The Osakis football team is an excellent example of how poetic sports can be.
About one year ago, the Silverstreaks got on a bus for a long drive back to Osakis from Fargo, North Dakota, after falling in the Section 6AA title game to Pillager in the Fargodome. Fast forward a year later, not only did they win the section championship 29-6 on Friday, but they had to beat the Huskies to do it in the same building.
“It feels great knowing how bad last year felt,” senior running back Luke Imdieke said. “This is what we wanted from day one, and it’s amazing to get it finally. After losing last year, this feels even better.”
From the opening kickoff, Osakis looked like a team on a mission to avenge a heartbreaking loss from a year ago. Pillager tried to catch the Silverstreaks slipping with an onside kick attempt to open the game. Osakis capitalized on the great field position with Imdieke’s first of three touchdowns.
“I don’t think either team is built to play from behind,” Osakis head coach Bill Infanger said. “Getting that lead was very important for us to be successful and stick to our game plan. I thought this time around, we started by playing more physical, and that was the difference early on.”
In the first half, Osakis' play-calling on offense had Pillager guessing. Junior fullback Isaac Hetland had success running between the tackles while Imdike found lanes outside the hashmarks.
The Huskies had a chance to stop Osakis on fourth down midway through the second quarter. Needing only one yard, Pillager loaded the box expecting a run up the middle from Osakis' fullback. Coach Infanger decided to go with a pitch play towards the sideline that would be enough to gain the first down. Osakis took a 16-0 lead on that drive.
Pillager looked as if it was going to make a comeback in the third quarter. Quarterback Erik Peterson led the offense down the field before Jack Benson scored the only points of the game for the Huskies on a two-yard touchdown run.
Imdieke did more than have a three-touchdown day on the ground. On defense, he picked off Peterson twice in the second half to kill any momentum the Huskies started gaining.
“Luke stepped up,” coach Infanger said. “We need him to step up in games like this. That’s what good players do. I think he looked at the way last year went and wanted to change that this time around. That’s what you hope for from your great players is that they come out here and impose their will on teams. That’s exactly what he did today.”
Osakis ran the ball for 217 yards on 55 carries. The offensive line was the unsung hero once again during the seven-game win streak.
“If you go around the locker room and ask Hunter (Infanger), Luke or Isaac (Hetland) about the games they played, all of them will tell you it’s because of the line,” coach Infanger said. “I think they’ve shown how good this offense can be when they’re at their best during this winning streak we are on.”
Osakis’ large senior class can marinate in the feeling of being a champion during their final season at Osakis.
“We’ve been together for so long – playing sports year-round,” Imdieke said. “This feeling is amazing, and I get to share it with my best friends. What more could you ask for?”
For the first time since 2005, the Silverstreaks are headed to the state tournament. They get Barnesville, Section 8AA’s top-seeded team, next Saturday at Moorhead High School.
“We aren’t looking further than a day ahead of us right now,” coach Infanger said. “I want these kids and these fans to enjoy what this team accomplished here today, because it’s special.”
Pillager 0 0 6 0 -- 6
Osakis 8 8 7 6 -- 29
FIRST QUARTER- Osakis- Luke Imdieke 6-yard TD run (Isaac Hetland two-point conversion) 8:00; SECOND QUARTER- Osakis- Imdieke 4-yard TD run (Imdieke two-point catch from Hunter Infanger) 7:14; THIRD QUARTER- Pillager- Jack Benson 2-yard run (two-point conversion no good) 5:18; Osakis- Imdieke 5-yard TD run (Carter Rost PAT good) 0:28; FOURTH QUARTER- Osakis- Hetland- 6-yard TD run (Rost PAT no good) 4:14.
TEAM STATS- Rushes-yards: Pillager 27-55; Osakis 55-217; Pass comp-att-int-yds: Pillager 9-23-2-92; Osakis 2-2-0-47; Total offense: Pillager 50-147; Osakis 58-264
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS- RUSHING: Pillager – Tucker Peterson 14-42, Luke Woidyla 9-23, Jack Bentson 3-2, Team 1-(-12); Osakis – Luke Imdieke 20-85, Isaac Hetland 23-93, Hunter Infanger 7-30, Nathan Kulzer 3-7, Jarron Kurth 2-4, team 1-(-2); PASSING: Pillager – Erik Peterson 9-23-92; Osakis – Infanger 2-2-47; RECEIVING: Pillager – Bentson 1-10, Tucker Peterson 2-30, Woidyla 3-16, Spencer Schaefer 3-37; Osakis – Luke Staloch 1-30, Brady Mages 1-17