What a Night! Jaguars Football Trounces West Central Area 33-8, Second Straight Season-Opening Win
From 1988 to 2006, the Jaguars football team had never won two straight season openers.
Not until tonight.
The Jaguars hosted a high-powered West Central Area Knights team, defending Heart O' Lakes Co-Champions, at our high school sports complex and treated a large hometown crowd to a 33-8 victory. It is the widest margin of victory ever in a season opener, beating the old record set in 1988, when the first edition of B-B-E football defeated Bertha-Hewitt 35-12.
With the win, the Jaguars take an early lead in the Section 5A standings, collecting 7 section points by defeating a Class AA school.
It should also be noted that West Central Area brought what may be the largest "visiting" crowd we have seen in many years. They had nearly half the stadium bleachers filled with red and white (Knights' colors). Since the 1980s, West Central Area has had a strong football tradition. It would be quite thrilling to see B-B-E bring back some of the glory days our area had in football in the 1960s through the mid-1980s.
***Update on Tuesday, Sept 4...I have new photos from the game posted on my Sports Photos Website. The link to that can be found under my "links" section at the right column on this website.
Results of games with Central Minnesota Conference teams:
Eden Valley-Watkins crushed Class AAA Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 42-6.
Class AA Kimball shredded Class AA St.John's Prep 55-0.
Mayer Lutheran defeated Maple Lake 12-9.
Pierz defeated Rice Lake (Wisconsin) 28-7. The Pioneers traveled to Rice Lake for this game.
Rockford defeated Jordan 30-14. Both are Class AAA schools. In 2006, Jordan destroyed Rockford 46-7 in the season opener, which set the tone for Rockford's disasterous 1-7 season.
Rockford surely will have their trip to B-B-E last season on their minds next week, when they entertain our Jaguars for the Central Minnesota Conference opener on Friday, September 7. In 2006, the Jaguars blanked the Rockets 27-0 while starting the season 2-0. It was key in helping the Jaguars gain home field advantage for the Section 5A quarterfinals.
The trip to Rockford will be an excellent measuring stick to see if this year's version of Jaguars football is for real.
I think they are.
Section 5A team results from tonight and Thursday night:
**(A double-asterisk denotes that it is a Section 5A team)
New Ulm Cathedral 14, **Renville County West 7...Could be a fluke? Who knows, but NUC was State Runners-up in 2006 in Class A. RCW has not had a winning season of football this decade. Are they a darkhorse in Section 5A? Time will tell.
Wabasso 27, **Buffalo Lake-Hector 7.
**Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 50, Pillager 14.
**Dawson-Boyd 20, **Canby 8.
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 36, **Russel-Tyler-Ruthton 0. (TMB is a Class AA school)
**Minneota 51, Fulda 6.
For reference, oddsmakers suggest that K-M-S is the Jaguars' top opposition in Section 5A. Their opponent last night, Pillager, was 2-7 in 2006, 4-5 in 2005, and 1-8 in 2004. They are Class A members of the Prairie North Conference.
Minneota is also very good, going 8-2 in 2006 and 5-4 in 2005. They are in Section 5A as well, and up until tonight I did not know that. I was somewhat upset that I failed to find that information until tonight. Minneota and K-M-S are both very good teams. The Jaguars will simply have to "out-point" them during the regular season and get the best seed possible for playoffs.
Minneota defeated Ortonville 27-14 in the third week of last season on their way to a 5-0 start. The Jaguars crushed Ortonville 53-19 in the playoff opener last season.
Section 5A has numerous talented teams this year, a change from the past few seasons when Wabasso won three of the past four section titles. After looking over season previews for other section teams, and looking at the Friday night scores, it is apparent that the Jaguars will have to win at least three or four games for any hope of earning a top-four seed for playoffs.
Also, the section has nine teams, meaning a winless season will shut the last-place team out from post season play. The Jaguars are already a contending team, but with the section having at least two other contending teams, only continued hard work in practice and smart play on the field will keep their hopes of playoff success alive. I see Dawson-Boyd and Renville County West as dark horses in the section, with Minneota & K-M-S as the top teams in the section. (Along with our Jaguars, of course!)
In other Jaguars sports action next week, the Cross Country teams host the annual B-B-E Invite at the Prairie View Community Golf Course on Thursday, September 6. The meet will begin at 5:00. Also, the Jaguars girls tennis team travels to St.John's Prep on Thursday. They enter September with a winning record for the first time in school history (7-6). The Jaguars volleyball team (1-0) travels to Rockford on Thursday night to open up the CMC schedule.
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