Some new members of SMB got to play starring roles for the defending Class 4A champions Friday against Columbia Heights.
Sophomore Sanjay Redd and freshman Dewayne Givens combined for four rushing touchdowns and the Wolfpack's revamped defense held the Hylanders scoreless in the second half of a 35-7 victory.
"We lost a senior running back, and we knew we had to step up and fill his shoes. The line was blocking really well," said Redd, who scored his first varsity touchdown from 10 yards out in the second quarter and added a 6-yard score in the third. "It's just fun to get back on the field with my teammates and be playing football."
The Hylanders closed to within 14-7 with 21 seconds left in the first half on a 4-yard touchdown lob from Aaron Severson to Spencer Alvarez.
SMB, a co-op program of students from St. Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy and Blake, responded with three unanswered touchdowns.
"This was a great starting point for us. We faced some adversity in the first half and our young running backs and young guys on defense really stepped up," SMB first-year coach Chris Goodwin said. "We've got five [defensive] starters back, and some of them are in new positions. They played really well."
Senior quarterback Jalen Suggs, the state's top basketball recruit and one of its top college football prospects, scored for the first time this season with a 70-yard interception return in the fourth quarter that gave SMB a 28-7 lead.