The St. Francis football team started last season 3-0 but finished 4-5 with four losses by six points or less.
So while the Saints' 2-0 record thus far is nothing new, the comebacks in both victories are encouraging for a team focused on finishing games.
A 30-point fourth quarter in the season opener against Duluth East turned a 14-6 deficit into a 36-21 victory. And in their 35-28 victory against Cooper, the Saints shrugged off a 28-14 Hawks' lead early in the final quarter. In two weeks, St. Francis outscored its opponents by a combined score of 51-6 in the fourth quarter.
"Our kids understand they are good enough and tough enough to come back," Saints coach Chris Lindquist said.
Cooper led 21-7 at halftime and in the locker room, Saints players got an earful from their offensive and defensive coordinators. Lindquist threw an emotional changeup, opting to smile rather than seethe.
"I told the kids, 'This feels like the lunch break at two-a-days,'" Lindquist said. "I said, 'Let's go back out like it's a new practice and let's do our Oklahoma hitting drills from the first snap to the last.'"
Of course, putting yourself in a position to need a comeback is a slippery slope and Lindquist knows tough tests await his team. The Saints play at Benilde-St. Margaret's on Friday and then head to Irondale -- teams they have gone a combined 1-5 against since 2006.
Blaine's other big player
Blaine senior quarterback Duke Anyanwu earned well-deserved praise for scoring four times in the Bengals' 26-20 overtime defeat of Hopkins last Friday. But strong safety Stephen Schneider made some key plays in the victory.
Schneider was in on 14 tackles (nine solo) and added an interception, a fumble recovery and a tackle for loss.
"That's a great game to get out of a defensive back," Blaine coach Shannon Gerrety said. "Those two turnovers are plays he made to change the game and help us go plus-3 in that category."