Stillwater maintains its current No. 3 ranking in Class 6A. Ponies are strong across the board, and it’s hard to spot any weaknesses.
Mounds View certainly didn’t uncover any Fridays. The Ponies gave a perfect performance in their 49–13 win over the Mustangs in Mounds View and went 7–0 on the season.
“It’s been amazing right now – 7-0 is like a dream come true, and I’m loving it,” Stillwater star Edwards O’Keefe said running back. “I think everything is great. We have great team chemistry, we are doing well on the field, everything is going great together.”
O’Keefe quickly established himself on the ground, clocking a pair short rushing touchdowns. From there, the ponies were able to mix in a healthy dose of play-action as Max Shikenzinski spread the ball around his massive type of bully.
Shikenjanski hit Thomas Jacobs on the third and eighth for a 13-yard score and the Ponies went up 21-7 in the second quarter. Then, facing fourth and fourth in the final minute of the half, Shikenjanski found Landon Weirer for a 24-yard score, which appeared to be a blown coverage, to give Stillwater a 21-point advantage.
O’Keefe finished with 15 carries for 85 yards and three scores. Shikenjanski completed 11 of his 19 passing attempts for 193 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Jacobs had five receptions for 85 yards and one score. Weir added 93 yards of total offense with his touchdown.
Stillwater’s running game currently complements the passing attack, and vice versa. Stillwater coach Beau Labour said the ability to do both gives the pony a chance in any sport.
“I think it works out really well. Max Schick in QB, he’s lethal there,” O’Keefe said. “I think this whole time we’ve been working, getting better and better at it and I think we are very close to perfection. We’re still working towards it, and we’re still getting better every week, but I think we’re right next to where we want to be. ”
Mounds View (3-4) scored on the opening drive of the game as Mustangs quarterback Owen Wark completed his first five passes on the opening drive, which included a 10-yard scoring strike to Dylan Wheeler to give Mounds View an early lead. Was. But then the ponies’ defenses put them on the clamp.
Stillwater’s Austin Buck blocked Wark on Mounds View’s next possession, setting up O’Keefe’s first touchdown. Wark was under heavy pressure on most of his dropbacks throughout the evening, and the Mustangs’ running game was essentially non-existent against the Ponies’ defensive front.
Stillwater have won five of their last six matches by double digits. And in the only exception – a 35-28 win over White Bear Lake – the Ponies led 21 with five minutes to play. They are getting better in every game and doing what they have to do on a weekly basis. O’Keefe approaches the Ponies each week with the mindset of trying to go 1-0 up.
“Our guys buy into the three phases of the game, and they know we have a lot of things they want to achieve, and we keep trying to finish one thing at a time,” Labour said. “When you tell kids you want to get better every day and you’re not worried about your opponent, sometimes some kids hear it, sometimes some of them don’t. But we have a lot All the kids are what we’re trying to do, and they’re seeing some fruits of their labor. Hopefully they’ll keep that mindset in the future as well.”
Stillwater will enter the postseason in a measuring stick competition from Eden Prairie in the finale of its regular season on Thursday. The Eagles have suffered – despite top-ranked Lakeville South – but are in second place, one place ahead of the unbeaten Ponies.
Stillwater took off the Metro Maroon-North sub-district title, but Eden Prairie competes in Metro Gold this fall, joining many of the state’s perennial powers.
“Our people get a chance to see what a mountain top is. They get a chance to play the gold standard,” Labour said. “(The Eagles) have been tested all year, they’ve had a grueling schedule and they’ve stood up to it. We know what an incredible challenge it will be for us, and we’ll be back at work on (Saturday) morning and Will see what we can do together.
The Ponies won their only other maroon-gold crossover game to date, a 7-0 win over the Centennials, who entered the state at No. 5 in this week’s slate. After that competition, Cougars coach Mike Diggins spoke about how strong the Stillwater team was.
And ponies have proven it ever since.
“It’s great to see our goals being met,” O’Keefe said. “The sub-district (title) is good and all, but we all know we are gunning for the state. That’s what’s going on in our minds right now.”