It was a game of grit, physicality and intensity that determined a winner after four quarters on Friday night as Park traveled to Henry Sibley for a road battle.
Head coach Rick Fryklund was able to see that physicality and perseverance throughout the whole game, which allowed the Wolfpack to finish with a 34-7 win and even up their record at 2-2 on the season.
"We talked all week about finishing a football game and while we still haven't played a full four quarters how we would like, we had the opportunity to finish a football game and we took that opportunity," Fryklund said. "So we're making some positive forward progress on that."
Fryklund described the first half as a battle between defenses and he liked the way his team fought both offensively and defensively. Park led 7-0 at the half due to a Chris Brewer rushing touchdown from seven yards away in the first quarter.
The defense was working hard on figuring out the Henry Sibley quarterback in the first half and adjusting to how he operates underneath the center. Fryklund said that the Henry Sibley quarterback is a gifted athlete and he expects to see him play on Saturday with a college team.
During the week of practice, the Park defense was working on containing him and his ability to run outside of the pocket for large gains. The Wolfpack defense was able to contain him the majority of the game and keep the final score to single digits for Henry Sibley, which Fryklund was proud of at the end of the game.
"It's important to me that our defense is known as being physical and disciplined," Fryklund said. "I'm pretty happy that we held them to what we did tonight."
Along with a strong defense, the offense kicked it into gear in the second half. The Wolfpack found some openings and continued to keep the pressure on with different scoring drives in the third and fourth quarters.
Brewer and Carson Kons had strong nights for the running back position as each scored two touchdowns. Brewer had the 7-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Kons started off the second half with a 40-yard touchdown run to extend the lead for the Wolfpack. Near the end of the third quarter, he found an opening and went into the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown.
The other score came from Jake Kuemmel as he found Jacob Langevin for a 4-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
"It's extremely important to me that we be a physical, downhill running football team," Fryklund said. "Chris Brewer is coming along nicely. He's starting to see where the holes are going to be."
The only score for Henry Sibley came from its quarterback in the third quarter as he took one step and went all the way to the end zone for a touchdown. The Wolfpack defense followed that up with an interception by Donovan Blatcher near the end of the third quarter.
Overall, it was a strong game for Park as the team was able to return home with a win. There are still things that need to be worked on for their next game, but Fryklund was proud of the effort and toughness that was shown for the entire game on Friday night.
He knows that mentality will carry into Park's next game at Forest Lake on Friday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m.
As for Forest Lake, Fryklund said he didn't face off against them while at St. Thomas Academy, so it'll be a new opponent for him. He's looking forward to watching film and learning more about this team as they prepare for a week of practice before hitting the road again.
Forest Lake is 1-3 this season and are coming off a win against Park Center on Friday, Sept. 20. It'll be a big game for the Wolfpack as they're hoping to return home on Friday, Oct. 4, for their homecoming game with a 3-2 record.
"It's always easier to go to show up to work and fix those things after a win as opposed to a loss," Fryklund said. "Giving the great effort is awesome and we're seeing it, however we're playing a whole slew of good football teams in the next few weeks and great effort alone isn't going to cut it. We need to become more consistent and more disciplined."