Wins come in different forms. Sometimes they come easily. Sometimes they come ugly. But not since 1988 have they came this quickly for the Monticello football program.
With a 21-7 win over Big Lake Friday, Monticello moved to 4-0 for the first time since 1988.
The Magic also achieved their first state ranking in a long time when the AAAAA poll released last Thursday in the Star Tribune had the Magic at No. 9 in the state.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Coach Jason Telecky, adding that most of his excitement is directed toward the kids and seeing their excitement.
“I want them to feel that sense of pride. You have a vision or a plan, when you see it start to come together that way, it feels good. I made a blueprint and the kids bought into it. They’ve put in the hard work.”
Thus far, the Magic are reaping the rewards of that hard work. They continued their winning ways Friday night at Big Lake despite some first half struggles.
For most of the first half, Monticello struggled to move the ball against a Big Lake team that entered the matchup with an 0-3 record. Defensively Monticello was giving up yards to the Hornets, but continually stiffened up when Big Lake neared the red zone.
But as Monticello has painfully found out in the past, a good opponent can quickly make you pay for not taking advantage of your opportunities against them.
Now, Monticello is that good opponent. And they made Big Lake pay for coming up empty-handed. With just over five minutes left, Monticello released their offensive frustrations all in one big play.
Jake Olson took a first down carry from the Magic’s own 10-yard line and headed wide right. At about the same time he crossed the line of scrimmage, he could also be seen turning the corner by the defense, and with 90 yards still to run, he was already gone.
“A backbreaker,” said Telecky.
That run allowed Monticello to carry at least some kind of momentum into the half, as they led 7-0.
But after failing to pick up more than a couple first downs and after dropping numerous interceptions, the Magic weren’t exactly satisfied.
“There was no way that we thought we were going to be up [just] seven to [zero] at halftime,” said captain Birk Olson. “We definitely weren’t satisfied with that.”
So when the Magic came out to start the second half, Olson was clearly determined to find that elusive satisfaction.
After a failed onside kick attempt by the Hornets to open the second half, Monticello quickly moved the ball to the 43-yard line. Once there, they handed it off to the senior Olson and he took care of the rest. He bolted up the middle of the line, finding space for fifteen yards. When that space was closed by two safeties, Olson lowered his shoulder and opened it right back up, running through the defenders and into daylight for the Magic’s second touchdown.
“That was by far Birk’s best run of the season,” said Telecky. “That was a fun run to watch.”
After forcing a three and out, Monticello got the ball back and went right to work. They drove into Big Lake territory before appearing to stall out at the Hornets 30, where they faced a fourth and ten.
But too far out to kick a field goal, and too close to punt, Monticello took their chances going for it. It paid dividends.
Matt Bonk dropped back and released one of his just five passes on the night, aiming for Will Bauman on a fade route. He put it perfectly high and to the left sideline. From there, Bauman did his part extending above the defender and coming down both with the ball and his feet in bounds to give Monticello a first down at the three yard line. Two plays later, Bonk would take it in on a quarterback sneak to make it 21-0.
Monticello would miss on a couple of opportunities to put the game away, and eventually
would allow Big Lake to pull within 14 on a third and long touchdown pass, but the game was never again in doubt after Monticello asserted themselves early in the third, thanks largely to Olson and his impact on both sides of the ball. On top of his third-quarter touchdown run, Olson added two sacks, including a bone-jarring hit that knocked Big Lake’s quarterback out of the game.
“I’d only seen one other hit like that in high school,” said Telecky. “Birk is getting better every week. That’s kind of scary for other teams.”
As a team, Monticello maybe didn’t look as scary good against Big Lake as they have at other times this season. But as they’re quickly learning, all wins count the same. And with Rogers losing to STMA Friday night, this win kept Monticello as the lone undefeated team in the Mississippi 8.
The Magic will attempt to stay that way when they take on Rogers this Friday.
For more from the victory over Big Lake, as well as a homecoming preview, click here: http://monticellotimes.com/?p=43765