The Spring Lake Park Panthers might be the class of the North Suburban Conference when it comes to football, and they certainly showed why on Friday night in .
The Panthers (3-0, 3-0 in NSC) jumped out to a 40-0 halftime lead against the Orioles (1-2, 0-2 NSC), powered by a bruising rushing attack that carved out more than 300 yards in the first two quarters.
"We knew they'd be good, we knew they'd be one of the best teams we played," St. Louis Park coach Vince Varpness said. "They look like a college football team. They're a lot faster and bigger than us."
Varpness said costly turnovers and other mistakes didn't help Park's cause, but he was happy with the team's second-half effort, as the Orioles outscored the Panthers 14-7 after intermission while Spring Lake Park rested a number of starters. Spring Lake Park opened the half with a quick score, but the Orioles got two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
First, junior defensive lineman Bryant Griffin Jr. pounced on a fumble in Spring Lake Park's own endzone on a botched halfback pitch.
A few series later, Griffin Jr.—now in at tailback—sprung a long run down the sideline, setting the Orioles up deep in Spring Lake Park territory for the first time all night. Sophomore tailback Davon Malone—who was Park's main offensive player on the evening with 17 carries for 85 yards—punched in a short touchdown, cutting the lead to 47-14.
St. Louis Park will hit the field again next Friday at Chisago Lakes.