Thunder steals show in Bluejacket Football opener

Zimmerman's Collin Ashley scored the game-winner with a 70-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter to defeat the Bluejackets.

Zimmerman ran its win streak to three games over Cambridge-Isanti when the Thunder prevailed in its Sept. 1 home opener 12-7. Junior halfback Collin Ashley sprinted for a 70-yard touchdown after taking a pass in the flats and getting a great block from a wide receiver to overcome a 7-6 deficit with 8:20 to play.

The Thunder then helped seal the win by producing a clock-eating drive which wore away nearly all the final 7 minutes of the non-conference game.

The game began with a defensive battle where both teams penetrated and picked up sacks. In the second quarter, Cambridge-Isanti sustained a 78-yard scoring drive mixing the short pass and the run. Trent Chromy finished it off with a 2-yard TD plunge over the middle for a 7-0 lead.

That score stood until the first play of the fourth quarter when a C-I runningback had the ball popped out of his grasp, and Thunder linebacker Cam Korlath snared it out of midair and raced 25 yards for the TD. Zimmerman’s kicker had a leg cramp on the play, so they had to go for 2-pointer and failed, keeping the Bluejackets ahead 7-6.

C-I cornerback Ryan Epsen (21) perfectly defended this Thunder pass in the end zone to quell a first-half scoring threat.

For the game, the Thunder limited the Bluejackets to 55 rushing yards on 28 carries. Jacket QB Clayton Jennissen completed 8-of-20 for 60 yards, with Ryan Epsen making 5 catches for  41 yards.

Leading in tackles for C-I were Travis Holt (11), Jennissen (8), Epsen (8) and Cole Bakke (7, 2 sacks).

Zimmerman finished with 229 rushing yards on 50 carries. QB Ethan Lunning completed 6-of-16 for 134 yards and also rushed for 59 yards.





Linebacker Cole Bakke had 2 sacks in the first half and finished with 8 tackles.
  • R. Swanson

    How far the mighty ‘jackets have fallen.
    Used to be a great team, fun to watch.
    Not anymore.
    Lacrosse, anyone?

  • BA

    Over confident team gets beat by school half its size yet again. The past three seasons, the team and more importantly the coaching staff has gone into this game expecting the smaller team to just lay down and get dominated. Zimmerman punched the bully in the mouth for the third year in row and sent them away with a fat lip and bruised pride. Where’s the toughness and precision this football program has been known for? This once proud program is now mediocre at best. I’ll give the new coach more than one game to prove his mettle but this is a rather ominous start.

  • triplebill

    Come on people! This is ONE GAME! Give this team a chance. Yes, there is a good deal of work to be done to improve, but Zimmerman is just one of “those teams”. BA, it may have been overconfidence in the past, but I saw none of that during this game. And I wouldn’t say that Zimmerman “punched the bully in the mouth and sent them away with a fat lip and bruised pride”. If it wasn’t for that fumble having fallen right into the defenses’ arms, the outcome would have been different. And last year, Zimmerman had TWO fumbles returned for touchdown. The Jackets should feel nothing more than snakebit, and will hopefully work hard to improve for next week’s home opener.

  • Michael Doble

    This is sad. The Blue Jackets used to have such an explosive offense in the 80s,90s, and 2000s. Cambridge football needs to man up and start playin with some pride.

  • Matt

    Swanson, give them a little time. Hennen’s implementing a little bit different offense and will take a little bit of time to get the team rolling. I’m confident that he’s the right guy to do this job and that we’ll win at least 3 or 4 more games than last season.

  • john carlson

    Let’s be positive! I’m proud of all our coaches both past and present. We should be thankful that we have people who are willing to lose money coaching and being mentors to our young men and women. I have been involved in the school system and sports and activities are very important in the development of people. If you can’t be positive about our kids program well go to every practice, game, coaches meetings, Minnesota State High School League mandated forums, do fund fundraisers, give kids rides home, be the first one on site for everything be the last one to leave to make sure everyone is picked up and safe, carry a cell phone for all the kids to call their parents, and listen to the players, manages, and support staff needs when a coach is often a person they often turn too, and oh yes still be a spouse, parent, teacher, and community member. GO BIG BLUE. Love Ya!