Farmington football gets back on track against Eagan

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The Farmington Tigers football team ended their three-game losing streak with a 31-16 victory over the Eagan Wildcats at home Friday, Sept. 29. The Tigers came from behind down 13-0 in the second quarter and with the win are 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the Metro South subdistrict.

Farmington fell behind by two scores after two touchdown passes from Eagan quarterback Kaden Hanson to running back Eisley Nkwonta. However, the Tigers responded twice in the second quarter to trail 13-10 going into halftime. Sophomore running back Hunter Hedlund scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with an extra point by junior Adam Weed. Junior Will Buffington then made an 18-yard field goal.

The Tigers were able to complete the comeback and blow the game open in the second half. Eagan extended their lead to 16-10 after a field goal to start the second half, but then it was all Farmington. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Buchert threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to give the Tigers a 24-16 lead. The first was eight yards to senior wide receiver Caden Freetly and the second was a 70-yard play to Weed.

Another touchdown pass from Buchert to Weed for 43 yards in the fourth quarter iced the game and gave Farmington the 31-16 win.

"The defense has been playing great, they gave up a couple passes which is kind of uncharacteristic, but they came back with several big plays, they had six turnovers," head coach Adam Fischer said. "The defense put the offense in some favorable positions and the offense was able to find a way to get some points on the board this week."

Despite being a little inefficient, the Tigers' passing game was productive and its running game was better during the win. Buchert completed 10-of-23 passes for 172 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

As a team, Farmington ran for 135 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries. They were led by senior running back Maurice Houston, who ran the ball 14 times for 72 yards. Hedlund added 12 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown.

"It's all been kind of a process for us, we've been pretty young on offense," Fischer explained. "Our offensive line has been getting better and better, big credit to them they played well, we knew that our focus had to be coming out and being physical and the line opened up some big holes."

Weed exploded as a big-play threat, totalling 114 yards and two touchdowns on just two receptions.

"He's a threat on both sides of the ball," Fischer said about Weed. "He's turned into a really good corner for us and teams are starting to throw away from him. But offensively, he's got a great burst and he's worked really hard to put himself in position to be a two-way guy, someone who doesn't get tired and we use to attack the middle of the field. In a one-on-one matchup we feel pretty good about him versus pretty much anybody out there, with his combination of size, speed and quickness he poses a real threat to defenses."

Senior linebacker Brock Mogensen led the Farmington defense with seven total tackles, while junior linebacker Luke Grengs had two sacks. The Tigers' defense also had four interceptions and two forced fumbles.

The Tigers host Burnsville on Friday, Oct. 6, for homecoming.

"Offensively they (Burnsville) are big and physical," Fischer said. "They are very athletic and they will look to find favorable matchups. The big challenge for us is we pride ourselves defensively on being an attack-style defense and being aggressive, but we want to use our speed and quickness while they want to use their size and weight to wear you down. So it will be two strengths going at it and that's probably the biggest thing that I'm excited for, to watch our defense go to work. For us offensively, they're athletic in the secondary and they're going to want to bring a lot of pressure, it's probably going to turn into a similar kind of game plan as we had against Eagan."