It was the Sam Thomas and Chance Laidly’s show when the Cambridge-Isanti football team ran over Duluth Denfeld 53-0 on Sept. 28.
In his second game after coming back from a hand injury, Thomas, showing no trouble from the injury, found the end zone five times on runs of 7, 14, 20, 27 and 34 yards. Thomas carried the ball 12 times and picked up 92 yards (7.7 average). Laidlly scored one touchdown on a 40-yard jaunt, and the Jacket bulldozer picked up 168 yards in 15 carries (8.8 average).
Denfeld is winless in five games this season, but C-I coach Mike Hennen didn’t want his team to take the game for granted.
“We made sure the kids didn’t take Denfeld too lightly,” Hennen said. “We made sure they stayed focused on what they had to do to get the win.”
The victory gave the Bluejackets a 3-1 M8C record and a 4-1 mark overall.
With Rogers taking a 10-7 win over Monticello, every team in the conference now has at least one loss.
In drubbing Denfeld, the Jackets found the Hunters a little difficult in the first period. C-I scored just once on Thomas’s 1-yard plunge. Denfeld picked up more first downs in the first quarter than they did in the last three periods. C-I had a slim 7-0 lead going into the second quarter.
Once Thomas scored on runs of 7 and 11 yards in the second stanza, Denfeld’s competitive spirit was gone. From there, the Jackets’ offense was unstoppable, and the defense stopped Denfeld cold.
Thomas scored one more TD in the second quarter and with Josh Rouse kicking the extra points, the Bluejackets had a 27-0 halftime lead.
C-I scored three touchdowns in the third period on runs by Thomas (28 yards), Laidly (17 yards), and Travis Holt (28 yards). The Jackets had a big 46-0 lead going into the final period when C-I’s second and third string units took over and did a yeoman’s job.
Jesse Medin hit pay dirt in the final quarter, and with Rouse kicking the extra point, C-I had a one-sided 53-0 victory.
Hennen was happy that his team didn’t make any mistakes. C-I didn’t fumble once or have a pass intercepted. The Jackets didn’t have to punt once during the game.
C-I held a 22-5 margin in first downs. The Jackets ran for 346 yards, and Solberg passed for 111 yards to give the blue and white a total of 457 yards on offense. Overall, the C-I backfield picked up over 9.0-yards per carry.
“Offensively, we were tough,” Hennen said. “The kids were unselfish and beside the line opening big holes, the backs blocked for each other. They got things done, that’s for sure.”
In pass receptions, Max Knowlton caught two for 40-yards, while Matt Swanson also had two receptions for 27-yards.
Defensively, Holt led the way with 14 tackles, while Darren DeBaere came through with 12.5 tackles. Overall, 22 Jackets had at least one tackle.
Outstanding C-I linebacker Kyle Chromy didn’t play because of an injury. Hennen praised Chromy’s replacement DeBaere as middle linebacker.
“He did a fantastic job,” Hennen said.
The Jackets will host Duluth East on Oct. 5 at George Larson Field.
“East has a good-looking team,” Hennen said. ”We definitely will be challenged.”