State prep soccer: Orono rally nips Grand Rapids

The decisive blow was a 17-yard pass from Charlie Kraus to Josh Delange in the right corner of the end zone. It crowned a strong run-oriented triumphal march in which traffic jam returnees Aidan Mueller executed several strokes in six transfers when the Spartans moved the ball more than 50 meters into the red zone of Grand Rapids. A failed sweep and incomplete pass put the Spartans behind the chains in third place, but their momentum was enough to secure a trip to US Bank Stadium next Friday to play Hutchinson.

Grand Rapids got the ball on their own 34 to make one final drive and advance into midfield, but on the 4th and 2nd the ball hit the turf with an attempted option run and quarterback Ethan Florek was knocked down on the backcourt.

The Thunderhawks were leading 19-7 after three quarters and seemed to be playing with momentum. After a quarter, 7-6 back, Owen Glenn broke through the middle for a 24-yard touchdown run that put Rapids 12-7 ahead so he stayed in the half.

In the third quarter, Grand Rapids might have thought it had enough cushion when full-back Jack Cleveland broke into the second round and a race with multiple Orono defenders on the right sideline for a 91-yard touchdown run and a 19-7 – Won leadership after three quarters.

Orono brought the ball into the red zone in the third quarter, then took an early lead in the fourth quarter when Kraus Nash hit Tichy, also in the right corner of the end zone, with a 7-yard pass.

The Thunderhawks couldn’t maintain a drive and Orono began his triumphal march with six minutes to go.

Mueller finished with 126 yards on 24 carries for Orono, who eventually leveled his 6-6 record after a 2-6 regular season (although five of the Spartans’ six losses were to higher-tier teams). The Spartans have won their four playoff games with one, one, nine and three points. Kraus threw 101 yards and three touchdowns in 7 of 17 attempts.

For Grand Rapids, Cleveland ran 131 yards on 14 carries and Glenn scored twice, collecting 114 yards. The Thunderhawks end their season 8-3.

Grand Rapids 6 6 7 0-19

Orono 7 0 0 15-22

GR – Owen Glenn 36 barrel (kick blocked)

O – Connor Mahoney 13 Pass by Charlie Kraus (Jack Kalman Kick)

GR – Glenn 24 run (run failed)

O – Nash Tichy 7er Pass from Kraus (Krauslauf)

O – Josh Delange 17 Pass from Kraus (Kalman kick)

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