Trojans’ ground game powers into semifinals

Forest Park’s players celebrate after winning the eight-man Division 2 regional championship Nov. 3 with a 62-20 win over Engadine. The Trojans travel to unbeaten Pickford Nov. 10 to battle for a berth in the state eight-man finals next weekend.

CRYSTAL FALLS—No contest! Forest Park’s final home football game of 2017 ended up as another entry in its greatest hits album.
    Fueled by an explosive backfield running at will behind an efficient, expert offensive line that cracked open holes and gaps all night, the Trojans crushed Engadine 62-20 on Nov. 3, winning its eight-man Division 2 region and earning a place in the state semifinals this weekend.
    “When you grind out more than 500 yards on the ground,” said FP coach Dave Graff later, “you know you’re doing something well up front.”
    The Trojans will play at unbeaten Pickford on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 Central), with a spot in the Division 2 state finals at stake.
    For their last home game of the season, Forest Park fans got all they could have wanted except, perhaps, a close game. This one was never close. The only drama was whether the Eagles could stop the running clock in the second half. It didn’t happen.
    After winning the toss and taking the opening kickoff, the Trojans covered 73 yards to score in seven plays, with Peter Ropiak breaking over the left side for a 36-yard TD run. He added the convert; Trojans, 8-0.
    FP’s defense quickly forced Engadine to punt, and the Trojans started back on their 18. So it was an 82-yard drive in 10 plays, capped by Evan Hedtke scoring from the 4. Ropiak’s 2-pointer put the Trojans up 16-0.


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