Coming off a shutout of Bloomington Kennedy in the opener, St. Louis Park couldn’t replicate on the opportunities at Robbinsdale Cooper in a 40-17 road loss on Friday.
The Orioles led 14-0 after the first quarter on a two-yard run by quarterback Johnny Sorensen before a short one-yard touchdown throw to Farris.
The Orioles piled up 448 yards on offense led by Sorensen completing 20-of-35 passes for 323 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also ran for 64 yards on 16 carries.
Junior Semaj Mitchell had four catches for 140 yards, Kai McKee pulled in five balls for 68 yards, Ryan Klaers caught four passes for 41 yards and Akili Farris led the way with seven receptions for 66 yards.
“Johnny made a lot of plays with his feat,” Wolfe said.”He also had some big passes like a 57-yarder to Semaj on the drive before the interception. We moved the ball.”
Cooper quarterback Cameron King scored three times in the third quarter to give the Hawks a 20-14 lead into the break and opened the third quarter with a 20-yard touchdown run by Nascier Borden, part of a 165-yard performance on 23 carries. The three other ball carriers ran for minus six yards on six carries. King completed 8-of-16 passes for 171 yards.
Park pulled within nine points at 26-17 on a 30-yard field goal by Skyler Rudelius-Palmer for his second long-range kick in as many games.
The Orioles once again drove the field but couldn’t turn the drive into points and instead, B.J. Hall returned an interception 102 yards to take the momentum out of the Park sideline. Borden added a second touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
“We had some opportunities and we’re disappointed with a loss. We could’ve been better,” the Orioles coach said but he looks forward to a possible section rematch. “We shot ourselves in the foot and look forward to playing them again in sections. I know our kids would be excited for the opportunity. This group is different from the past and its fun to see them compete and this was a fun high school game that we would’ve liked to come out on top.”
Big returns by Cooper hindered the Orioles momentum as well.
As did defensive penalties on Park as they were called twice for infractions on fourth down to extend Cooper drives. “We had them there and now we have to get them off the field in those situations,” Wolfe said.
Defensively, Park had several key contributors come through led by senior Peyton Morrison with nine tackles, sophomore Armando Maurelli with seven tackles and junior Jariel Lopez-Barrera with six tackles including two for loss and two passes broken up.
Coming into the game, Wolfe knew how quickly King is able to get the ball away but the Cooper running attack caused more issues in the Orioles defense. Park hosts Holy Angels (2-0) on Friday that is led by two standout seniors in quarterback Joe Heimbold and running back Jack Anderson who is also one of the leading tacklers on defense and will play collegiately at Western Illinois.
Follow Jason Olson on Twitter at @SunSportsJason.