April 10, 2021

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Knights grind out homecoming win

QB Evan Paulson hands off to Anthony Sykora while the line opens up a hole. Photo by Tammie Olson Photography

WCA-A won its home opener on Friday night over the Crookston Pirates, posting a 24-6 victory the first time using their new scoreboard. This game consisted of a solid offensive output and a disciplined defense. Despite giving up a special teams touchdown, this game marked 79 consecutive minutes without allowing an offensive score for the Knights.

The lone touchdown the Pirates put on the board broke the scoreless tie late in the first quarter. The Knights forced a 4th down stop on the Pirates opening drive, however they then went three-and-out on their first offensive possession of the game. On the punt, a high snap floated the ball into the end zone. Crookston jumped on the loose ball to take a 6-0 lead.

The Knight’s offense continued to be stagnant to start the game. Several big plays on ensuing drives however, proved to be the spark they needed. As the second quarter started, sophomore running back Anthony Sykora gave the Knights the first of these big plays. He took a toss play and scampered 53-yards, showing acrobatic moves and battling defenders for extra yards. This 10-play, 82-yard drive finished with senior running back Jaden Norby bulling his way in with a six-yard score. Evan Paulson’s two-point pass to Torin Olson was good. The Knights led 8-6 and never looked back.

The next scoring drive midway through the second quarter actually featured several big plays, a few that counted and a few that didn’t. The Knights got the ball back near their 30-yard line where senior Jordan Lohse broke free for a s gain, but the play was called back after a holding penalty. Lohse was able to find open space again before another holding call made it first-and-28. On third-and-21, Lohse got loose for the third time as the Knights picked up a huge, game turning first down. That momentum carried into a 25 yard catch for senior Tate Christenson on 4th and 8, taking the ball down to the 3 yard line. This set up Norby’s second touchdown run, and a 2 point conversion from Paulson to Norby.

Both teams went into halftime with a score of 16-6. After a scoreless third quarter, the Knights put together a 10 play, seventy-yard drive, culminating when Sykora found the end zone from five yards out. This drive also featured a big play, a leaping 26-yard catch from Norby to set the Knights up with goal to go. Ryder Staples caught the 2 point conversion pass, making the Knights 3 for 3 on points after for the evening.

An athletic soaring interception by Lohse with under four minutes to go effectively sealed the game, as the Knights picked up several first downs and ran the clock to zeros.

The Knights travel to Staples-Motley for a Friday game. 

       BOX SCORE

Crookston 6-0-0-0—6 

West Central Area 0-16-0-8—24

SCORING- FIRST QUARTER- CROOKSTON- WCA-A botched snap, Gunnar Gunderson 0-yard FR TD, Two-point conversion no good; SECOND QUARTER- WCA-A- Jaden Norby 6-yard TD run Evan Paulson two-point conversion pass to Torin Olson; WCA-A Jaden Norby 3-yard TD run, Evan Paulson two-point conversion pass to Jaden Norby; FOURTH QUARTER- WCA-A- Anthony Sykora 5-yard TD run, Evan Paulson two-point conversion pass to Ryder Staples;

PASSING- WCA/A- Evan Paulson 4-8, 59 yards; CROOKSTON- Easton Tangquist 1-6, 15 yards; RUSHING- WCA/A- Anthony Sykora 15 carries, 118 yards, 1 TD; Jaden Norby 13 carries, 73 yards, 2 TDs, Jordan Lohse 8 carries, 40 yards; Nate Kisgen 3 carries, 9 yards; Hunter Norby 1 carry, 7 yards; Torin Olson 1 carry, 1 yard; Mattson Hoff 1 carry, 1 yard; CROOKSTON- Ethan Boll 15 carries, 65 yards; Easton Tangquist 13 carries, 24 yards; Jaxon Wang 4 carries 15 yards; Jacob Hesby 3 carries, 7 yards; RECEIVING- WCA/A- Jaden Norby 1 catch, 26 yards; Tate Christenson 1 catch, 25 yards, Anthony Sykora 2 catches, 8 yards; CROOKSTON- zach Brown 1 catch, 15 yards; 

WCA/A DEFENSE- Jaden Norby 7.5 tackles, 9 assists, 0.5 TFL; Mattson Hoff- 5.5 tackles, 5 assists, 1 TFL; Tyler Stone 4.5 tackles, 5 assists, 0.5 TFL; Hunter Norby 3.5 tackles, 3 assisted; Shane Wrolson 3 tackles; 4 assists; Brady Reeve 2.5 tackles, 3 assists; Colton Lindquist 2.5 tackles, 3 assists; Anthony Sykora 2 tackles, 2 assists; Jordan Lohse 2 tackles, 4 assists; 1 INT; Kade Olson 2 tackles; Cole Anderson 1.5 tackles, 1 assist; Torin Olson 1 tackle; Austin Mattson 1 tackle, 2 assists.

Knights grind out homecoming win