Extra points: Magic football notes
Five extra points from last week’s 38-23 victory over the rival Bison, as well as a bit more info about this week’s opponent from Cambridge-Isanti.
• Last year the Magic set a school record for rushing yards in a season. Through two games, this year’s team is over 200 yards ahead of their pace. The 2011 Magic still had some of their biggest games in front of them, but the two biggest performances of the year were 347 yards (at Elk River) and 342 yards (at Becker), and this year’s team has put up 341 yards and 342 yards in the first two games of the year.
So, what does that mean? Well, it’s early, but the Magic are on pace to once again run down the school rushing record.
• Jake Olson who is tied for tenth in the state with five touchdowns (according to Minnesota Football Hub) is as humble as he is good. When asked immediately afterward if Friday night was his best football game ever, all he wanted to talk about was how many mistakes he made. After some prodding, the junior finally admitted that yes, as far as he could remember Friday is the best he’s ever been.
• Speaking of Olson. He spent much of last year getting carries for the junior varsity team. Varsity coach Jason Telecky said opposing coaches would constantly ask the Magic JV coaches what that kid was doing on junior varsity. Certainly the talent was there, Olson showed that in the few varsity runs that he had last year. But with Ben Scacht, Chase Holum and Birk Olson all running wild on varsity, Telecky wanted to make sure the sophomore was getting enough carries to improve, so he spent most of his time with the junior varsity.
“But now he’s getting his carries here for the next two years,” said Telecky. “And I’m pretty ecstatic about that.”
• One of the keys to Monticello’s pass coverage this year has been the addition of Paul Fair and AJ Potter into the linebacker spots. They’re both long, lanky athletes who have been able to disrupt the passing lanes numerous times. Last year, Schacht and Holum were two tremendous players holding down those positions, but they were both well under six feet tall. This year, the addition of the height and athleticism has made passing over the middle a much tougher task against the Magic this year. They can also hit, as evidenced by Fair’s team leading 11 tackles Friday night.
As far as passing over the top, returning All-Conference cornerback Hayden Laimer continues to put himself in nearly perfect position every time a team tries to send a bigger receiver deep on him. Laimer broke up a couple more deep passes last Friday night.
• The last time the Magic started 2-0 was in 2008, when they opened the season with a 13-12 win over Zimmerman, before knocking off Columbia Heights in week two. That squad finished the regular season with a record of 3-5.
Monticello hosts Cambridge-Isanti Friday night. Both teams enter with a 2-0 record and a share of first place in the Mississippi 8.
Cambridge is a bit of a surprise story this season, as the traditional football power went 1-8 last season. The Bluejackets returned just two starters from last year’s team, but they have returned to their style of old.
Offensively they are a Wing T team with a big, physical line. Defensively, they’ve been shutting teams down. Their season-opening win came over the preseason conference favorites from STMA. Cambridge held the Knights to just 108 yards and won the game 8-0 on the strength of a safety and two field goals.
Individually, Cambridge has been led by running back Chase Laidley, who has carried 47 times for 204 yards through two games. Travis Holt has carried 18 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback John Solberg has thrown just 14 times through two games, completing six passes for 53 yards with one interception.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Monticello Middle School.