schmitz was able to score his second touchdown of the game, giving the Magic a 34-0 lead at halftime. Valor, Schmitz and Banyai combined for 164 yards on the ground in the first 24-minutes, backed by a dominant defensive performance.
The Magic didn’t stop after the halftime break as Valor went over 100-yards on the night with a 52-yard touchdown run behind the Monticello offensive line which impressed all night. Valor had another huge run of 62-yards later in the quarter which was fumbled into the endzone, leading to a Bluejackets touchback. He ended the night with 189 rushing yards unofficially.
Late in the third quarter, the Bluejackets looked poised to score before the Magic defense forced a fumble, recovered by Gus Hangsleben. Many players were able to gain varsity experience in the fourth quarter, including Anthony Staryszak, the sophomore quarterback. Sophomore Carson Kolles also scored a 30-yard touchdown for the Magic with 5:47 remaining, ending the scoring for the night for the Magic. The Bluejackets scored a 71-yard touchdown with 3:53 remaining for the team’s only points of the game.
Monticello is now 1-1 on the season and will have one week to prepare for the Huskies of Andover. The Huskies lost to Rogers on Friday night, dropping to 0-2 on the season.