Cloquet and Benilde-St. Margaret's met this summer at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where the teams scrimmaged at a football camp the college hosted.
The Red Knights' Ricky Floyd said he didn’t know what to think of the scrimmage as both teams were unsure of where they stood in regards to the rest of the state.
Floyd’s 4.4 40-yard dash time was impossible to miss then, and was again the bane of the Lumberjacks defense, as he often went untouched through the opposition's first two levels in the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals at Chisago Lakes High School on Friday.
The senior ran for three TD's in the first half and added a 31-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, tallying 250 all-purpose yards in in Benilde-St. Margaret’s 42-7 drubbing of Cloquet.
“Bottom line, you can see they have some fast guys and the things they do complement that,” said Lumberjacks coach Thomas Lenarz. “Hopefully after some time off the kids will come back and be ready to hit it hard.”
Floyd’s production was limited to three quarters, as he was yanked in the fourth to give substitutes some experience on the field.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s co-head coach Jon Hanks said his team has relied on Floyd to set the tone early this season as the Red Knights (8-3) have outscored competition 200-56 in first halves this season.
Benilde-St. Margaret's used Floyd's three touchdowns and some stingy defense to pile up a 21-0 halftime lead that forced Cloquet (7-4) to try and play catch-up.
The Lumberjacks offense featured hard-nosed runners that resembled Suburban Red district foe Spring Lake Park, who bested the Red Knights in overtime in a game Hanks said his team’s physicality kept them with the No. 3-5A Panthers.
“(Cloquet) plays smash mouth football and work to get to their bootleg, and if you fall asleep on that they can hurt you,” Hanks said. “(Quarterback Tim Pokornowski) is a tough kid. He carried the ball quite a bit tonight.”
Pokornowski totaled 108 of the Lumberjacks 138 total rushing yards while other runners managed just 30 yards on 20 carries.
Neutralizing the Lumberjacks downhill run-game allowed the Red Knights to pressure the pocket and forced two interceptions and a fumble in the second half.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s will play in the state semifinals on Thursday when they’ll face Marshall, a team that has a similar offensive strategy to the Red Knights, featuring a speedy back in Jefferson Lee V.
With both teams having experience practicing against an elusive back as the game may come down to who can tackle in the open field.
“You can’t underestimate any team. We’re at state now and every team has the goal to win. We just got to stay humble and keep fighting,” Floyd said.
Ricky Floyd tallied four touchdowns in Benilde-St. Margaret’s 42-7 rout of Cloquet in the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals at Chisago Lakes High School Friday night.
Floyd scored three times on the ground in the first half and finished the game with 227 rushing yards for the Red Knights (8-3). He also caught two passes for 35 yards and a touchdown from quarterback Will Whitmore.
Lumberjacks' (7-4) quarterback Tim Porkornowski finished the game with 108 rushing yards and connected with Mitchell Gerlach on a 29-yard touchdown pass to spoil the shutout bid with eight seconds left in the game.