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Football: Farmington's second-half struggles continue at Holy Angels

Even before the season started, close followers of Farmington or Missota Conference football in general would have projected that the second half of the schedule was going to be tougher than the first for the Tigers.

It would be hard to argue otherwise considering the team’s slide since the season’s halfway point. After defeating New Prague 19-3 on Sept. 20, the Tigers were 4-0 and had earned a spot in the top 10 of the Class 6A rankings. Then the team began a stretch of four games where every opponent was arguably better than any of the four they had faced previously.

The Tigers fell from the ranks of the unbeaten when they were walloped 56-7 on the road at Chaska in Week 5. They played better a week later, but couldn’t stop Chanhassen’s high-powered running game in a 21-13 home loss in Week 6. The second-half slide continued with a 30-17 loss to Holy Angels on the road Friday night at a windy Star Dome in Richfield.

The Stars scored a 39-yard touchdown on their first play from scrimmage and never trailed in the contest. They added a field goal and a 66-yard scoring run to go up 17-3 by halftime, and tacked on two long touchdowns after the break to go up 30-3.

Farmington’s lone first-half points came on a 22-yard field goal by Mason Gaylord. Two other Tiger drives ended in the red zone on an interception and a turnover on downs, respectively.

The Tigers (4-3) brought the score closer with a pair of late touchdowns. Quarterback Tyler VanWinkle ran the ball in from nine yards out to make it 30-10 and later found Mac Bassett for a 62-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

VanWinkle finished 16 of 38 for 213 yards, a touchdown and two picks. Bassett hauled in five balls for 131 yards, tight end CJ Wynings caught six for 20 and Noah Kary brought down two for 34.

The team once again struggled to move the ball on the ground, rushing for just 56 yards on 37 attempts. Derek Klotter accounted for 44 yards on 17 carries.

Kevin Clifton paced the Tiger defense with 8 ½ tackles. John LeBlond had eight tackles, including three for loss and a quarterback sack.

The regular season came to a close Wednesday night with a home game against Shakopee. The Sabers are third in the Missota at 4-2 behind Chaska and Chanhassen, but a Farmington victory would give third place to the Tigers.