Last season was a growing year for the Bombers in proficiency of the offense and confidence.
The 2018 Cannon Falls football team won just two games in the regular season, then was the only team - excluding Class 6A - in the state tournament with a losing record even after winning three straight games in the Section 4AAA Tournament.
In 2019, the Bombers are 3-0. Its the best start since the 2005 Bombers. Coming into its Week 3 matchup against Red Wing, the Bombers last started a season 2-0 in 2012.
"Going to state last year gave the guys a ton of confidence," Cannon Falls head coach Dan Meyers said. "We're building on that. ... We were one play away from heading to U.S. Bank Stadium. We lost Logan (Hofstedt) and some other good seniors, but that really gave the other guys (something to work for)."
With everything seemingly clicking, the Bombers are struggling with one thing; injuries.
Top returners Mason Duden and Nick Bultena, among others, were unable to play due to an injury to start the season. In Week 3, starting guard Ryan Linde was out with an injury as well as were five more players. Futhermore, Dillen Anderson has been lost for the rest of the season due to a leg injury. Meyers said he's never had a season with so many injuries.
"We haven't quite been at full strength yet," Meyers said "It's been encouraging to know we can be even better than we have been."
Duden has returned to the Bomber defense, but Meyers knows the team will be even better once everyone comes back to health. In the meantime, the offense will continue to be led by the breakout star running back Trenton Matthies.
Described as the "center back" in the three-RB set the Bombers run every play from, Matthies is having a terrific start to the season. He has rushed for 465 yards and eight touchdowns on 34 carries. He's averaging just over 13 1/2 yards per carry and has rushed for more than 150 yards in a game twice.
Matthies said after a 60-0 win over Red Wing he's never had a start like this. and added its been the best start of his entire football career.
"He's always had that explosive speed," Meyers said "That's what we look for in our middle back in our offense."
Fellow senior Kade Holt is also running the ball well. Through three weeks he has 338 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries for an average of 11 yards a carry.
"We have a ton of different options and we keep pounding the ball inside," Matthies said. "Eventually (it will) open it up for the pass. It usual breaks open 90 percent of the time."
Described as having the "perfect offense" by Red Wing head Nate Freier, Meyers didn't go as far as calling his team perfect, but did say it helps when no one takes a play off.
"We're definitely not perfect but we're getting better at it," Meyers said. 'We've got this offense from Elk River a few years ago and we've bee working on it for a long time. When we first started it, it didn't go well the first two years as far as running the plays well. Everybody knows it takes all 11 guys to run the perfect play. So we're getting closer to that."
Meyers said the offensive line has done a terrific job with the swing blocks and giving the runners a hole to run through. Equally as good is the Bomber defense. Jack Dommeyer has dominated at defensive end, recording four sacks thus far.
In the first three weeks, the Bombers have outscored opponents 131-33. There's no doubt the team is on a roll even with so many hurt. When does it stop? Matthies said it doesn't.
"We just got to keep this momentum going and it really helped to start 3-0," he said.