Two of the metro area's top playmakers shared the field Thursday but one kept the spotlight to himself.
Three touchdown passes from quarterback Jalen Suggs in the second quarter fueled the SMB Wolfpack's 42-19 rout of visiting St. Paul Highland Park. Suggs, a sophomore whose on-field play rivals his mastery on the basketball court, finished with four touchdown passes and an unofficial 320 yards.
His counterpart, Scots senior running back/linebacker Josh Aune, struggled to gain traction against the Wolfpack defense. Aune, who has verbally committed to Minnesota, moved to quarterback in the third quarter in hopes of sparking the offense. He ran and threw for late touchdowns but it was too little, too late.
"He's a phenomenal player," Aune said of Suggs. "I have the utmost respect for him. He played great and we couldn't stop him."
Actually, SMB, a co-op of players from St. Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy and Blake, went nowhere on its two first-quarter drives, failing to gain a first down. Coming to life in the second quarter, Suggs fired three absolute arrows for touchdowns covering 8, 45 and 54 yards. Receivers Terry Lockett Jr. and Noah Hanson each finished with two touchdown receptions.
"Once we got comfortable, we really started clicking and we didn't look back," said Suggs, who ranks as the nation's top point-guard recruit among the Class of 2020.
The Wolfpack (4-1) also got a pair of short touchdown runs from Siegel Howard to pull away from Highland Park (3-2) at Blake's Hopkins campus.
The SMB defense also played well. Aune rushed for more than 100 yards but many of them came in the fourth quarter. Three first-half Highland Park drives into the red zone yielded only a field goal.
"That kind of killed us," Aune said. "It's hard to come back from that."