Typically, Homecoming games are played against an easy team or one that finds themselves consistently at the bottom of the conference. Unfortunately, this was not the case this year for the Lions of Providence Academy. On Friday, September 23rd the PA Lions football team faced the White Hawks of Mound Westonka High School, whose team is ranked among the top in Minnesota. Although the Lions knew the game was going to be difficult, they were more than willing to give it their all. 

The PA student section poses as they cheer for the football team. PAW Photo Credit: Anika Austvold.

The football game is the highlight of the Homecoming week for most students. Members of the PA community come out to connect with old and new friends as they join together to support their team. As always, the bleachers are packed with fans dressed in PA school colors. 

“The excitement around this game was unreal, from the students to teachers and parents. It made this game a huge deal for me,” commented Quarterback Magnus Hansen, ‘25.  

Since the start of the season, Hansen had been waiting for the opportunity to step up and lead the team as QB1. He received the promotion a few weeks ago when the Lions faced Chisago Lakes High School. Hansen has continued to put in maximum effort as he settles into his new position. Hansen had an outstanding game. He was able to showcase his abilities to the whole school when he threw for 338 passing yards. 

Hansen finds Collin Capouch, ’25, open on the field. PAW Photo Credit: Lions Football Boosters.

With the game off to a great start, both Mound and PA were fighting to put points on the board. Almost effortlessly, Hansen found Wide Receiver Max Klassen, ’24, during an eight-play drive. Which resulted in a touchdown. Running onto the field, Max Igbanugo, ‘24, found his way to the 15-yard line. 

“Ibby! Ibby! Ibby!” Chanted the crowd as Igbanugo got into position and successfully Igbanugo placed the ball through the post to secure an extra point. The score was 7-0. 

Willinghanz breaks away from the Mound player as he runs the ball into the end zone. PAW Photo Credit: Lions Football Boosters.

Although wide receiver is nothing new to Charlie Willihnganz, ‘24, he is harnessing his strengths after being repositioned to wide receiver.

“I was a wide receiver all of last year and I really enjoy the position,” said Willihnganz. 

During the second quarter, Willihnganz broke away from the White Hawks’ defensive backs and ran the ball into the end zone. This allowed for the Lions to settle into a comfortable lead with a 21-7 score. 

Trader finds himself in the perfect position for an interception. PAW Photo Credit: Lions Football Boosters.

As always, Luke Trader, ‘25, has proven consistent in his ability to anticipate the ball on the defense. During the third quarter, he tracked down the ball and snagged it before Mound had a chance to react. Thanks to Trader’s interception, PA was rewarded with possession. This set the Lions up for one final touchdown before the game ended. 

With their final possession of the night, Mound’s offense chose to stall as they waited for the clock to run out. Because of this, there wasn’t an opportunity for the Lions to put more points on the board. The Homecoming football game was extremely competitive and had each fan on the edge of their seats. In the end, the Lions fell to the White Hawks 35-37. 

“The boys gave it their all tonight and I think that is all you can really ask for,” commented Klassen.