The St. Anthony Village Huskies showed why they are undefeated at the half-way point of the regular season with a dominating victory on the road against Richfield. Here are (more than) five players who I thought showed out during the Huskies 56-27 road victory.
Offensive line – St. Anthony Village
Shden Mikael, Jackson Mack, Patrick Lavin, Ryan Ballot and Rhett Olson
With the rushing yards the Huskies put up during the game, it was impossible to pick out just one or two offensive linemen – with some playing two ways, you might see more of these guys listed individually later. As a group, they opened huge holes, allowing the running game to dominate. It didn’t matter if they were drive blocking or running trap plays, they pushed around the Spartans’ front seven all game.
Jonathan Kieren – St. Anthony Village running back/linebacker
The primary benefactor of the offensive line play was Kieren. With so many holes to run through, the first few yards were often easy pickings for the senior. Teams don’t rack up the amount of yardage on the ground as the Huskies did without the running back doing his thing. Kieren has excellent feet and made some cuts that left defenders grasping for air. After a cut, he has the acceleration and speed to run away from defenders and the power to break arm tackles. He had multiple 40-yard plus runs. On defense he had a solid game stuffing the run.
Troy Ellison – St. Anthony Village wide receiver/defensive back
According to St. Anthony Village head coach Todd Niklaus, Ellison is the best athlete on the field. It would be hard to argue with him. Ellison took a simple slant pass and used his speed to run away from every defender on the field. He caught the ball about ten yards from the Richfield sideline and ended the run after catch at the opposite pylon for an untouched touchdown. He forced a pass interference call to set up the team’s first touchdown. Just when Richfield thought they were going to get back in the game, Ellison took a kickoff to the house. Just like his touchdown catch, he was untouched. His speed and quick cuts were too much for Richfield’s coverage team to handle.
Ryan Ballot – St. Anthony Village defensive line
Ballot disrupted a middle screen, and his play ensured the play picked up minimal yardage. He then pressured the quarterback. On a running play, he came across from his end position to make a tackle on the inside. Then he forced a swing pass inside back inside so his teammates could make the play. He finished off his day with a sack.
Jackson Mack – St. Anthony Village defensive line
Both Ballot and Mack played great on both sides of the ball, so I had to mention both in the story. An early pass rush forced an incompletion. He pressured the quarterback again, forcing him out of the pocket. Then he recovered a fumble. He made a tackle on the inside, later forced a fumble, and then ran down a play from behind.
Mitchell January Richfield wide receiver/cornerback
January was a big-play threat every time he touched the ball. He has the best hands on the team, and if he gets the space, he has the speed to take a play to the house. January scored his first touchdown on a deep throw down the seam. He got in the end zone again on a 73-yard touchdown catch and run and capped his scoring day off with a 78-yard touchdown catch on a post pattern. He added a kickoff return to mid-field, an interception he returned twenty-five yards, and a punt that he angled out of bounds inside the one-yard line.