Football: Defense shines again in road win at ChaskaLess than two weeks ago, the Farmington football team was coming off back-to-back lopsided losses to Shakopee and Holy Angels and had just one win to show for its efforts over the first five weeks of the season.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Less than two weeks ago, the Farmington football team was coming off back-to-back lopsided losses to Shakopee and Holy Angels and had just one win to show for its efforts over the first five weeks of the season.
Now it looks like a 27-0 Homecoming win over Northfield in Week 6 might have been a turning point for the Tigers. They followed that up with a 14-3 road victory over Chaska Friday night, the program’s first Missota Conference road win since 2008. And if the Tigers pull off their third win in 12 days Wednesday night in their regular season finale against 1-6 New Prague, they would earn a .500 record for the first time since that conference title team in ’08.
The defense has been the difference over the last two games, allowing three total points after surrendering a combined 77 in the previous two. Chaska drove 59 yards on 16 plays before taking the lead with an early field goal Friday night, then managed just 54 yards the rest of the game.
The Tiger defense forced the Hawks into a three and out on the first possession of the second half, forcing a punt and setting up the team’s first score. The visitors responded with the go-ahead touchdown when junior running back Athen Ashton capped a 90-yard drive with a 29-yard scoring run. Ashton, who finished with 157 yards on 29 carries, also hauled in a 37-yard pass from quarterback Darren Beenken on the go-ahead drive.
The Tigers added an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter. Ashton accounted for nearly all of the rushing yardage on a 60-yard drive before senior lineman Bret Hoffman plunged across the goal line from two yards out for his first career touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Hawks managed just three first downs in the second half as they slipped to 1-6. Senior linebacker Drew Hegseth led the unit with 12 tackles. Blake Weinand added 10 and Ryan Schoening and Tyler Engel each had six.
Engel added a pair of quarterback sacks and Weinand, Jack Erickson and Kevin Clifton each hauled in an interception.
Beenken surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in the victory. He completed 7 of 13 tosses for 84 yards, giving him 1,051 for the season.