He's a pitcher with a future, but he's a football hero in the present

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 10, 2012 - 12:12 AM

Max Knutson's decision to play football this fall paid a huge dividend in Mounds View's 17-16 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall.

Knutson, one of the state's top baseball pitching prospects, who has given a verbal commitment to Nebraska, had not played football since his freshman year.

He decided in the offseason that wanted to give football one last shot before devoting the remainder of his athletic career to baseball.

Playing wide receiver on Friday, Knutson caught three passes, including a 61-yard bomb for the Mustangs' go-ahead touchdown on the third play from scrimmage after halftime.

"I'm glad I came back," said Knutson amid backslaps and fist bumps from fans after the game. "It feels great to be able to do something to help the team win a big game like this one. It was a good decision."

Pirates' loss string ends

Park Center's 19-6 victory over St. Francis was the Pirates' first victory since Oct. 1, 2010, breaking a string of 14 consecutive losses, and the first career victory for second-year head coach Rickey Foggie.

"No doubt, it was a long time coming," said the former Gophers quarterback. "I'm mostly excited for the kids who have been working hard and deserve to have that feeling of being a winner."

Foggie admitted that his team will have little time to celebrate. The Pirates play at Champlin Park on Friday and know the Rebels, off to a disappointing 0-2 start, will be looking to soothe their wounds.

"They ain't going to cut us no slack," Foggie said. "I told our guys to be excited for the weekend, but come Monday we need to put it behind us and get ready for another game."

Pushing back

Spring Lake Park flexed a little defensive muscle Friday in its 16-0 shutout of Benilde-St. Margaret's.

The Panthers defense had 13 tackles for loss, including six sacks, and held a Benilde-St. Margaret's team that had scored 49 points in its previous game to 192 total yards.

Defensive lineman Jacob Ojile had a whopper of a performance with 4.5 sacks.

Quick slants

• Hutchinson made a huge statement about its intentions in the Wright County Conference, routing Glencoe-Silver Lake 35-13. The Tigers rolled up nearly 400 yards of total offense in handing the Panthers their worst loss in more than a decade.

• Cooper running back Billy Kellogg has been the central figure in the Hawks' impressive offensive output. Kellogg has rushed for 412 yards and six touchdowns as Cooper, a 60-28 victor over North Branch on Friday, has put up 102 points and 1,044 yards of total offense through two games.

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