Football preview: one win away

More stories from Max Weesner

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June 2, 2016
April 25, 2016

The Royals are one win away from their first state tournament appearance in nine years.

After upsetting the the third-seeded Rosemount Irish, the Royals will need to take down an even higher ranked team: the number two-seeded Osseo Orioles.

In their first game of the season, the Orioles stunned a state tournament favorite in the Maple Grove Crimson. Despite a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season, the Orioles will be favored over Hopkins.

Being the underdog is nothing new to the Royals, and they embrace the challenge.

“I love being the underdog. It just makes it that much sweeter when we pull off the big win because nobody besides us expects it,” said JaMichael Ellis, senior.

In order to win back-to-back games for the first time all season, the Royals will need to exploit Osseo’s run defense, which has allowed 148 yards per game. Quarterback Oscar Johnson, senior, will need to take care of the ball and manage the game effectively, as he did against Rosemount.

Defensively, the Royals will focus on stopping Osseo’s big-play offense. In their first-round win over White Bear Lake, the Orioles had five scoring plays of over 20 yards.

With playmakers to defend such as Demario Armstrong and Prince Kruah, both top-12 in the state (6A) for yards at their positions, the Royals will need to play great defensively yet again.

Tonight, the Royals will travel to Osseo High School to play the Osseo Orioles at 7 pm. The winner will earn a trip to the state tournament.