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Football: Big-play Trojans roll, 28-14

Another slow start left Farmington with too big a deficit to overcome in Wednesday night's regular season finale in New Prague.

The Tigers, who have lost six in a row since their lone victory of the season over Red Wing in Week 2, fell behind 21-0 by halftime on Wednesday as New Prague ate up the clock with 442 rushing yards in a 28-14 win.

"They had a few big plays, their quarterback ran well off the edge and they had a quick halfback. We had a hard time catching him," Farmington coach Mark Froehling said. "You hope to avoid those big plays, make the offense drive the ball with a lot of plays and eventually get some stops, but that wasn't happening. They had the ball a lot in the first half."

Farmington opened the second half with its first scoring drive, cutting the deficit to 21-7. Wide receiver Kevin Olund finally got into the end zone from eight yards out on a third and goal pass from quarterback Darren Beenken. Beenken finished just 6 of 14 for 117 yards through the air, but didn't turn the ball over a week after throwing three interceptions against Chaska.

It was 28-7 by the time Farmington put together another scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter. Senior back CJ Record began the drive with a long run, giving him a team-high 98 yards on 20 carries, and senior back Tyler Grubb finished the job with a 24-yard touchdown run.

Record also helped the offense with two catches on screen passes that totaled 63 yards.

"We couldn't sustain our drives in the first half and got into a couple of long yardage situations where we couldn't convert. We did a better job of that in the second and put together a couple long drives," Froehling said. "We turned things around pretty well. We played better football. I was proud of their effort coming back."

The Tigers finished as the No. 7 seed in Section 1AAAAA and faced second-seeded Lakeville North Tuesday night in a rematch of last year's first-round tournament game that the Panthers won, 33-12. The Tigers have fallen behind by scores of 14-0, 16-0 and 21-0 in their last three games and Froehling knows his team can't afford to do that again.

"We need to come out and play better in the first half. We've been playing from behind a lot and we've talked about trying to improve that," he said. "We have to come out ready to play right away.... We have to match up with them athletically, keep them from getting long drives and play good pass defense. We're also going to be more consistent offensively so we don't give their offense too many chances. A lot of factors go into it. We're going to have to play our best football game."


New Prague finished with a record of 5-3 and will host Austin in a Section 1AAAA first-round game.... The Tigers have lost four straight section playoff games by scores of 33-12, 34-23, 28-14 and 31-6. Their last post-season win was a 17-12 victory over Eastview in 2006.... Eric McWright led the defense with 11 tackles. Tommy Korbein had seven, Jake Schaeppi six and Sebren Baer five.... New Prague did not complete a pass while rushing for 442 yards Wednesday.

Matt Steichen

Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.

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