WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojans come up short in Section Finals

The Trojans took on the #1 seed, Woodbury Royals, in the second round of the section playoffs on Friday evening.

The first offensive drive for the Trojans was lackluster. A few misreads and sloppy execution ultimately led to a Wayzata fumble, recovered by Woodbury. Taking over at midfield, the Woodbury offense marched into the redzone. However, the Trojan defense held their own, letting up just a field goal.

The next Trojan possession resulted in a three and out, leaving it up to the defense to make a stop. Once again, the Royals found themselves deep in Wayzata territory and converted on another field goal. The score after the first quarter was 6-0, in favor of Woodbury.

The Wayzata offense opened the second quarter productively. First, Christian Vasser bounced it out to the sideline for a 33 yard scamper. On the very next play, Keaton Heide sold the run and dropped it into the hands of Nicholas Kallerup for the 47 yard touchdown. Traveling 80 yards in just two plays, the Trojan offense gained the confidence and momentum they needed to compete with this talented Woodbury team.

The second quarter clock ticked down as both teams struggled to get a drive going. With 3:30 left in the half, Woodbury crept their way to a first and goal from the 5-yard line. On the next play, the Trojan defense forced and recovered a Woodbury fumble. With just a couple minutes remaining, the Trojan offense was slow to build a drive. This lack of urgency led to another 3 and long situation. Unable to convert, Wayzata was forced to punt.

The Woodbury offense failed to build a late quarter drive. Score going into the half; 7-6, Wayzata.

The Royals received the ball to open the second half. It took just a few plays for them to pop off a touchdown run down the middle. Looking to score themselves, Wayzata took over at the 20. Unfortunately, a fumble and a few other miscues forced the Trojans to punt.

After both teams produced three and outs, the Trojans took the ball over at their 20 yard line. After a 1-yard gain, Malaki Jackson received the handoff and took the ball up the middle for a 79-yard touchdown. Now up a point, the Wayzata defense looked to get a stop. On third down, linebacker, Trevor Palesch dropped into coverage and picked off Woodbury’s pass. Unable to convert on a fourth and long, Wayzata turned the ball back over to the Royal’s.

Woodbury ate up much of the 4th quarter clock and put themselves in field goal range. Converting on the attempt, the Royals took a two-point lead.

Wayzata received the ball and drove it to their own 40 where they were forced to punt. With less than 4 minutes left, Woodbury gained possession and looked to keep the ball on the ground. On a key third down, the Royals fumbled deep in their own territory. Although they recovered and drained 2 minutes off the clock, they were forced to punt, leaving Wayzata with two minutes left and the ball at midfield.

Unable to move the ball, Wayzata approached a fourth and six with under a minute remaining. Opting to pass it, Heide hit Kallerup in the flat for a solid gain and a first down. Unfortunately, the Trojan’s couldn’t build off of this momentum fast enough. The clock expired with a final score of 16-14; Woodbury wins.

Hats off to the Trojans for a solid season.

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojans dominate Centennial in postseason opener

Above Senior defensive back David Sandall celebrates during the Wayzata Trojans victory against Centennial. © Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

The Wayzata Trojans battled the Centennial Cougars at home for their first postseason game and were dominant in all facets of the game.

To open the first quarter, the Wayzata defense forced a quick 3 and out, and set up the Trojan attack with excellent field position. From there, they drove the ball 44 yards down the field and pounded it in from the 4-yard line for a quick score.

On the next drive, a huge 49-yard completion from Heide to Kallerup helped set the Trojan offense up with the ball at the 9-yard line. Malaki Jackson took care of the rest, as he waltzed into the end zone for another Wayzata touchdown. Now up a pair of scores, the Trojans looked to keep their foot on the gas.

 Defensive back Keegan Nickel, Cornerback Coach Jimmy Mireri, Lindeback Trevor Palesch, and Defensive Coach Jordan Halverson celebrate a fumble recovery.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

Continuing their dominance on defense, Wayzata forced and recovered a Cougar fumble deep in their own territory. Starting from the 6-yard line, the Trojan’s plowed their way into the endzone to make it 21-0 to end the first quarter.

The Trojan’s started the second quarter shaky after a few penalties set them back. These struggles proved to be brief as Wayzata’s offense  resurrected their lost rhythm, and went up 4 scores on a pass to Kallerup from the 10 yard line.

Now 28-0; the Trojan defense looked to keep Centennial scoreless going into the half. After a muffed snap, Wayzata pursued the ball and recovered it in Cougar territory. Opting to try and score once more before the half, the Trojan offense drove the ball down the field. From 3-yards out, runningback, Bennett Fragomeni fought his way in for his third touchdown on the night. Trojans lead 35-0 at half.

The Trojan’s opened the third quarter flat on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Wayzata was forced into a 3 and out situation and attempted a pooch punt, which was tipped and downed after a net gain of less than 20 yards. Centennial took advantage of this slight spark and drove the ball into the red zone. Unfortunately, the Cougars fumbled the ball on the 1-yard line, which the Trojans recovered for the touchback.

On the next drive, Keaton Heide busted out a couple of solid runs, each over 25 yards. From the 5-yard line, Fragomeni plowed his way in for his 4th touchdown on the night. This seven point turn-around diminished the Cougar’s hopes of a comeback.

At the start of the 4th quarter, Wayzata chose to replace their starters. Eating up a majority of the game clock, the Trojan’s got themselves in field goal position. The kick was good, making the score 45-0; Wayzata. The Trojans took a knee and let the clock run out.

Final score: 45-0.

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Heartbreaker at Maple Grove

A 20-3 quick start and a valiant effort by your Wayzata Trojans football team wasn’t enough to beat running back Evan Hull and Maple Grove who won in the last 5 seconds of the game.

Pictured above – an exhausted Joe Demro is overcome with emotion having left it all on the field. © Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

The Wayzata Trojans traveled to Maple Grove to take on the Crimson for their final regular season game. The Trojan offense came out swinging on their opening drive. Marching down the field, it took just under two minutes for the Trojans to put a touchdown on the board. Tailback, Christian Vasser took the hand off from the 14 yard line and ran it in for the score.

After a solid defensive stand, the Trojans got the ball back at midfield. On a long third down, Keaton Heide fired the ball downfield and connected with Connor Hale to set the Trojan’s up at the Crimson’s five yard line. On the very next play, Vasser walked in for another Trojan touchdown. A missed extra-point made the score 13-3 to end the first quarter.

The start of the second quarter was all Wayzata as they added to their lead after another 4th down stop on the defensive end. Starting with great field position, the Trojan’s drove 39 yards for the score, making it a three possession game.

The next Crimson possession resulted in a touchdown, as Evan Hull took the hand off and scored from 23 yards out. Wayzata’s offense struggled on the next possession and were forced to punt.

A slow snap led to a rushed punt which netted a total of 1 yard for the Trojans. Maple Grove took advantage of excellent field position and scored again within a few plays.

Now just 3-point game, Wayzata looked to reclaim their lead. Unfortunately, the Trojan offense continued their struggles and failed to convert on 4th down. This decision proved to be critical as the Crimson offense drove down the field and scored to end the second quarter. 24-20; Maple Grove leads at the half.

The Trojan’s got the ball back to begin the second half. After several runs down the middle, Wayzata opted to throw the deep ball on 3rd and 17. Tight end, Nick Kallerup hauled in the 36 yard lob from Keaton Heide for the touchdown. On the proceeding kickoff, the Crimson returned the ball 89 yards for the score, making it 31-27 in favor of Maple Grove.

Two touchdowns called back for ineligible receiver downfield

Penalties continued to haunt the Trojan offense on their next possession as a 53 yard touchdown was called back due to the presence of an ineligible receiver. A few plays later, Wayzata failed to convert on 4th and short which resulted in a turnover on downs.

The Crimson started the fourth quarter on offense. A strong defensive stand by the Trojans forced Maple Grove to attempt a long field goal, which was missed. In turn, the Wayzta offense took over on their own 20 yard line. On the very next play, Keaton Heide completed a huge 53-yard throw to Nick Kallerup. Unfortunately, this hint of momentum was wiped out after the Crimson forced and recovered a Wayzata fumble.

Now back on defense, the Trojans developed a sense of urgency. A few tackles for loss pinned the Crimson offense deep in their own territory. On 3rd and 21, Wayzata’s pass rush hurried the QB, forcing a tough throw. Senior corner, Jacob Beeninga, was there to intercept the ball, setting the Trojans up with solid field position.

A couple first downs placed the Wayzata offense at the 9 yard line. From there, Keaton Heide faked the hand off and trucked his way into the endzone on the QB keeper.

Now a 3-point game, Maple Grove was left with 2:30 to score. Relying heavily on production from running back, Evan Hull, Maple Grove inched their way down the field. The Trojan defense held the Crimson to a 4th and 5. Seemingly opting to go for the tie, Maple Grove lined up for a field goal. However, instead of kicking it, the Crimson faked it, completed the pass and began a fresh set of downs at the 1 yard line.

Two plays later, Hull dove in for the touchdown. With only 5 seconds remaining, Wayzata simply did not have enough time to score.

Maple Grove wins; 38-34.

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojans Outlast Farmington in Offensive Shoot Out

Trojans Improve to 4-3 on the season on Senior Recognition Night. Up next: @Maple Grove.

Featured photo: Senior Bennett Fragomeni scored two touchdowns for Wayzata against Farmington. © Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

The Trojans squared off against the Farmington Tigers on Friday night. Right from the get-go, Wayzata’s offense looked eager to score. On the very first play, junior back, Malaki Jackson took an end-around for 59 yards, setting the Trojan attack up with excellent field position. Two plays later, Bennet Fragomeni pounded the ball in from the one; making it 7-0 Wayzata.

A quick three and out forced the Farmington offense to punt the ball away, and the second drive for the Trojan’s was no different. A big first play put Wayzata in Tiger territory. Soon after, Malaki Jackson took the handoff and walked in untouched from the 7 yard line.

Farmington Photo Gallery

Now up by a pair of scores, Wayzata focused on keeping their foot on the gas. Once again, the Trojans marched down the field and found themselves in red zone. From 6 yards out, Keaton Heide fired a dart to Connor Hale off of the play action for the touchdown. An impressive start for Wayzata put them up by three touchdowns in the first quarter.

Keaton Heide leaps down the field against Farmington.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

On the defensive end, the Trojans matched the tone set by the offense. To open the second quarter, Jacob Beeninga picked off a deep ball thrown by Farmington’s Alex Berreth. Much of the pick can be credited to the front seven for Wayzata, who held their ground all throughout the second quarter. On the next drive for the Tigers they seemed to get some momentum going, but the Wayzata defense put a stop to their drive at the one yard line. A quick possesion after the goal line stand put the Trojans up by four scores with three minutes remaining in the half.

Jacob Beeninga returns a kick-off against Farmington. 
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

The Tigers then put together a late drive and scored with 1:17 remaining in the half to make the score 28-7 but, unfortunately for the Tigers, their momentum was halted as the Trojans came back to score in an unbelievable 45 seconds. The Tigers, left with about 30 seconds, attempted to drive down the field, but the hard-nosed Trojan defense held their own to maintain their lead. Score at the half; 35-7.

Wayzata opened the second half of play on defense. Opting to let some starters sit, the Trojan’s struggled to stick to their roles. Farmington took advantage of this lack of discipline and scored on the opening drive. On Wayzata’s next possession, a fumble in the backfield gave the Tiger’s the ball back. Quickly, Farmington turned this into points after a 20 yard TD pass.

Now just a two-score game, the Trojan offense continued their struggle to find a rhythm. After punting the ball away, the Farmington offense built off of previous momentum. From inside the red zone, Alex Berreth scrambled right and decided to run it in himself. Another missed extra-point made the score 35-26, still a two possession game.

On the next drive, Wayzata developed a sense of urgency and put together a solid drive. Taking just 5 plays to travel 63 yards, the Trojan’s capped off their possession with another touchdown from Heide to Hale.

A forced fumble by the Trojan defense set their offense up inside the 10. A couple plays later, the Trojan’s added to their lead, diminishing the hopes of a Farmington comeback. At the end of the third, the score read 49-26 in Wayzata’s favor.

Loshiaka Roques, Trevor Palesch, Joe Demro, & David Sandall converge on a Tiger rusher.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

Wayzata chose to go with their second team offense to start the final quarter. A series of back-and-forth drives from both offenses ate up most of the fourth quarter clock, until Farmington scored with less than three minutes remaining. The Trojan’s then got the ball back and ran the remainder of the clock down. Final Score; 49-33.

Wayzata improves to 4-3 on the season. Watch for this Trojan team next week as they face Maple Grove next week at Maple Grove High School.

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Wayzata outlasts Eastview in 4th quarter thriller

The Trojans hosted the Eastview Lightning for their homecoming game on Friday night. From the opening drive, it was clear that this was going to be a defensive minded game. A scoreless first quarter showed that both teams struggled to gain their composure in what proved to be sub-par weather. With that being said, Wayzata turned to their running attack to provide production in the slippery conditions.

Eastview Photo Gallery

Senior back, Alec Underhill, returned to action this week after struggling with a petty knee injury. His presence opened up the Trojan offense and allowed for a change of pace in the backfield. Establishing an early running game was crucial for the Trojan’s play action attack as well. Halfway through the second quarter, Wayzata turned a 4th and 8 into a touchdown after tight end, Nick Kallerup, took a play action screen all the way to the endzone from the opposing 47 yard line.

Now leading by a score, it was up to the defense to maintain that momentum. Led by senior captain, Trevor Palesch, the Wayzata defense settled into their roles nicely. With an emphasis on pursuing the ball, Palesch, among other Trojans, totaled up 4 first half sacks. Along with constant QB pressure, the front seven held their own for most of the opening half. Swallowing  up the Lightning’s offense, the Trojan’s forced several 3 and outs.

Keaton Heide scores on a one yard QB keeper. © Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

On the next possession, Wayzata looked to add to their lead. A couple of nice runs by Vasser and Underhill helped get the Trojans to the 1. From a yard out, Keaton Heide faked the handoff and walked into the endzone on a quarterback keeper. Now 14-0; Eastview got the ball back with a couple minutes remaining. One big completion, and a defensive penalty by Wayzata set up the Lightning in the Red Zone. From 18 yards out, Eastview quarterback, Erik Reimann completed a pass to Larry Wright for late, first half touchdown. Heading into the half, Wayzata led; 14-7.

The Trojan’s looked to continue their quality ball pursuit as they opened the second half on defense. Their effort was strong on this opening drive, but unfortunately, the Trojan’s struggled to finish plays. The Lightning capitalized on these mental lapses and drove 91 yards down the field for
a score.

Reid Sanders kicks a field goal. © Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

Now tied at 14, the Trojan’s needed to respond. A solid drive by the Trojans sparked by a 57 yard scamper from quarterback, Keaton Heide, ended with a short field goal. Another three points on the board made the score 17-14 at the end of the third quarter.

Tyler Johnson & Joe Demro force an incomplete pass.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

This defensive oriented game continued into the fourth quarter as neither offense could get anything going. With 7 minutes remaining, the Eastview offense faced a 4th and short in Wayzata’s territory. Opting to pass, the Trojan Secondary was prepared. Corner, Jacob Beeninga, broke up what would have been a first down, turning the ball over on downs. Each offense continued their struggle to drive the ball down field until the Eastview offense gathered enough rhythm to find themselves in Trojan territory. On a big 4th down, the Trojan defense made a stand. Defensive end, Joe Demro, beat his man and hit the quarterback as he was throwing, forcing an incompletion.

Taking over on downs, the Trojan’s looked to run down the clock. After picking up a key first down, Wayzata opted to let the time tick down. Final Score 17-14.

Missed opportunities plague #6 Trojans in loss to #1 ranked Lakeville North 42-13

Wayzata faced a tough opponent Friday night as they battled the #1 ranked Lakeville North Panthers. Early on, the Trojans struggled to find a rhythm on both sides of the ball. A first drive fumble stopped an otherwise solid drive, while a couple mental lapses on the other side of the ball opened up lanes for the Lakeville offense to score. After a quarter of play, Lakeville lead 14-0.

Lakeville North Photo Gallery

The second quarter opened up more productivity for the Trojans. Running-back Christian Vasser pounded one in from the 7 yard line, after senior linebacker Trevor Palesch, picked off Lakeville to set the Trojan’s offense up with solid field position.  A blocked extra point made the score 14-6.

This success was short lived as penalties haunted the Trojan attack when a crucial holding call brought back what would have been a 25 yard rushing touchdown for Vasser. This penalty proved to be costly as the Panthers popped off a 55 yard touchdown run on the very next drive. The Trojans showed some life at the end of the half, but penalties once again slowed the momentum of their offense. Following a failed fourth down conversion, Lakeville got the ball back and scored on a 53 yard touchdown pass to end the second quarter. Wayzata entered halftime with a 22-point deficit.

Sloppy play continued to cloud the Trojan effort during the second half. A fumble on a long opening drive stalled their offensive attack and gave
the ball back to Lakeville North. In hopes of sparking some success, Wayzata began rotating often at the tailback position. Three different Trojan backs saw production in the backfield, even with senior, Alec Underhill, out with a knee injury. This strategy helped keep North on their toes, but mental mistakes caused the Trojan offense to break down. A Panthers pick-six midway through the fourth quarter added to Wayzata’s troubles and the Panthers’ lead.

A touchdown pass fired at the 2-yard line from Heide to Wildermuth brought it back to a three score game, but with only four minutes remaining, this late rally came too little too late. The next drive for Lakeville North resulted in another 50+ yard touchdown run, further adding to the Panthers’ lead. Wayzata opted to bring in the 2nd-string players for the final drive of the game, but a lack of time stopped them from reaching the end-zone one last time. Final Score; 42-13.

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojans lose heart breaker at home against Eden Prairie

From the get-go, it was clear that this rivalry battle between two top 5 programs was going to be one tough-minded match up. Both team’s opening quarter play consisted of hard-nosed defense and a ground-and-pound mindset on the offensive end. This strategy was nothing new for the visiting Eagles, but for the Trojans, who are traditionally a spread-option team, this tactic proved to be a surprising move.

Eden Prairie Photo Gallery

Senior back, Alec Underhill watched the game from the sideline with what seemed to be a lingering knee injury. His absence proved to be detrimental for the Trojans attack as it took away their ability to change pace in the backfield, and likely contributed to the team’s decision to pound the ball up the middle. Junior ball carrier, Christian Vasser, took on the workload at the running back position, handling all but one of the first half carries for the Trojans.

It took a whole quarter of play for either team to score, but it was the Eagles who struck first on an 18 yard pass to wide receiver, Jackson Burke. Wayzata’s offense was quick to respond, and ultimately one-up Eden Prairie, as senior wide out, Connor Hale, hauled in a 55 yard bomb from quarterback Keaton Heide. The Trojans struggled to maintain this momentum as some killer penalties wiped out a few big gains for their attack. Eden Prairie capitalized on the final drive of the second quarter, making it 14-7 at the half.

The third quarter opened sourly for the Trojans, as it took just three plays for the Eagles to bounce one off for a 46 yard touchdown run. Now down two scores after three straight scoring drives for Eden Prairie, Wayzata’s offense faced some adversity. Relying heavily on production from running back Christian Vasser, the Trojans looked to tire the Eden Prairie defense one downhill run at a time. This wear and tear strategy proved successful for the Trojans as Vasser beat the Eagles defense to the edge and scored from the 14 yard line.

Now a one score game, the Trojan defense stepped up in a big way. After a quick three-and-out, the Eagles muffed a punt and set the Trojan offense up with excellent field position. Starting at Eden Prairie’s 14 yard line, the Trojans quickly capitalized and scored on a dart from Heide to Hanlin. Both offenses continued to trade shots for the remainder of the fourth quarter. First, Eden Prairie drove the ball down the field and scored on a run from inside the five, but their lead didn’t last as the Wayzata quickly responded with a drive of their own, capped off by a 14 yard touchdown from tailback, Christian Vasser.

Keegan Nickel stuffs an Eden Prairie Rusher. 
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

Tied at 28 a piece late in the fourth quarter, this offensive bout went down to the wire. As they did throughout the entirety of second half, both offenses marched down the field to trade scores. Wayzata converted from inside the five on a touchdown throw from Heide to Joe Demro to make it 35-34, Eden Prairie. Instead of kicking the PAT to tie the game and send it to overtime, the Trojans opted to go for two. Reaching deep into their playbook, Wayzata attempted a shuffle pass which resulted in an incompletion. The try for two was obviously a bold call, but when stakes are high, gutsy calls are needed to win games. Unfortunately, the night did not pan out the way the Trojans would have liked but an more opportunities lie in the future for this talented team. The Trojans will battle Lakeville North next week in what should square up to be an excellent test.

Trojans stump Hornets 23-0 in home opener

Move to 2-1 on the season, Eden Prairie (2-1) up next. 

Pictured above Trojan linebackers Cade Ciarrocca and Trevor Palesch tackle an Edina ball carrier. © Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

The Trojan defense came in running on all cylinders during their Friday night bout against the Edina Hornets. On the opening drive, Wayzata pushed the Hornet’s offense deep into their own territory, forcing a punt from the end zone, which was blocked, and recovered by the Trojans for a safety.

Trojans vs Edina Photo gallery

Even with a healthy cushion, Wayzata’s offense struggled to produce early in the first quarter. Running back, Alec Underhill popped off a few nice carries but the Trojan’s passing game just wasn’t in sync enough to produce an opening quarter touchdown. This slump didn’t last long as the Trojan’s marched down the field and punched the ball into the end zone from the 1 yard line to open the second quarter.

Equipped with a 9-0 lead, Wayzata’s defense kept their foot on the gas. The front four held their own and the secondary quickly filled the gaps to form the wall that stopped the Hornets offense on a 4th-and-short effort inside Trojan territory. To top it off, linebacker, Trevor Palaech bumped up the intensity and sacked Edina quarterback, Ethan Hufendick, to close the half.

The Trojan offense fed off of their defense’s energy and opened the third quarter strong. A few nice runs from running back Christian Vasser set up the trojans with a red zone opportunity. The Trojans capitalized on opportune field position, scoring on a 13 yard toss from Keaton Heide to wide-out Ian Hanlin.

Ian Hanlin scores on a 13 yard touchdown reception from QB Keaton Heide.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

Now up 16-0, the Trojan defense settled into their roles and continued to execute. Quality pursuit and flat-out effort allowed for Wayzata to outmatch the Hornet’s attack. On a key third down, a horse filled with Trojans united to sack Edina for a nine yard loss. A muffled punt downed for another loss ended the lackluster drive for the Hornets.

Quarter 4 sailed just as smooth for Wayzata as their offense rolled with a rhythm. The Trojans took advantage of good field position and scored again through the air. This time, Jacob Wildermuth reeled in a ball dropped in by Heide to make it 23-0. Rolling off of momentum, the trojan defense ended Edina’s hopes of a comeback with an interception by senior captain, David Sandall. Final Score; 23-0.

Jacob Wildermuth snags a 26 yard touchdown reception from Keaton Heide.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojan’s Fall Short to Skipper’s 27-24

Wayzata vs Minnetonka Football 2018

The Wayzata Trojan’s fought hard in this back-and-forth bout, but came up short to the Minnetonka Skippers. With a total of 5 lead changes in the second half, it took everything the Skippers had to outlast Wayzata. The Trojans came into the game missing #2 Billy Riviere because of an apparent left leg injury, but that did not slow down Wayzata’s passing game as tight end Nicholas Kallerup hauled in a 7 passes for 106 yards and two scores. When talking about Kallerup’s contributions to the team, Coach Brown kept it brief by simply saying, “He’s a stud.” With Riviere out it seems that Kallerup has become the go-to guy for quarterback Keaton Heide.

2018 Wayzata vs Minnetonka Football Image Gallery

Overall, the Wayzata offense put together a few nice drives throughout the night, including a 79-yard opening drive that was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown from running back Christian Vasser. The Trojan’s running game was well balanced throughout the night as a few ball-carriers popped off a number of big gains. #4, Christian Vasser, once again led the team in carries but the workload was definitely more distrubted as senior, Alec Underhill and junior, Malaki Jackson, contributed heavily to Wayzata’s ground game.

Defensively, the Trojan’s have some clear adjustments to make. The effort was there, but a few lapses in the secondary, and some sloppy run defense proved to be a contributing factor to last nights loss. However, there were some positive things that the Trojan defense can hang their hat on. Up front, the Trojan’s played well. Totaling a number of sacks and tackles for loss, it was clear that ferocious pursuit of the ball was a goal going into the night.

At the end of it all, the Trojan’s fell just short of what would have been a great team win. As Coach Brown described it, “We just ran out of time.” It is to be determined where the No. 10 Trojan’s will fall in next week’s rankings, but with current No. 1 Eden Prairie’s loss, it is likely that the No. 2 Skipper’s will replace the Eagles at the top of the totem pole. Next week, it will be exciting to see how this Trojan team fares at home as they make their debut opener against the Edina Hornets. 

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojans Rise Above the Irish in Away Opener

The Wayzata Trojans started the season strong with a 21-12 win against the Rosemount Irish. First game jitters were in full effect early as the Trojans struggled to get quality production on both offense and defense. As the game developed, Wayzata found their rhythm and were able to settle into their roles and execute.

View the Photo gallery here.

The Trojan’s offense capitalized on big-play opportunities, scoring on a 55 yard bomb from Keaton Heide to Connor Hale. Tight ends, Billy Riviere and Nicholas Kallerup also racked up a few nice gains on deliveries from Heide. The Trojan’s ground game started off a little shaky but once junior back, Christian Vasser, found his footing he was able to total up 84 yards as well as a crucial second-quarter touchdown from a yard out.

Defensively, the Trojans were solid. Totaling 3 interceptions, a pair snagged by senior corner Jacob Beeninga and a 45 yard pick-six by defensive lineman Joe Demro, it was clear that the secondary came in with a ballhawk mentality. The Trojan’s need to make some improvements on both sides of the ball heading into week 2, but the mindset and will to win is present, which is a great sign for this rising program.

Wayzata Trojan Football: 2018 Season Preview

With an emphasis on attitude and effort, the Wayzata Trojans are looking to control what they can control this season. Change is something that the Trojans have become accustomed to over the last few years, but as Head Coach, Lambert Brown, enters his second full season as first-in-command, this period of reconstruction seems to be transitioning into a phase of composure and efficiency. Fitted with a few familiar faces, the Trojans are in search of a bounce-back season.

I caught up with senior quarterback, Keaton Heide, to talk about his comfort with the offense. He described to me that, “We are really playing our game,” and that, “The pieces are coming together nicely.” With two years of quality playing time under his belt, these are words of encouragement for a team that has battled some past adversity.

As far as the other side of the ball goes, the Trojans are adopting a tenacious mentality. To elaborate more on these adjustments, I spoke with senior corner, Jacob Beeninga, about this new-look defense. “We’re definitely more aggressive defensively,” asserted the senior, “We’ve developed this dog mentality, we really focus on pursuing the ball every single play.”

Based upon my conversations with players and coaches on both sides of the ball, it appears as if the Wayzata Trojans are coming into their away opener with some much-needed confidence. Ultimately, we will see how this embraced change in team culture fares against the Rosemount Irish on Thursday, August 30th, 7:00 pm, at Rosemount High School.