Park Center • Football

Buirge didn’t feel as sore as he normally does when he woke up Saturday morning. The clouds and rain did nothing to dampen his spirits.

The Park Center junior was basking in the aftermath of the Pirates’ 48-14 victory over Armstrong on Friday night. Who could blame him? It was their first Northwest Suburban Conference victory since 2010 — two years before the 6-foot, 180-pound Buirge arrived — breaking a streak of 24 consecutive league losses.

“That was so much fun,” Buirge said. “We were firing on all cylinders. My phone has been blowing up since we won.”

Much of which had to do with the play of the fleet defensive back/kick returner/wide receiver/emotional leader. He made eight tackles and intercepted two passes, returning one 45 yards for a touchdown. He returned three kickoffs for 130 yards and caught three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Buirge, who has run a 4.43 40-yard dash and is high on the Gophers’ recruiting list, said he hoped the victory would make opponents respect the Pirates more.

“We’re trying to prove we’re a better team than people think we are,” he said. “We have the skill players, and we can make the plays. We just don’t have the numbers. But if good teams take us lightly, they’ll lose.”


St. Paul Highland Park • Football

The senior had a rushing/receiving field day in Saturday’s 53-18 rout of Columbia Heights. He rushed 24 times for 122 yards and caught five passes for 109 yards. He scored four TDs in the game, giving him 16 for the season.


Delano • Tennis

The senior doubles specialist completed her third undefeated regular season last week, helping the Tigers to their eighth consecutive Wright County Conference championship. Finn has played No. 1 doubles since her freshman year.


St. Michael-Albertville • Football

The senior receiver/defensive back stood out on both sides of the ball as the Knights downed Chisago Lakes 37-26. He caught six passes for 174 yards and three TDs. He also made seven tackles and had an interception on defense.


Minnehaha Academy • Volleyball

The senior middle hitter had never defeated Visitation until Thursday. She had 17 kills, 18 digs and four blocks as the RedHawks downed the Blazers 25-23, 25-14, 19-25, 25-23. In six overall victories last week, Holman had 61 kills, 47 digs, 14 blocks and 10 set assists.


North St. Paul • Soccer

Oliver, a senior striker, is leading the metro in goals scored for the second consecutive year. He scored three goals in a 6-1 victory over Tartan and tallied four times in an 11-0 rout of South St. Paul, giving him 26 goals for the season.


Anoka • Soccer

A lopsided loss to Mahtomedi on Sept. 23 forced the Tornadoes to recommit to defense and the results paid off, with Verkuilen, a senior keeper, leading the way. She made 12 saves and posted three consecutive shutouts after the loss.

Jim Paulsen