There was no denying it: For a little more than a quarter of play Thursday, the Maple Grove offense, led by preseason Star Tribune Metro Dream Team quarterback Brad Davison, was downright awful against Osseo.
"That's about as bad as we've been," said Davison, whose two interceptions in the first 15 minutes were part of a four-turnover first-half debacle. "I think that's more turnovers than we've had all fall practice."
After falling behind by 13 points, the Crimson regrouped and ran away from the Orioles, defeating their archrivals 23-13 at Maple Grove.
It was first time the Crimson has defeated Osseo, the defending Class 6A champions, on the field since 2009 (Osseo had to forfeit a victory in 2012). And it was Davison who provided the offensive firepower.
The 6-3 quarterback, who has committed to play college basketball at Wisconsin, was marvelous after his early miscues. Davison completed 11 of 22 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown and rushed 25 times for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a game-clinching 46-yard, fourth-quarter cutback run for the game's final touchdown.
"I've never beaten [Osseo] before," said Davison, now in his third year starting at quarterback for the Crimson. "And I lost to them twice in basketball last year, so I had a little chip on my shoulder. I kept telling myself to keep believing in myself. And my teammates, they really picked me up and that gave me a lot of confidence."
Maple Grove coach Matt Lombardi said: "Brad really grew up, as a player and a leader, tonight. It was a great growing game for him because he struggled early and he had to say, 'Hey, it's on me. I've got to get this thing back.' And he did. He took ownership of it."
While the Maple Grove offense was finding itself, the Crimson defense did all it could to keep the game within reach. Both of Osseo's touchdowns came as a result of turnovers, and twice it kept Osseo from scoring after the mistakes.
Maple Grove rallied late in the first half and trailed only 13-10 at halftime.
"When we went into halftime, I said to the offense, 'You better send them flowers because the defense just bailed your butt out,' " Lombardi said. "I gave them a tip of the cap. The 13-10 halftime score was because of the defense. It's a nice victory."