Maple Grove senior Evan Hull finds a hole up the middle before making his way to the end zone in the second quarter of the Crimson's 35-16 home victory over Minnetonka on Friday. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
Maple Grove’s Evan Hull said his favorite part about football is waking up early every morning to participate in tackling workouts.
It’s not the type of start to the day that many would embrace, but for Hull, the routine is something he looks forward to.
Minnetonka senior Jackson Owens catches a touchdown in the third quarter, helping the Skippers inch closer to the Crimson on Friday night. The Skippers lost the game 35-16. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
Minnetonka entered Friday night's matchup at Maple Grove as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press’ Class 6A rankings, but Evan Hull and the unranked Crimson showed they were unfazed by the Skippers' status, holding their Metro West subdistrict rival to a season-low for points in a 35-16 victory.
Hull had three rushing touchdowns in the first-half and ended the night with 24 carries for 193 yards as the Crimson (2-1) ended the Skippers' (2-1) winning streak.
Hull’s first TD came on a 3-yard run midway through the first quarter, and he added two more — including one on a 48-yard rush — in the second quarter, helping Maple Grove take a 21-3 lead with five minutes remaining before halftime.
Minnetonka responded with 23 seconds to play in the second quarter when quarterback Aaron Syverson found Tamar Hopkins for an 11-yard TD that cut the Skippers’ deficit to 11.
The Crimson defense took over in the second half, with Archie Zogaa and Zane Mandle each scoring on a turnover before three minutes had elapsed off the game clock in the third quarter.
Zogaa scooped a fumble and returned it 17 yards, and on the Skippers’ next possession, Mandle intercepted a pass and ran it back 25 yards to expand Maple Grove's lead to 35-10 and help the Crimson grasp control of the game.
Minnetonka’s offense found life late in the third quarter as Syverson completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Owens.
Syverson and Minnetonka’s pass-heavy offense couldn’t replicate the result the rest of the game, despite good field position in the fourth quarter. The Skippers reached the Crimson 11-yard line but turned the ball over on downs and never threatened to score again as their comeback attempt fell short.
Syverson finished the game with 170 passing yards.
Maple Grove Senior Evan Hull stole the show Friday night against the Skippers. The Maple grove Crimson beat the Minnetonka Skippers at home 35-16. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
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