In a football season where you expect the unexpected, a shorthanded Orono team lost a hard nosed football game to 5A Spring Lake Park 14-0 and won a Sub District Co-Championship. The Spartans were scheduled to play DeLaSalle in the final game of the 2020 regular season. With the Islanders forced to cancel due to COVID Contact, Orono was able to get the 4-1 Spring Lake Park Panthers to fill in. Head coach Joe McPherson commented on his teams play following the game, “I was so proud of our players tonight – we battled a very tough Spring Lake Park team. We had 10 starters out and our younger guys filled in and worked hard to keep us in the game.”
Orono’s stingy defense kept them in the game by making big 4th down stops and creating turnovers. Mike Wojciechowski and Sam Swenson each recovered fumbles that stopped Panther drives. The Orono offense kept working and had a big play in the fourth quarter when sophomore quarterback Charlie Krause hit Graham Beltrand for a 43 yard gain down to the Spring Lake Park 32. Unfortunately, the drive would stall there. “Our defense really played well against a power running team – the amount of experience our younger players got tonight will pay dividends as we go through sections” said McPherson.
Although the 4-2 Spartans lost the game, the season was a success noted McPherson “This team earned a share of the Sub-District Championship tonight and all these player’s hard work is paying off. We also received the #1 seed for sections which gives us home field advantage throughout sections.”
The reward of the #1 seed is a first round bye and a week and a half of rest. The Spartans host the Mound Whitehawks Saturday at 1pm and McPherson looked ahead to the game “It will be a fun November game against rival Mound and we should have most of our starters back in uniform to play. This team is a special group of young men and we are just taking it one day at a time through playoffs because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”