The St. Croix Central Panthers aren’t used to losing football games. Since SCC joined the Middle Border conference in 2015 they had been on the losing side of the ledger just six times, three times to Osceola. When St. Croix Central came to Osceola last Friday it had all of the earmarks of another big time game. Neither team disappointed.
In perhaps the best game of the recent, intense rivalry, St. Croix Central scored a touchdown with 26 seconds left in regulation to cut the Osceola lead to 28-27. The Panthers decided to try to end things right there by going for a two-point conversion and the win on the cold and very windy night. The Chieftain defense stood up to the challenge and kept SCC from crossing the goal line in an all or nothing attempt.
“Every player in our program worked hard (last) week to prepare for a moment just like the two-point conversion,” Osceola defensive coordinator Jeff Hahn said. “The scout team players worked hard all week to simulate the St. Croix Central offense, and the starters focused on their reads so that when they had the opportunity they could play fast and physical. We are very proud of the steps our team took (last) week.”
No doubt St. Croix Central would be trying to recover an on-side kick on the ensuing kickoff. Panther kicker Jackson Pettit hit a hard driving kickoff to the front line of the Chieftain defenders which senior Logan Maxon comfortably smothered. The play essentially put an end to a classic high school football game.
“At that moment all I was thinking was to do everything I could to recover the ball because I knew the game was decided by that kick,” Maxon said. “We practice situations such as this throughout the week preparing for plays that will decide the game. Overall our team effort throughout the game is what determined our team victory.”
“It was a physical game by both teams,” Osceola coach Scott Newton said. “Our kids did a great job of competing the entire game. We had opportunities where we could have put our heads down but we stayed together through the tough moments. The Middle Border is an extremely tough conference and we have to be consistent every day in practice to develop as a team.”
Osceola had a couple of impressive drives to open the game. Unfortunately the first one failed to put up points after a fumble on the St. Croix Central 1-yard line. The next time