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Turnovers, penalties and big plays hold Tigers back

Junior defensive lineman Nate Roschen sacks the Eastview quarterback Friday, Oct. 13. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Senior running back Maurice Houston makes a cut in the backfield behind his offensive line during Farmington's loss to Eastview. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

The Farmington Tiger football team had too many turnovers, committed too many costly penalties and allowed too many big plays to come out with the win Friday, Oct. 13, at home against the Eastview Lightning. The Tigers fell 34-14, dropped to 2-5 overall on the season and are just 1-5 in the Metro South subdistrict.

The game

Farmington got off to a promising start when senior linebacker Brock Mogensen sacked the Eastview quarterback to force a fourth-and-long and a Lightning punt. The Tigers took over at Eastview's 25-yard line, converted a fourth-and-seven and then senior running back Maurice Houston scored from 10 yards out to make it 7-0 Farmington with six minutes and three seconds left in the first quarter. However, from there on out it was all Eastview for the rest of the first half.

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Buchert threw the first of his two interceptions later in the first quarter, setting up Eastview at their own 45-yard line. The Lightning then broke through the Farmington defense for a 46-yard touchdown run to make it a tie game, 7-7, with just 13 seconds left in the first quarter.

Just a few plays into the second quarter the Tigers threw another interception that put Eastview at the Farmington 8-yard line. The Lightning then completed a 6-yard touchdown pass and took a 14-7 lead under a minute into the second quarter. A short while later, Eastview continued to bite into the Farmington defense with big plays as they moved 65 yards in two plays, capped by a 40-yard touchdown run to give the Lightning a 20-7 lead with 8:58 left in the first half.

Just when the Tigers started to get their offense moving again, their drive was killed by penalties and Eastview took over at midfield. The Lightning proceeded to complete a 35-yard pass, score on a 6-yard touchdown run and convert the two-point conversion to make it 28-7 with five minutes left in the half. From then on until halftime, Farmington fumbled at their own 33-yard line and Eastview recovered, the sophomore safety Luke Weierke for the Tigers intercepted Eastview and returned it to their own 45-yard line, but Farmington then turned the ball over on downs for Eastview to run the clock out heading into halftime.

The turnovers continued into the start of the second half as Farmington fumbled the opening kickoff and Eastview recovered. The Tigers defense then forced a fumble themselves to get the ball back and junior quarterback Alijah Moe completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to junior Adam Weed. Farmington then trailed 28-14 with 9:20 left in the third quarter.

Later on in the game, Farmington forced a turnover-on-downs at their own 11-yard line and then attempted a fake punt at their own 36-yard line which failed and Eastview took over. The Lightning then scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-18, which was the final.

Head coach Adam Fischer said that from here on out, the season is up to the seniors.

"We're just going to have to rely on our seniors," he said. "They have to decide how they want to finish the year, it's all on them at this point."

In terms of execution, Fischer also said he thinks that both his defense and offense are trying to make the big play all the time.

"I think the guys are trying to do too much and are not trusting in their assignments," he explained. "Same thing on offense, not taking what's theirs, trying to do too much and trying to get it all back with one shot."

Moe led Farmington in passing after he replaced Buchert for the final three quarters. He went 8-for-20 passing for 115 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Buchert went 4-for-11, 24 yards and two interceptions to start the game.

The Tigers were unable to get their running game going, especially once they fell behind by multiple scores. As a team, they ran for 55 yards on 22 carries. Houston ran nine times for 27 yards and a touchdown. Weed led the Farmington receivers with five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.

One bright spot for the Tigers was the play of inside linebacker Mogensen. He was credited with 11 total tackles, five of which were solo, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Junior linebacker Luke Grengs added two tackles for loss, Weierke had two forced fumbles on top of his interception and senior Avery Filapek was second on the team in tackles with 6.5.

Farmington ends its regular season Wednesday, Oct. 18, on the road against Lakeville South.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

(651) 319-4502
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