In a battle of SLPs, Spring Lake Park High School came out on top Friday night.
The Panthers ruined homecoming for that other SLP—St. Louis Park—by rolling to a 34-6 victory. Spring Lake Park held the Orioles to only 179 total yards and dominated the line of scrimmage all night.
At first, it looked like the game would be a lot closer. After Spring Lake Park tallied the contest’s first points on a first quarter touchdown run from senior Jordan Thimmesch-Slepica, St. Louis Park answered with a touchdown drive of its own. A missed extra point left the game at 7-6 in favor of Spring Lake Park, which was the score after the first quarter.
Rather then let the Orioles hang around, Spring Lake Park used the second quarter to build some breathing room. Senior quarterback Brandon Jones hit junior tight end Justin Axelson on a 23-yard touchdown strike less than two minutes into the frame to make it 14-6. Senior Noah Waiwaiole added a two-yard touchdown run right before the end of the half to make it 21-6.
The momentum carried over into the second half, as the stingy Panthers defense completely stifled St. Louis Park. The defensive dominance was especially noticeable along the line, as the bigger Spring Lake Park team routinely pushed the Orioles back. On the night, St. Louis Park could only muster 10 rushing yards on 21 carries.
Spring Lake Park added two second half touchdowns—the second of the game for both Thimmesch-Slepica and Axelson—to make it 34-6 and put the game away. The Panthers rushed for a whopping 276 yards in the win.