By: Jared Hines
As “Butterfly Effect” echoed through Monticello Memorial Stadium on Oct. 4, the vibe in the stadium felt different than it had felt in previous games. The Magic student section was dressed head to toe in red while the rest of the stands were packed with parents, community members, and dedicated fans who came out to brave the cold. The Monticello Pops Choir sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem as the Color Guard stood at midfield with the flags waving blissfully through the October win.
Finally, it was time for the game to start. The Bison kicked off to the Magic at 7 p.m. and by 7:03 p.m. Monticello was up 7-0.
The boys in red never looked back en route to a 41-26 victory.
The first drive took just 56 seconds as the offensive line provided an opening for Sam Valor down the right sideline. Valor did the rest, taking it 58-yards for the score. Wyatt Sawatzke’s PAT was good and just like that, the Magic were up 7-0.
Monticello and Buffalo went back and forth for the next seven minutes including a Buffalo punt, a Monticello fumble and a huge defensive stance by the defense as the Bison were deep in Magic territory. With just over five minutes left, Valor got loose again for a 43-yard run, setting up an Alex Opatz touchdown throw to Thomas Van Culin a couple plays later. The Magic took the 13-0 lead into the first quarter, getting encouraged by Head Coach Jason Telecky and the rest of the coaching staff to not ease their foot off the gas pedal.
The Bison’s first touchdown game with 9:45 left in the first half, bringing the score to 13-6 after a missed PAT. On the next drive, Valor was able to get loose again, this time for 48-yards and his second touchdown of the night. The Magic would have been happy to lead 20-7 into the halftime break but the team got the ball back late in the first half and kept pushing for a last-minute score. With just seconds left, Opatz found Jacob Galvin in the back of the endzone. There, Galvin made a miraculous catch, putting the home team up 27-6. Valor led the way with eight carries for 169 yards and two touchdowns while Calvin Schmitz added 55 yards on nine carries and Opatz completed four of his five passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
The third quarter didn’t provide much scoring until 3:44 left when the Bison converted a fourth and goal to get the deficit back to 13 points. That only lasted two minutes until Opatz and Van Culin connected again, this time for 35-yards. Both teams would score one more time in the fourth quarter, ending the game with a 15-point Magic win.
The win brought the Magic to 2-4 on the season with a battle against Elk River ahead next Friday. The game will take place at Elk River High School and will begin at 7 p.m. Come out and support the Magic!