Amateur football: Sting roll in season opener
The Minnesota Sting showed its new league it should be a force to be reckoned with.
The Sting, a Woodbury-based amateur football team comprised of players from all over the metro area, opened the 2014 season with a 35-0 home win over the Lake Superior Rage on Saturday, May 3, at East Ridge High School.
After rolling through the last two regular seasons and easily winning the past two Minnesota Premier Football League championships, the Sting have stepped up to the Northern Elite Football League this season and will be challenged by perennial powers like the St. Paul Pioneers and the Chippewa Valley Predators.
“It’s considered one of the top leagues in the nation,” said Sting Vice President of Operations Brad Asplund. “We’re going to have a lot more competition. It’s not fun for anyone when you’re winning 60-0. I think the new league will be more fun for the players and the fans.”
Under the guidance of new head coach Shawn Anderson, the Sting continued its winning ways in the season opener as its defense kept the Rage — last year’s NEFL runner-up — off the scoreboard.
The Sting opened up a 20-0 halftime lead on the Rage, then scored a touchdown in the third quarter and in the fourth quarter to secure their first NEFL victory.
The Sting compiled 181 yards rushing and 102 yards passing in the win.
Minnesota State University-Moorhead alum Matthew Birr completed 8 of 17 passes for 102 yards and three touchdowns and ran six times for 62 yards to lead the offense. Wide receiver Jauhem Byrd caught five balls for 75 yards and two scores and running back Darren Edwards carried the ball 13 times for 59 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Sting running back Tyrone Douglas had five carries for 42 yards.
Next, the Sting take on the Cottage Grove-based North Bank Bulls at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Park High School.