The Magic game at Princeton has been moved from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. due to predicted high temperatures near 90 degrees.
Coming off their best regular season in a quarter century, the Magic football team will look to pick up right where they left off in the regular season.
A 7-1 regular season record helped the Magic capture a share of their first conference championship in 25 years. The loss of their regular season form led to an early exit from the playoffs though, as St. Michael-Albertville knocked them out in the section semifinal.
Monticello, despite rather heavy losses to graduation, will need to find last year’s regular season form right away as they start the season with a tough challenge tonight.
The Magic head to Princeton to take on an old foe who has rejoined the Mississippi 8 this year. The Tigers finished just 4-4 in the regular season last year but got hot in the playoffs. Princeton advanced all the way to the semifinals of the state tournament before bowing out to Holy Family.
They, like the Magic, did suffer pretty significant graduation losses.
Both teams lost their quarterback and key pieces of the line.
Princeton does bring back a couple of talented wide receivers, while Monticello brings back one of the most talented running backs in the area in Jake Olson.
With Princeton expected to run the same 3-4 cover 2 defense that they ran last year, Monticello will certainly be looking to establish senior Jake Olson and the ground game early.
“We’ll overload the box with our three backs and run power football right at them,” said Telecky.
The Magic will look to force a safety toward the line and out of cover 2, hoping they can then take advantage through the air.
On defense, Monticello expects to face a similar offense to what Princeton was running at the beginning of last year, which includes a lot of I-formation with double tight ends.
With the styles of play, Telecky expects it to be a low-scoring hard fought game. He also expects the Tigers to provide a stiff opening test.
“I expect them to be a very good football team,” he said. “We definitely have our work cut out for us.”
In the Star Tribune’s preseason predictions, Monticello is picked to finish second in the Mississippi 8 Red Division, while Princeton is picked to finish third. Chisago Lakes is favored to win the division.
While putting too much pressure on one game, especially this early in the season, can be dangerous, Monticello simply doesn’t have much other choice with just a five game conference schedule.
“You hate to always put that much importance on one game,” said Telecky. “But one loss may knock us out of the opportunity to win the conference.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday night at Princeton High School.
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