Football: Tigers take back the tractorFarmington scored touchdowns on its first two drives of each half and went on to reclaim the Tractor Trophy by defeating rival Northfield 27-0 in a Homecoming showdown Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington scored touchdowns on its first two drives of each half and went on to reclaim the Tractor Trophy by defeating rival Northfield 27-0 in a Homecoming showdown Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
“We wanted to come in and begin the second half of the season strong. Now we’re looking for a few wins in a row with that second season coming. You want to have that confidence going in, knowing you can win,”?said Farmington head coach Mark Froehling, whose team scored its first shutout in three years. “We’re a young team and a win like this is something we can build on. You do the best you can and sometimes it pays off with great victories.”
Friday night’s victory improved the Tigers to 2-4 overall and 2-3 in the Missota Conference. They close out the regular season with games against a pair of 1-5 teams, Chaska and New Prague, in the next six days.
The Tigers started their first offensive possession Friday at the Northfield 37 after a diving interception by Alex Chadwick. Four plays later, quarterback Darren Beenken completed a 28-yard pass to Johnny Dittman on fourth and 4 to set up his own five-yard touchdown run.
Northfield's next drive stalled at the Farmington 26 and four plays later junior tailback Athen Ashton broke free 60 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-0.
The Raiders (2-4) failed to score while playing with a 30 mile-per-hour wind at their back in the second quarter. Their four drives ended with two punts, a missed 37-yard field goal and an interception in the red zone by Andrew Peterson.
After their first two scoring drives, the Tigers punted twice, threw an interception and missed a field goal on the final play of the half.
Ashton busted loose once again on the first play of the third quarter, gaining 47 yards to move the ball to the 25. A play later, he ran his second score in from 25 yards out to make it 20-0. The next drive covered 80 yards on 11 plays and resulted in a two-yard Ashton touchdown run, his third of the game. Ashton finished with a season-high 167 rushing yards on 21 carries and also caught three passes for 49 yards.
“We came in wanting to run the football. Athen Ashton is a good, tough runner and we did a good job picking up blocks,”?Froehling said. “The offensive line deserved a lot of the credit for this win.”
Beenken completed 10 of 19 passes for 127 yards, including a team-high five catches by Nathan Graham, and also rushed for 57 yards.
The Tiger defense held Northfield to 181 total yards and completed its first shutout since Oct. 15, 2008 at Shakopee. Linebackers Drew Hegseth and Ryan Schoening paced the unit with 12 tackles apiece. Blake Weinand added seven tackles and a fumble recovery and Chadwick and Andrew Peterson each hauled in interceptions.
“The defense made so many great plays. They defended the pass, knocked some balls down, got some interceptions and made some tackles for loss that gave Northfield some long downs and distances,”?Froehling said. “We gave Northfield some short fields and they held tough.”