Osseo tight end Will Johnson
This is supposed to be a big season for Osseo. With two potential Division I recruits in tight end Will Johnson and quarterback D.J. Hebert, the Orioles are expected to challenge for the Northwest Suburban Conference title and have their sights set on a deep playoff run.
All of that can still happen, of course, and Thursday's attention-getting 37-35 loss to Centennial could turn out to be the motivation tool that inspires the Orioles for the rest of the season.
Osseo scored plenty of points, which was expected, but also gave up yardage in big chunks, including four second-half touchdowns by Centennial running back Ben LaMere and 266 yards passing by Cougars quarterback Evan Ostergren.
Osseo hosts Park Center on Friday. It's a safe bet to say coach Darrin Lamker will have the Orioles' full attention at practice this week.
It was a mixed bag of results for coaches making debuts at new schools:
• Maple Grove's lauded new coach, Matt Lombardi, saw his team fall to Armstrong 18-16.
• Park Center, coached by former Gophers quarterback Rickey Foggie, lost to Anoka 41-7.
• Elk River's new coach, Steve Hamilton, might have the Elks back on the right track. They beat Big Lake 26-14 Thursday, ending a 16-game losing streak.
• Former Vikings quarterback Brooks Bollinger guided Hill-Murray past St. Paul Johnson 42-14.
• Woodbury's Andy Hill, a 1996 graduate of the school, lost to Stillwater 27-20. Stillwater's coach, Beau LaBore, was the coach at Woodbury for the past six seasons.
• In another battle of new head coaches in the Suburban East, Forest Lake, headed by Paul Kendrick, outscored Park of Cottage Grove 53-36. Former Tartan coach Darin Glazier is the new coach at Park.
St. Francis displayed a flair for the dramatic. The host Saints muddled about for three quarters and trailed Duluth East 14-6 going into the fourth quarter before exploding for 30 points and pulling away for a 36-21 victory.
Running back Jake Engnell had a big game, rushing for 202 yards and four touchdowns.
• Brainerd coach Ron Stolski, who also is the executive director of the Football Coaches Association, kicked off his 50th season as a head coach -- the past 36 of them at Brainerd -- with a 28-20 victory over Rocori. It was the 331st career victory for Stolski, the most in state history.
• Stephen-Argyle, which set the state record for consecutive victories with 76 before losing to Kittson Central in 2008, lost to Ulen-Hitterdal by a score of 47-8. That's a shocking result for a program with that sort of pedigree.
A quick look around the metro at some games coming up this week:
• Cretin-Derham Hall at Mounds View: Always a big game in the Suburban East. This one is made more interesting by the banged-up nature of Cretin's offense. Wide receiver Taylor Montero (knee) is out for the season and the Raiders' impressive running backs, Kendrik Brewster and James Onwualu, are both nursing shoulder injuries.
• DeLaSalle at St. Anthony: The Islanders have been the top dog in the Tri-Metro for most of the past decade, but the Huskies have been nipping at their heels. St. Anthony won at DeLaSalle last year 30-27.
• Glencoe-Silver Lake at Waconia: Waconia's Maxx Williams, a Gophers recruit, was not expected to play against Orono because of knee and ankle injuries but ended up leading the Wildcats to victory. He'll need to heal quickly to contend with Glencoe's physical defense.
Tag(s): History Lake Northwest Suburban Suburban East Brainerd Rocori Hill-Murray Tartan Big Lake Elk River St. Francis Ulen-Hitterdal Osseo Centennial Maple Grove Park Center Anoka St. Paul Johnson Cretin-Derham Hall Forest Lake Mounds View Park of Cottage Grove Stillwater Woodbury Stephen-Argyle Central DeLaSalle Glencoe-Silver Lake Orono Waconia Duluth East