Posted On: 10/27/19 4:11 AM

It was a dominating performance by the Apple Valley Eagles on Saturday night. For the second straight week, the Eagles took down the Hastings Raiders. Last week they won 45-7, and tonight, in the Section 3 5A playoffs, they did it again – this time 37-6.
To win by 31 points, it takes a total team effort. The same applied here, but one Eagle stood out above all else – Tony Anger.
After both teams punted to start the game, Hastings’ returner muffed the punt. Set up at the 30-yard line, two plays would only net two yards. The third play would net a few more. A block on the outside by wide receiver Jason Fischbach helped fellow wide receiver Bilhal Kone get the corner and get down the sidelines for a 28-yard touchdown run.
“Our guys were working hard up front,” Eagles’ head coach Chad Clendening said. “We had to find our identity on offense, and it has kind of been power running with Tony and the perimeter attack we have developed with Bilhal.”
Anger knocked down a pass on Hastings’ next possession, and two plays later Hastings was punting again. Anger found room up the middle as a running back, made two people miss and pick up twenty yards. On a third and four, he powered his way to a first down.
“Tony is a special player. He is just a stud,” Clendening said. “He is a three-year starter for us. In the last two years, he has played almost every snap – even special teams. He is a great leader and plays hard.”
Hastings looked like they were going to get off the field when Kone lined up to punt. The Eagles dialed up a fake on 4th and 17. Kone exploded into the second level of the defense and picked up the first down. Kone scored his second touchdown of the game when he caught a pass from quarterback Noah Halmar for an eight-yard score.
As an inside linebacker, Anger blew up the receiver on a slant pass, and then he made an open-field tackle on a slant pass to force another punt. Hastings would convert on a fake punt to keep the drive alive. The Raiders were in the red zone, but Anger picked off a pass. Anger picked up 45-yards on the return.
“I saw the slot receiver go down the hash,” Anger said. “I read the play and made a play on it.”
With the clock running low, Anger picked up a first down on an option. It would set up a 33-yard field goal attempt that Kone hit at the buzzer. The kick would send the Eagles into the locker room with a 17-0 lead.
Things would only get worse for the Raiders. Apple Valley took the second-half kickoff and only needed a couple of plays to increase the lead. Halmar threw a strike to Fischbach, who caught the slant, cut across the field, got down the sidelines, and scored from 73 yards out.
On the next offensive possession, faced with a first and sixteen Anger picked up twenty yards. The Eagles would have to punt again, but the Raiders muffed another punt – this time setting the Eagles up at the ten-yard line. Two plays later, Anger ran it in from 8-yards out.
Hastings would try to throw another slant, but Anger had other ideas. He picked off his second pass of the game and nearly scored. He was tackled inside the five. One play later, Kone would score his third touchdown to make the score 37-0. Hastings would score a late touchdown to make the final score 37-6.
Apple Valley started the season 1-4 but has won four straight games and will play 8-1 St. Thomas Academy on Friday.