THUNDER BAY – Once Owen Renn sees a little daylight, it’s probably already too late for the opposition defenders.
The explosive Hammarskjold Vikings back burst through a seam twice on Friday night, dashing to the end zone on runs of 55 and 63 yards to help break open a tight high school senior football game and deliver a 29-6 win over the defending champion St. Patrick Saints.
Quarterback Tyler Main and receiver Kai Aldridge also connected for a pair of passing touchdowns, opening the scoring late in the first on a 34-yard strike and then again on an 18-yard screen pass early in the third that upped the Vikings lead to 15-6 at the time.
Renn, who rushed for 202 yards on the ground, said the individual recognition is nice, but getting back in the win column after last week’s 7-2 tie against the St. Ignatius Falcons.
“Coming off of last year, we obviously didn’t have the season we wanted. We didn’t win a single game last year. So going into a season like this, when we have a very promising team and this being our third game, we all came out, so it’s big for our team to have a game like this.”
The Vikings weren’t wasting time when they had the ball and made the most of their possessions, all four majors coming on one-play drives.
Renn gave credit to the schemes devised by the Hammarskjold coaching staff.
“We started a new formation in our last practice. We tried that out in this game, obviously, and it just seemed to be working. Every time we would run there was always a hole, always somewhere to run. It was working really well,” Renn said.
Hammarskjold coach Mike Judge called Renn a special athlete.
“He has that extra gear that most humans aren’t born with. He’s just a hard-working guy. He never draws attention. He never asks for the ball, but boy does he ever want it. He explodes. He had a couple of nice carries against Westgate in the first game of the season, but it was a muddled look,” Judge said.
“Our O-line did a nice job of opening up the holes and boy, once he hits the clear, he’s gone.”
The Saints lone touchdown came on a brilliant catch by receiver Nick Lento, who out-leapt Hammarskjold’s Nicholas Baker for the ball in the end zone, cutting the Hammarskjold lead from 8-0 to 8-6, with just over two minutes to go in the opening half.
The Vikings improved to 2-0-1 with the win, while the Saints slipped to 0-2-1.
Westgate doubled up St. Ignatius 28-14 in the nightcap, quarterback Mitchell Papineau throwing a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Tigers to victory.