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Players and coaches from Hastings gather at midfield to celebrate the team's first win of the season. Hastings beat rival Park of Cottage Grove, 21-7. Hastings has a 1-2 record on the season.

Raiders football scores win over Park

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Hastings Star Gazette
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Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

After a rough first two weeks of the season, the Hastings football team finally got a taste of the good life on Friday night with a 21-7 win over Park of Cottage Grove.

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"It has been a good week," Hastings coach Dana Strain said. "It is nice to have a good day on the field and to get our offense going."

After a scoreless first quarter, Hastings put up 21 points in the second quarter. Park scored its touchdown in the second, too, but couldn't stop the Raiders in the second.

"For the most part, we were better than they were up front," Strain said. "That allowed us to control the game on both offense and defense. When you are outmatched up front, it is tough. When you are better than they are up front, it makes your night quite a bit easier. We were better than them up front, and that was the difference."

Through the first two weeks of the season, the Hastings offense had a hard time getting its offense going. The offensive line, Strain said, is talented but inexperienced. With a few games under their belt, the play there has improved, he said.

"We were able to call the game we wanted to," he said. "Some other nights, when you are outmatched up front, it's hard. You're not even able to get some of your plays started."

Strain was thrilled with the 21 points in the second quarter, but he thought Hastings could have scored more points, especially in the second half.

"In the other three quarters we moved the ball well," Strain said. "We just didn't finish our drives. In the second quarter, we finished our drives."

The final Hastings score of the first half came with just 18 seconds to play. Hastings had run a hurry-up offense that led to the score.

"It was a good way to finish the half, obviously," Strain said. "We went into halftime with a little confidence. The two-minute offense is something we work on in practice. The kids did a nice job operating it. That was a real positive."

Individually, Ryan Doffing had two interceptions and a touchdown reception for the Raiders to lead the way.

"He was exceptional," Strain said. "He made a number of tackles as well. He was a guy that we thought, coming in, would be one of our better players. He has proven to be just that. He has been good all season, actually. He just really stood out on Friday."

Ellis Williams had a another good night in Raider blue. He caught six passes for 85 yards and had a 50-yard kickoff return that set up the second Hastings score.

"He has played well in all three games," Strain said. "This was his best day. When he gets his hands on the ball, he's certainly one of the best guys out on the field. Whenever he touches the ball, he's a pretty big threat."

Aaron Stoneberg completed 14 of 28 passes for 214 yards and the one touchdown to Doffing.

"He did a nice job out there," Strain said. "He was poised all night long."

The offensive line of Peter Schultz, Luke Moody, Brandon Anderson, Jake Anderson, Taylor Wasvick and Isaac Eichmann all played well, Strain said.

Matt Anderson had 12 carries for 33 yards and two touchdowns. Tate Sykes had 12 carries for 37 yards. Tony Hammes had three catches for 60 yards. Derek Bane had one catch, as did Sykes.

The defensive line was praised as well. It was made up of Schultz, Eichmann, Brandon Anderson, Travis Cysiewski, Jake Swenson and Josh Lohmann.

Matt Anderson had another strong game at linebacker, as did Zach Mellick.

"We were very good up front against the run, and that forced them to throw," Strain said.

Vs Mounds View

Hastings plays at Mounds View Friday night. The Mustangs are the No. 4 ranked team in Class 5A. They have a 3-0 record and have run up big points against all their opponents.

They beat Roseville, 55-19; they beat No. 6 ranked Stillwater 27-3; and they beat Woodbury, 42-14.

"They're a very good team," Strain said. "They're going to be very good up front. It will be a challenge for us. We'll try to go up there and play the best game we can."

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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