Football: Tigers show improvement at Northfield
The Farmington football team is starting to get the hang of its new spread offense.
The Tigers, who were shut out in back-to-back games at Chanhassen and at Shakopee earlier this season, have put up 43 points in their last two losses. The latest setback was a 21-16 nail-biter on the road against a conference-leading Northfield team that had outscored its previous four opponents by a combined 114-28.
Northfield (5-1, 5-0) built a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter of Friday night's homecoming game courtesy of a pair of touchdown runs by standout back Davonte Jacobs. The scores capped drives of 61 and 69 yards, respectively.
Jacobs finished with 174 yards on 25 carries, but was held in check over the second and third quarters as the Tigers kept the Raiders from adding to their lead.
Farmington (1-5, 1-4) tied the score by halfime thanks to a couple of touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Darren Beenken. Coming off a three-touchdown effort in last week's homecoming loss to Holy Angels, Beenken connected with Dayne Eich for a four-yard score, then went deep to Nate Graham for a 36-yard play-action touchdown to tie the score at 14-14. Beenken finished 11 of 22 through the air for 175 yards and an interception.
The Tigers missed out on a pair of opportunities to take the lead in the third quarter. Graham halted one drive with a fumble after a 41-yard catch inside the five-yard line, and another trip down the field resulted in a 37-yard Tyler Grubb field goal that was negated due to a penalty.
Northfield answered with a long drive that resulted in a go-ahead 16-yard touchdown run by Jacobs with 3:53 remaining.
Farmington scored again when Northfield sent a long snap out of the back of the end zone for a safety with 43.6 seconds left, but the Tigers went four-and-out on their ensuing possession to end the game.
Eric McWright once again paced the Tiger defense, following his five-sack effort against Holy Angels with a team-high 10 tackles. Ryan Schoening and Jake Schaeppi each added nine.... Northfield held a slim 279-271 advantage in total yards.... Northfield carried off the Tractor Trophy for the second straight year.... Grubb took on an increased role in the running game and finished with eight carries for 55 yards. Record, after going for 219 yards last week, had 14 carries for 43 yards.... The 16 points was the most the Raiders have allowed in a game this season.... The Tigers host Chaska (2-4) Friday and close out the regular season with a trip to New Prague (3-3) the following Wednesday.... Jacobs had missed the previous two games due to an ankle injury.