FARIBAULT – Six minutes and one second in football can change a lot and for New Prague Saturday night it was enough for them to fall down by 20 points before they knew what hit them in the second half. Three rushing touchdowns by Faribault’s Riley Jandro led the Falcons to a 27-12 victory over New Prague in the Section 1AAAA semifinal Saturday night at Bruce Smith Field.
The game started with both teams having 10+ play drives, but neither being able to score any points. New Prague got to the Faribault 5 yard line before trying a halfback pass from Nick Johnson to a wide open Luke Tietz, but the pass two-hopped as Johnson slipped while passing the ball and gave the ball to Faribault. The Falcons would slowly move down the field thanks to the running of quarterback Jake Salaba, but a stop by the New Prague defense on third down would force Faribault to settle for a field goal from 40-yards. The kick would not clear the line as kicker Nate VanLoon would kick a line drive into the offensive line.
The defenses would stand tall for the rest of the first half and would send both teams tied 0-0 going into the half. But the first six minutes and one second
The second half started with a big return from Faribault to midfield. One of the changes that Faribault head coach Ned Louis made for the second half was to focus on the run game and get it going. Faribault went with the veer backfield and one wide receiver. The Falcons would run the ball six times ending with the first touchdown run by Riley Jandro from two yards out with Nate VanLoon adding the extra point to make the score 7-0 with 9:48 in the third quarter.
New Prague would turn the ball over on the second play from scrimmage in the second half when the defense jarred the ball free from Kyle Stepka on an option play and was recovered by Faribault at the New Prague 32-yard-line. The Falcons would take advantage of the field position and would go to the air for their next score with Jake Salaba connecting with tight end Cole McAdam from 22-yards with another extra point from VanLoon to make the score 14-0 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.
The next New Prague drive would be short as they would try a pitch to the right side to Zack Shetka, but the ball would get knocked free from his grip as a blocker was knocked into him and the Faribault defense continued to be in the right place as they fell on the ball at the New Prague 18-yard-line. Three plays later Faribault’s Riley Jandro would score his second touchdown this time from four yards to make the score 20-0, Faribualt with 5:59 left in the third quarter.
New Prague would use passes and end arounds on the next drive to get the attacking Faribault defense off balance and get a score on a four-yard touchdown run by Nate Preston to make the score 20-6, Faribault with 2:23 left in the third quarter.
The Falcons next drive would be the one that would put New Prague away as they would convert on two third downs and take 6:18 off the clock before turning the ball over at the New Prague 26-yard-line. New Prague could not make anything of the next drive and turned the ball over on downs at their own 33. Faribault would add one more touchdown on a one-yard touchdown run by Riley Jandro and another VanLoon extra point to put Faribault up 27-6 with 1:47 left.
New Prague would add another score with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Stepka to Jake Meyer to make the final score 27-12.
New Prague ends the season 3-7. Faribault will host Red Wing in the Section 1AAAA championship next Friday.
By: Adam Bartels