The Park football team came out of the half with momentum and in hopes of gaining control of the lead. It was a battle in the third quarter, but ultimately, the Wolfpack couldn't hold off Apple Valley in the fourth quarter as the Eagles won 24-14 on Friday night.
Head coach Rick Fryklund was happy with how the players battled for all four quarters, but the Wolfpack need to find consistency throughout the entire game to finish on top.
"I'm pretty proud of our kids. They don't quit and they continue to fight with each play," Fryklund said. "We just have to be more consistent and focus for four full quarters."
It was a quick first half as Apple Valley's field goal was the only score and the Eagles ran to the locker room with a 3-0 lead. The third quarter started with an Eagles touchdown and Park faced a 10-0 deficit.
The Wolfpack came back the next drive to make it a 10-7 game as Carson Kons ran in for a 3-yard touchdown. After a defensive stop, the Park offense came back out and Jake Kuemmel connected with Kons for a 19-yard touchdown.
It was a screen pass and Kons broke a tackle to walk in for a 14-7 lead for the Wolfpack with a few minutes left in the third quarter. Once the fourth quarter started, it became all Apple Valley as the Eagles found a hole and ran in for a long touchdown to take a 17-14 lead.
Then, after a turnover by Park's offense, Apple Valley added onto its lead with another touchdown to make it 24-14.
"We just need to focus on what we can control which is having great effort, the fundamentals and trying to be a physical, disciplined football team," Fryklund said. "The more we focus on ourselves and what we need to do instead of on our opponents, I think that'll lead to success in the long term."
After the game, Fryklund said he told the players and coaches in the locker room that he's all in and will continue to fight no matter the score for the entire game. The players and captains talked to each other for a little bit and the players told the coaches that they want to fight until the very end, too.
Fryklund was happy to hear that from his players because he truly believes this team is capable of great things in the second half of the season. He has players that work hard and understand each other's strengths and weaknesses.
The biggest aspect the coaches and players need to focus on heading into week four of the season is the consistency of play for all four quarters on Friday night.
"It's fun when your kids start to realize their potential," Fryklund said during the back-and-forth of the third quarter. "We just need to be a four-quarter football team and not one- or two-quarter football team. That's the biggest hurdle we have to get over right now."
Park will prepare just like any other week as the Wolfpack gets ready for back-to-back road trips in weeks four and five. The Wolfpack will head to Henry Sibley on Friday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. and then travel to Forest Lake on Friday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m.