Spartans start season with victory over Jefferson

Tommy Deters runs with the ball in Orono’s opening game against Jefferson. (Submitted photo)
The Orono Spartan’s football team opened the 2017 season with a convincing 49-21 victory at Bloomington over the Jefferson Jaguars.

The Spartans’ offense amassed 712 yards and the defense created three turnovers to secure the win.

“It was good first game,” Coach Weiland said after the game. “We still have a lot to work on, but we got the victory and came out of the game mostly healthy.”

The Orono offense came out swinging against the Jaguars scoring 27 first quarter points. The Spartan offense produced four explosive plays for touchdowns early.

Tommy Deters caught passes on two of those plays, scoring on 47 and 52-yard passes from Nick Prentice.

The running game also accounted for two explosive plays, with Bobby Striggow powering his way for a 24-yard TD run and Fisher Eiss sprinting his way to an 87-yard run to the end zone.

Eiss picked up his second touchdown of the game near the end of the first half on a six-yard run.

In the second half, the Spartans returned to the passing game with Nick Prentice hitting Sam Perry on a 20-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

The Orono special teams added another score in the third quarter on Max Blaschke’s 23-yard field goal.

The final score of the game for the Spartans came on Eiss’ third score on the night with a three-yard run.

On the night, the Spartans rushed for 410 yards and passed for another 302 yards.

“We don’t keep track of all-time records for yards in a game, but 712 yards is the most a Spartan team has gained in any game I have coached in the last 16 years,” Coach Weiland said. “They played very well tonight.”

Eiss led all rushers with 220 yards on 19 carries. Bobby Striggow contributed 76 yards on eight carries and Nick Prentice ran for 68 yards on 12 carries.

Prentice was 11 for 23 with 302 yards on the night passing. His favorite receiver was Tommy Deters who caught seven passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

Sam Perry also had two catches for 41 yards and a touchdown.

Coach Fedie named the whole line as the players of the game for their domination up front against the Jaguars. The offensive line members are Michael Delaney, Ari Dworsky, Chris Spacek, Taylor Cole, Dominic Dahlen, Graham Mehaffey, Braeden Christiansen and David Anderson.

The Spartan defense showed signs of what they can become this season, but they also showed some first game jitters in the victory.

“Overall I thought we played hard and held the physical advantage over Jefferson, but we made too many mental mistakes that will end up hurting us as we move forward in the season,” Coach Weiland said.

On the night, the Spartans gave up 231 yards through the air and 104 on the ground.

“Considering the fact that the Jaguars were playing from behind most of the night, those numbers are respectable, yet not where they should be,” Coach Weiland said after the game.

The defense was led by Sam Wagner-Lund with two interceptions, nine tackles, two pass hurries, and 38 defensive points.

Seven other players scored 10 or more defensive points (given for tackles, take-aways, and execution). Those players are Tommy Deters (31 points), Mitch Hirschberg (28 points), Danny Striggow (27 points), Bobby Striggow (26 points), Chad Mrachek (18 points), Ben Quinlivan (14 points) and Marcus Anderson (11 points).

Along with Wagner-Lund’s two interceptions, Mitch Hirschberg also had an interception. QB sacks were recorded by Bobby Striggow, Danny Striggow, Ben Quinlivan and Caleb Limesand.

The Spartans will open the home portion of its 2017 schedule hosting the defending 4A state champion, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, on Friday, Sep. 8 at 7 p.m. Benilde is also 1-0 on the season, defeating Waconia 28-14 in week one.

This early game is very important for both teams as the Spartans and Red Knights are both in the same Sub-District and play-off section.

“Since the top two teams in the section will get a first-round bye in the play-offs, every game against a section opponent is important,” Coach Weiland said.